darkguardian (724) - Florida, USA - APR 1, 2010
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
7oz bottle thanks to hopscotch for sharing this awesome and super rare gem. Pour is deep black with almost no head. No real carbonation. Ridiculous rich nose of anise, chocolate and soy sauce. Definitely oxidized but it doesn’t really hurt this beer. Cap on outside and inside was all rusted. Flavor is big chocolate and bourbon like character with some light caramel and cherry. Finishes with soy sauce and light saltiness. Really good considering the age.
hopscotch (8783) - Vero Beach, Florida, USA - MAR 31, 2010
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle (old, rusty cap)… Pours dark brown and mostly clear. No head. The nose is all about smoke, tobacco and soy sauce… ahhh… my beloved Samuel Adams Triple Bock! Is it possible? Silky smooth mouthfeel with no carbonation. The flavor is of rich, dark malts and, oh yeah, there it is; pour it on nice and thick – soy sauce, baby. Very salty; perhaps a bit too salty, if that’s even possible for this old sodium head. Regarding the 16% ABV? Nothing is revealed… at all. Odd, yet delicious and comforting. If I had had sashimi, I would have saved the dregs for dipping. Very nice, but I’m a strange guy. Bottle courtesy of plovmand!
ClubGonzo (3854) - Bergen, NORWAY - MAR 24, 2010
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
This rating - my "crown-awarding" no. 100 - is dedicated to the Norwegian ratebeer community, my father for bringing home the goods, to Mogens for digging into his beer vaults, and to Christian Skovdahl Andersen of Here Beer for his craft beer bravery! :-) And now, the actual rating: Essentia Bina comes to me in the humble appearance of a small, brown 25 cl bottle with a slightly rusty cap. It sort of makes me feel like a diver who’s come out of the ocean with a bottle of rum from a Spanish shipwreck, seaweed and all. Sort of. :-P I open the bottle and pour the oily, black contents into my snifter glass with a certain veneration. This is perhaps the most exclusive, rare beer I’ve had so far in my young rater career. As advertised (for those who can read Danish), its dead flat and sits in the glass like a challenge. The nose is not half as boozy as expected from a steroid-ABV such as this one, but gives away some coffee, licorice...and something else that I can’t really wrap my head around. Exciting indeed. After observing the snifter for about 5 minutes or so, I finally take the first sip. The unusual feeling of a completely un-carbonated beer is so unusual that I can’t make out anything but mouthfeel at first. Silky smooth and velvety, the kind that only vintage ales produce, or perhaps a good port wine. I take another sip, and is faced with something very odd (could it be the fenugreek, the magic x-factor? Then comes a wave of good ol’ coffee, burnt toast and licorice. There’s even some candy sugar traces and cough syrup in there as well, the kind of aroma that makes you believe that Essentia Bina could blow away your cold or sore throat in a minute. Very nice, albeit strange. The finish is a slightly moldy, earthy tone which leaves me wondering whether or not I got this one a bit too late, or if it’s the brewer’s intention. Regardless, it’s not really that disturbing (only a little), and I relish the complex, subtle blend of flavors lingering in my mouth a long time after finishing each sip. Except for the warming feel in my body and a certain vague, burning sensation somewhere in the middle of each sip, there’s no indication of Essentia Bina’s 16 % ABV. I keep sipping the mighty brew slowly, taking breaks only to write this review. This is a worthy no. 100 for me - cheers everybody! ;-)
Travlr (9999) - Washington, Washington DC, USA - MAR 19, 2010
1.9 AROMA 2/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 3/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 6/20
Bottle courtesy of tarheels86. Appearance of used motor oil, no head, no lacing. Aroma of the inside of a vacuum cleaner bag. Taste of low sodium soy sauce. Past its prime, I think. Unpleasant. Good conversation starter, I guess.
GT2 (8163) - San Diego County, California, USA - MAR 17, 2010
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
250mL courtesy of madsberg. Pours a used motoroil black with no head, no carbonation. Aroma is soy sauce, alcohol, old world tar, Marmite. Taste is Marmite, soy sauce, deep campfire smoke. I really really want to dip sushi in this! Not sure if I can drink the entire sample but it was hilarious, quite odd, sort of like a more salty version of Sam Adams Triple Bock which you either love or hate.
phredrik (1010) - Copenhagen (formerly Aalborg), DENMARK - MAR 1, 2010
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
A little long ago, but here’s what I remember: The aroma was pretty strong and very roasted. Lots of coffee and dark bread and dark ruit. The flavour as well was very strong and with coffee and some of the spices used are also notable. A nice beer for those seeking the extreme.
rickgordon (3843) - Göteborg, SWEDEN - FEB 2, 2010
3.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Bottled. 3 Sma Rum.
Dark brown colour, minimal foam that lasts for two seconds. Soy and tar, bit meaty in aroma. Thick and more than full-bodied, the liquid is almost chewable. Soy/sauce again. Caramel and syrup, apart from all the black. Pretty raw, but kind of drinkable. Bitterness can’t be sensed at this stage.
Christian (11021) - Odense, DENMARK - JAN 22, 2010
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Black with a tiny brown head. Intense licorice and molasses aroma with dark caramel, brown sugar and a hint of meaty smoke. Very rich and intense burnt caramel flavour. Sweet but nowhere near cloying. Touch of peppermint. Very warming, but not at all hot alcohol. Very different from other super-strong black beers. A masterpiece to be proud of!
wavers1 (872) - Notown, California, USA - JAN 13, 2010
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
bottle courtesy of danish secret santa, thank you! 25cl, everything about this beer is viscous. the pour, the aroma, the taste, the mouthfeel, everything. the aroma is concentrated dates, prunes, raisins and figs, with lots of very nice more subtle sweet notes of vanilla, oak, caramel, coconut, and cocoa spiced with anise and clove, some smoke and a touch of funk. the taste is a similar melange of flavors, but there is a lot more bitter, smokey cocoa stepping up in a very nice way, especially in the finish. plenty of peaty, meatiness throughout. it starts more sweet, then finishes with a smokey, tart feel. very port like, this is a special beer. i have never seen a porter of this magnitude.
ricke (476) - Malme, SWEDEN - JAN 3, 2010
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Pitch black, thick and viscous. Hardly any head - just a thin layer of cappuccino-colored bubbles that settles quickly. Small lacings at first, but after a while they all disappear.
A very rich smell with a thick layer of roasted malts up front. Burnt wood, lightly smoky aromas, soy sauce and licorice struggle successfully to make their way through the dense malts. Hints of mint. The alcohol is hidden, but a restrained sting in the nose reveals the potency of this one.
Initially, a massive taste of sweet roasted malts fills the mouth. Plenty of burnt wood, charcoal, cold coffee and tannins. The taste is rather sweet but the roasted and burnt flavors balance the sweetness. It never gets cloying. It has a very round and rather heavy character with a cherry-like fruitiness adding yet another layer of complexity. In the finish, the alcohol becomes present, but in a very integrated way - it just gets warming, never boozy. The taste ends with prominent salty flavors, sweet licorice and notes of soy sauce, wood and a rather distinct spiciness. Every now and then a bitterness becomes present, but I don’t know if it’s a result from the hops, the alcohol or the fennel they used in the brewing.
A very full and fat body, basically no carbonation whatsoever. Very smooth. Slightly dry in the finish. Fantastic mouthfeel. Despite the sweetness and the lack of carbonation, it never gets too sticky.
D: I really liked this one. It’s not very sophisticated or elegant. Actually, it’s quite rough and obnoxious, and if you where a beer, I don’t think you’d want your daughter to come home with the arms of this one around here waste. But its rather vulgar character kind of works. It’s very well made, complex and the different parts are well integrated. Perhaps, one would think that a porter with 16% ABV would be too much, but in this case it’s not. (But of course, the small 250 ml bottle is quite handy.)
Serving type: bottle
(Copy of old Beer Advocate review)