dukefan (215) - Dallas, Texas, USA - DEC 19, 2002
4.9 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
This beer is not for everyone. In fact, many a friend has said that it is awful beer. But for my palate, the smoky, warm, alcoholy flavor makes it my single favorite all-time beer. Made only once, if you find some, you should try it.
StewardofGondor (1934) - Washington Heights - Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA - DEC 21, 2006
4.8 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Enormous thanks to Dave for this one! Semi-translucent and cherry-amber in color with slowly responding, pinpointed lace. Best aroma ever. Hickory, and smoked applewood get smothered in caramel goop. Shingles and tar are knowingly entrenched in a caramelized nut sauce. Almonds and pistachios are left toasting overnight to the persistent campfire. Thanks be to heaven for the alluring, enflamed maple vats. Flavor freely fulfills the aromatic promise. Sweet maple syrup and fudge meet in the middle with smoke-filled almond shells avec sooty nuts. Savoring the sips, the wood flamed oak bark and oats take precedent above the myriad of beautiful contributors. Enamored with the maple bark, broiled toffee kicks in and is joined soon thereafter by café au lait, with liquid smoke added in place of flavoring syrup. Chewy toffee, brazed caramel sauce and planks of maple laid down over flame bring a finish that couldn’t be any more blessed.
Bov (11974) - Bienne, SWITZERLAND - JUL 27, 2002
4.6 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
dark brown colour, almost no head, prune and cinnamon, licorice with smokey notes, very thick, oily, strong alcohol presence, dry, spicy and licorice finish - exceptionnal !
hellomynameis (876) - Mayer, Minnesota, USA - JUN 16, 2006
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Wow! Apparently a smoked beer needs a few years on it...
I popped the top on this and it gushed just a bit, no cause for concern. The aroma was fantasticlly rich and smokey with caramel and dark fruityness. The colour was a very dark brown with a bit of dark red. There was very littl ehead after being poured, but there was a persistant ring around the edges with some lacing in the middle. Incredibly meaty flavour with tons of finely tuned smoke and sweet malts. Caramel flavours are rampant, but subdued and not overpowering. The smoke flavours reminds me of hickory or oak chips smoking some salmon on the grill, there is a certian essence of wood present in the flavour, but not like a barrel aged version. This is truly fantastic, and certianly the best Batch X000 version I’ve had.
drpimento (3128) - La Crosse, Wisconsin, USA - MAR 18, 2010
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
poured with a tan head, slightly hazy dark amber; lace. aroma smoke dark ripe fruit, one of the best smoke/rausch beers i’ve ever had. balanced with body and a little sweetness. not sure on the alcohol. nice finish considering the huge flavor. big beer! not a session beer.
TAR (2677) - Marshall (Asheville area), North Carolina, USA - MAY 21, 2002
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: SEP 29, 2003 Rated four months ago: An Imperial smoked strong ale, so says Larry Bell. Aroma is of smoke, fruity malt, sausage, caramel, and whiffs of alcohol. The first impression as this hits the tongue is smoke, followed by a slippery fruitiness from the blanket of malts, doughy yeastiness, tanginess which puckers the cheeks, and instant heat from the heavy alcohol. The finish is perfectly balanced with smokiness leading the way and, again, fruity hints. Indeed a most fruity example of the Smoked style. I am not sure if this is a strong ale. It definitely has the slippery mouthfeel, tangy bite, and fruity notes which the Old ale portrays but lacks any hop bitterness that is noticeable in most strong ales. However, the spiciness may be more appropriate for the Smoked category. Unarguably a world-class ale along with being a wonderful after-dinner sipper. On the other hand, it would obviously pair so well with many dishes. WHat we have here is a masterful creation with a very rare and underappreciated style. Sidenote: This beer has not changed much with four months of age behind it.
ClarkVV (5804) - Boston, Massachusetts, USA - SEP 29, 2003
4.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: MAR 20, 2006 Sampled 9/2003.
Pours a ruddy brown/black with some violet and burgundy tinges on the glass. Very little head, typical of bells stronger beers. Highly unfiltered, bottle conditioned, unpasteurised! Smells of sweet ripe red fruit and some caramel, faintly smoky on the nose. Begins with a very full, rich raspberry honey flavor, backed up with lots of fresh caramel malt. Taste has plenty of barley malt as well, and then, the smoke flavor. WOW. this is amazing. Subtle at first and climaxing stronger but still balanced. Tastes like raspberry smoked beef barbecue. It is salty and meaty, yet retains a pleasant flavor and has the texture of moist beef jerky. It then fades into some nice, but light hops and finishes clean and smooth. Alcohol Very well masked, carbonation is minimal. Beer has a wonderfully full complex body. A pleasure to drink this.
Sampled again 6/2005 at RBSG. Still holding up spectacularly well. Smooth, silky, chocolatey and plenty of salty, rich smoke. Awesome beer that has really proved itself to me.
SuIIy (1983) - Burlington, Vermont, USA - SEP 18, 2005
4.5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle from goldtwins...thank you Larry! Pours like melted caramel with almost no head, a slight fizzyness of white appears above the body. Nose is smoked fish, possibly trout, some saltyness, ham, and campfire. Taste is huge malt, lots of caramel. As you ponder the taste, the smoked flavor lightly coats your mouth and makes you happy you are in the deep woods camping, only your at your house watching the shitass lions get destroyed by a team with two players people know.
muzzlehatch (4773) - Beloit, Wisconsin, USA - OCT 20, 2002
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: JAN 16, 2006 October 2002: Bottled, at the Map Room in Chicago. I’m among the yea-sayers on this one; a hugely malty, sweet, unbalanced behemoth of a smoked beer, its up there with the works of Brauerei Heller Trum and bears out the reputation of Kalamazoo. Deep, deep red in color with almost no head; smokey aroma could be a little stronger at first, gets a bit more pronounced as it warms but also just a might too sweet even for me. Flavor is smoke, licorice, caramel, cherries; smokiness thins a bit as it warms and a more barley-wine character takes over. Not quite perfect, it may be a bit too syrupy and doesn’t have much hop kick at all (not entirely sure it needs any though), but this is a worthy 2nd-tier effort from this brewer, which would make it first-rank for just about anyone else! Go Map Room.
January 2006: 12 oz bottle, cellar temperature. Very little fizz when opened, not surprising...murky brown-black with just a tiny lasting dark ring of foam...balsamic vinegar/port wine quality in the nose at first, but this quiets down quickly and smoked meat takes over....still awesomely smooth, sweet, vastly smoky in the body, more chocolaty than before, oxidation is light and to my taste just about perfect...guessing this isn’t going to improve but I don’t think it’s gone much downhill yet. Rating unchanged.
omhper (23513) - Tyresö, SWEDEN - JUN 5, 2003
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottled. Cloudy nut brown. Stong Bamberg style beechwood smoke aroma. Big chewy stable maltiness. Long, bitter bacon smolkey finish. In no way subtle, but I'm a great fan of heavily smoked beers, and this is just spot on what I like. Thanks hopsrus for sending this and many other unique beers!