Aggie80 (785) - Michigan, USA - MAY 14, 2002
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Creamy head with some nice foam and lace, a bit on the hoppy side for my tastes, but certainly a healthy flavor that I would choose over many others.
ultraspank (867) - Alverca, Lisboa, PORTUGAL - MAY 1, 2002
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
This bottle conditioned brew pours a murky dark walnut with no shortage of thick particles. The massive creamy beige head is fully lasting with excellent lacing. The nose is huge. Roasted malts, resinous hops, and leather yeast predominate with hints of caramel, flowers, spruce, horseblanket, and cheese. The intense flavor is amazingly complex and balanced for a brown ale, more like what you would expect from a robust porter. I guess you could classify this as a ’Robust Brown Ale’. The long finish is of course nutty and bittersweet. The medium to full body is dry with a lively carbonation and a chalky feel to the finish. This is the prototypical sipper. Wow!! Stone Brewing and Kalamazoo Brewing may be two of the most ballsy microbreweries out there.
MikeF (538) - Cleveland, Ohio, USA - APR 13, 2002
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
To me this was like a nice rich complex pale ale in that it had a higher hop component than I anticipated. Great stuff!
cathcacr (634) - Oregon, USA - MAR 28, 2002
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
UPDATED: APR 16, 2005 Sept. 2004 upgrade on the overall score, to bring it into line with the other components. Whatever hops they put into this, it really puts a certain character into this that doesn’t exist in other brown ales. Very well-balanced; that crispness in the throat complements the nutty(?) flavor. Very appealing to the eye; lovely head that sticks around, soft nose.
Odin (123) - Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA - MAR 19, 2002
4.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Ludacris to say that Newcastle is better or even as good as this brown. It truly is the best.
THE BEER BARON (275) - Wisconsin, USA - MAR 17, 2002
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
This is a damn good brown. One of my favorites.
I.C.suds (189) - Da U.P. eh?, Michigan, USA - FEB 22, 2002
4.8 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
This is the only beer I’ve had that was cask conditioned. I had it at the Berkley Front. If you are ever in the Detroit area, check out this and two other hand pulled beers as well as 48 more on tap on 12 mi near Woodward.
Drew (2411) - Kent, Ohio, USA - FEB 11, 2002
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: OCT 10, 2003 very good brown ale, malty - starts off sweet with a big dose of roasty flavor, ends nutty-sweet. Tacky lingering finish. Fall 2003 is better than 2002.
SpecialBrew99 (57) - grand blanc, Michigan, USA - FEB 5, 2002
3.4 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
I am actually drinking one of these right now, and I must say that it was another let down. I like a lot of the Bell’s beers, but this one just isn’t up to par. I would rather have a Newcastle anyday over this. The smell is not even really a brown smell, it is more like a stout.
labattblueleaf (225) - Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA - JAN 12, 2002
3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 11/20
I find this to be best with food. It helps bring out the taste of the food as well as the food bringing out the taste in the beer. Not being a big fan of dark beers, I didn’t rate it incredibly high.