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RATINGS: 362   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.74/5   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 330   ABV: 11%
COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
Monster of a beer, shrouded in mystery, brewed once a year. This beer is hopped quadruple-strength, and exoticly spiced.


3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
gearbike (512) - West Bloomfield, Michigan, USA - DEC 15, 2010
From a 2009 bottle. Dark rich looking beer did not fill up my pint glass for some odd reason. I got very rich dark fruits. Very drinkable was suprised to see 11% when I went to rate this one.

4.8
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
AlchemistZ (493) - Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA - MAR 19, 2006
2004. Dark brown in color with ruby highlights and a thin, brown head that laces the glass nicely. Aroma has more going on than could possibly be listed. But spice, brown sugar, creme, and caramel dominate. I am a big fan of Fritz Maytag and the spiced Our Special Ale, but this blows every vintage of that away. The fat sweetness of the malt foundation is perfect for all of the spicing, alcohol, and hops within. Superb.

3.5
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Marc (486) - Yokosuka, JAPAN - NOV 14, 2006
2002 bottle. Pours like thin old honey. all carbonation has been visably lost, leaving only a viscous chestnut brown liquide stitting errily still in my glass. Huge carmel, malt, and herbal hops in the nose along with something else but it drowned out by the big barlywine like nose. Much is the same in the mouth. Big thick mouthfeel, dates, prunes, ,brown sugar, a little alcohol, and raisons. Finishes with honey, a lingering green bitterness, and a decent puff of alcohol.

4.2
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
JoshuaB (476) - Detroit, Michigan, USA - AUG 27, 2005
Deep dark hazy brown. Lots of sediment. No head at all, and very little bubbles. Nose is somewhat suble compared to the tase, but there is some caramel, cinnamon, and yeast present. Flavor is very wonderful. A cornecopia of flavors. Lots of biscuity malt and earthy yeast provide the backbone. Anise, toffee, caramel, cinnamon, clove, pine, and molasses are just some of the flavor motifs. Meduim thick bodied with a nice coating feeling as it goes down the throat. Alcohol is well masked, but does leave a warm feeling in the belly. A perfect winter brew. Drink it at room temp.

3.2
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
mwbrady12 (469) - Orlando, Florida, USA - MAY 18, 2013
Strong aroma with a dark, dirty pour, huge alcohol taste and a complex, changing mouthfeel. ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone

4.1
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Jake Barnes (456) - St. Louis, Missouri, USA - MAR 13, 2003
My first beer of RAF 2003. Reminds me of 3rd Coast Old Ale. A big beer with the characteristic bells malt. Hoppier than 3rdCOA and hints of spice and peppar. Pretty Smooth.

3.2
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
timsilvia32 (449) - from Michigan now in Charlotte, North Carolina, USA - NOV 4, 2007
Eccentric about sums it up. It’s just a mess of flavors, you name it, its in there. I thought it was waaay overboard. In all reality, I think that is their goal with this. Quite pungent. Had the 98 version, which may be quite different than now. Many of Bells beers have changed since they’ve lost their microbrew status.

3.7
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Philip (436) - Illinois, USA - AUG 14, 2005
UPDATED: AUG 11, 2008 Poured by Larry Bell at the Great Taste of the Midwest, Madison, 2005. 1996 vintage. My wife and I were among the last to sample this one from the 9 year old bottle, and as a result, our sample was fairly loaded with sediment and yeast. I must say, Eccentric is the proper deScriptive. Notes of clove, cinnamon, allspice, juniper, apple, sour cherry come out on the nose and on the palate. I get more darker flavors on the palate as well: molasses and carmalized sugar. The bottle was likely past its prime, unfortunately. RERATE: Larry poured a 2004 version at the 2008 Great Taste. I liked this considerably better, and it seems to age rather impressively. True it’s a bit too spiced for my liking (I’m never been a big fan of Christmas ales -- essentially anything I can taste nutmeg, clove, and ginger), but this was solid. Cheers to Larry, and sorry for the initial low rating!

3.9
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Hairofthedog (419) - San Diego, California, USA - FEB 10, 2005
The nose was complex w/ coriander (spice) and dark fermented fruit, citrus and a slight vinious note. The pour was a rich, full brown color w/ golden highlights. There was no head and no lacing. The flavor had a brown sugar sweetness, dark fruit and vinious notes w/ a slight sourness. The mouthfeel was creamy, well rounded, w/ a medium body.

3.3
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Clownoisseur (398) - Buchanan, Michigan, USA - FEB 9, 2014
2005 vintage. Pours a murky brown, minimal head, quickly diminishes, minimal lacing. Aroma...wow. Well, lots going on here. Sweet molasses, roasted malts, vanilla, ginger, corriander and onion. Taste is as weird....er, eccentric, as the smell. Very spicy beer. Ginger balanced with a thick molasses...some raisin/fig/maple syrup flavors swirl...then some real earthy undertones. Tastes like vegetable soup! Minimal carbonation makes this one feel like a liquor at times...syrupy, sticky. Long lingering finish. Very interesting beer, but not something I would want to drink with any regularity.


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