CaptainCougar (7129) - Columbia, Maryland, USA - MAR 3, 2003
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: MAY 24, 2008 2001 Bottle RAF: Aroma is dense, complex and sweet with floral hop accents. Very complex body with a good balance between the sweet caramel butterscotch flavor and bitter hoppiness. Has pleasant aged characteristics and a dry woody finish. This hides its alcohol remarkably well.
2005 bottle sampled on 5/24/08: Viscous dark copper amber with little carbonation. Aroma of sweet dark caramel and honey with some light oxidation. Mild spices throughout with a finish that has some warmth to it. A nice beer that has aged well.
Ughsmash (7099) - Pewaukee, Wisconsin, USA - AUG 14, 2006
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
2005 batch on tap at the Great Taste of the Midwest. Poured a murky iced tea brown with virtually no head. Sticky and spicy all-around.. with caramel, molasses, and brilliant spices in the nose. Spiced up and crazy in the flavor department, but I dug it... coriander, clove, and allspice on the front and middle, with molasses and light chocolate coming after... and warm alcoholley mulling spices at the finish. The high levels of sweetness and spiciness did make it a bit harder to drink the full pour of, but I suppose it carried itself as well as could be expected considering the components. Warm, boozy finish. Very solid overall.
Ibrew2or3 (6782) - Tempe, Arizona, USA - JUN 11, 2008
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Courtesy of tbd975. The 2005 vintage brew poured deep clear amber with tan head. The aroma is sweetness with a mild level of ripe cherries then a descent load of caramel, some mint leaves, earthiness, herbal, a bit of pine, berries, ginger and rosemary. Wow. The aromatics are all smooth and blended creating an inviting-enticing nose. The taste starts sweet turning caramel candy and seems to turn berry-cherry sweet. Some of the herbal spice notes noticed in the nose are there too but more subdued. I get pine mixing with ginger, mint and a hint of rosemary. The taste is as smooth and blended and delicious as the nose led onto. Very nice.
j12601 (6584) - Poughkeepsie, New York, USA - APR 14, 2010
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle from alexdad in the mystery swap. Bottle is from batch 8877. Pours a rich brown with a medium sized creamy mocha head that. Light hints of smoke, maple, toast and toffee, root beer. Medium bodied and super sweet. Tons of syrup, sweet fruit, root beer, dark roasty flavors. A big pile of flavors going on here. Really interesting. Finishes with more sweet toast and dark fruit, root beer, roast, and a big warming alcohol note that hits quickly but then vanishes into subtle chocolate and vanilla.
DuffMan (6531) - the land of bitumen, beef & beer, Alberta, CANADA - JAN 30, 2014
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle, courtesy of b3shine-- thanks! Hearty dark brown pour with a low dense creamy tan cap. Aroma is full of burnt sugar sweetness with hints of spices. Rich with sweet malts, with flavours of birch syrup, molasses, raisins, dried figs. Sweet but not cloying, complexity becomes more apparent as time passes. Intriguing and richly malty-- loved it.
deyholla (6504) - Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA - AUG 17, 2010
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Sampled the 2008 version at the 2010 GTMW. Poured black with a yellow brown head that lasted throughout the beer. Aroma had lots of roasted malts and dark grains with a bit of underlying sweet spice. Flavor was sweet with a bit of caramel then growing roasted malts and dark grains with a bit of chocolate and spice.
motelpogo (6309) - Plzen, CZECH REPUBLIC - APR 20, 2012
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
big thanks to mwsf for bringing this one to pilsen. 2006 bottle, sampled in 2009. poured a murky brown with a purple tinge and a persistent beige head; a weird aroma of prunes, malted milk and buittered popcorn; strangely reminded me of tinned fruit with plenty of molasses and burnt bitterness reminiscent of the expedition stout. bizarro, a real experience to drink a bottle of this
phaleslu (6281) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - JUN 5, 2010
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
12 oz. bottle via trade with footbalm- thanks again, Eric! 2008 vintage. I live in Ohio and haven’t seen this on shelves, but go figure I get hooked up from Utah. Pours a dark, opaque brown, but not with the blackness of an impy stout, and a small tan head. Notes of maple syrup, honey, herbs, flowers, berry fruits (prunes, cherries, blackberries), licorice, chocolate, brown sugar, and toast. Very, very sweet, and I like it. I’m not sure what elderflowers, birch syrup, or juniper berries taste like, but I guess they’re all in here- many brands of sweetness present. Medium-full bodied, with low carbonation and a syrupy mouthfeel. 10.1% alcohol is entirely hidden. Awesome beer if you can handle something this sweet.
5000 (6211) - Hardened Liver, Washington, USA - FEB 21, 2004
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle pours a somewhat viscous dark caramel color. Opacity is very much akin to a good stout, very non-transparent. Virtually no head and very little lacing. Guessing this has aged a bit. Smells of malt, molasses, nuts, and some oak aged bourbon. Sorta like a quasi Barleywine crossed with a Strong Ale. Very inviting! Sweet molasses & vanilla up front, as well as some maltiness. Woody (Oak) and Bourbon greet you in the middle, then fade with a sweet hop bite along with some citrusy & nutmeg spices. Sweet from start to finish, very nice. Smooth mouthfeel, great flavors. Hard to believe this is 11%. I'd definately have this again. Thanks goes out to raindog for the trade!
Ernest (6153) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - MAR 17, 2004
2.8 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 12/20
Head is initially small, frothy, off-white, fully diminishing. Body is murky medium brown. Aroma is lightly malty (molasses), moderately hoppy (resin), lightly yeasty (dough), with notes of alcohol, sherry, oregano/sage, and lemon peel. Flavor is heavily sweet, moderately acidic, lightly bitter. Finish is moderately sweet, moderately acidic, moderately bitter. Medium body, syrupy texture, soft carbonation, lightly astringent, lightly alcoholic. Spicy, but dull in overall effect. Did nothing for me, but then again I'm not as big a fan of Bells as most.