DarkElf (3033) - La Jolla, California, USA - JUN 16, 2006
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
(12 oz bottles: Liquid Solutions in Tigard, OR and BevMo in La Jolla, CA) First up, the bottle from the ’04-’05 winter season, so this is aged 18 months. This nicely crafted and well-balanced winter beer prominently features a moderately strong, dark-roasted malt that is caramely and moderately sweet. There’s a fair amount of earthiness, dark fruits and molasses in this beer as well. Gentle hops has a modest contribution, but this is malty beer through and through. Rich, sweet, earthy malts dominate the nose as well, with hops having no impact. Opening the ’05-’06 now, this isn’t nearly as good; it’s less rich, less malty, less earthy, but more hoppy and bitter, so it may be more balanced, but it’s certainly not as delicious without the intense, rich, dark malts . Both beers are medium-full bodied with ample carbonation, but the aged one has a wonderfully round and luxurious mouthfeel. Dark, ruddy amber color is fairly cloudy, and the off-white head rises to just under half an inch before settling to a filmy layer with a wide ring around the edge. Patchy lacing is modest but persistent. Well, I have two more bottles of the recent release, so I think I’ll bury those in my beer cellar and find them next year. Hopefully they’ll age as well as their predecessor. Rating numbers are for the aged version, obviously.
argo0 (11530) - Washington DC, USA - JUN 14, 2006
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
(12oz bottle) Clear copper body with medium beige head. Aroma is medium sweet, caramel/toffee, some butterscotch, light cherry. Taste is moderately sweet, toffee, some caramel, some chocolate, roast, earthy, light cherry. Medium body, light stickiness.
peter (445) - Normal, Illinois, USA - JUN 13, 2006
2.9 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 12/20
Cloudy garnet with a tain oily broken head. Nose is brown sugar, plums, and alcohol. Flavour features some piney hops and dark fruits. Mouth is watery. Uninventive and reminicent of something from the shiner breweries.
NYHarvey (2153) - New York, New York, USA - MAY 26, 2006
3.7 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Courtesy of Schwaiger
<!-- P -->
Aroma has sweet caramel malts. I may be getting subliminal messages from the label, but I also detect some sweaty fur. The body is a dark amber with a firm, thumb thick tan head. Fore is rich caramel malt, mild spicy bitterness then more toasty, bread like malts and grains. Has a stiff alcohol accented flourish in the finish.
YourDarkLord (1800) - Urbana, Illinois, USA - MAY 23, 2006
2.6 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 10/20
Clear copper with a weak, beige head. Caramel notes, nutty, dried fruit, fennel, hops in the nose. Good body and a fairly thick texture. The flavor was spicy, citrusy. Pleasant but not exceptional.
schwaiger (90) - Laramie, Wyoming, USA - MAY 18, 2006
3.5 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
12 oz bottle. Poured a deep garnet, beautiful really, with a small tan head which mostly disappeared. Aroma of grass, earth, lightly malty, definite barnyard smell there too - like decaying bales of alfalfa. Some caramel. Drinks like a sweetened iced tea. More maltiness. Hops come out in the finish. Creamy mouthfeel, medium bodied, moderate carbonation. Pretty original, and fairly decent.
Silphium (3167) - East Lansing, Michigan, USA - MAY 15, 2006
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Potent caramely, toasty aroma with earthy, bitter hops. Deep copper body, fairly clear, with a medium tight light tan head. Herbal body with sweet caramel and bread, light carbonation, reminding me of a sweetened iced tea. A few sips reveal classic dark fruits (cherry, plum, red grape) and nuts lurking beneath the initial toast and caramels. Vinous. The parts are all here but they don’t quite come together. Nevertheless, this is decent fare.
jake65 (2613) - Williston, North Dakota, USA - MAY 6, 2006
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
Nice brown, rusty pour with a ample off-white head. Flavor is well balanced maltiness, caramels, nuts, and a roasty feel. Finish is smooth and the body is rather rich. A solid seasonal from Big Sky.
TheBeerGod (5249) - Newport News, Virginia, USA - MAY 6, 2006
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle courtesy of hopdog! Ruby body with a small tan head. Nose is malty and fruity with caramel notes, rich toffee, dark fruits, and brown sugar. It almost smells like a dessert. Can’t place my finger on it, though. Taste is malty and slightly floral. Some caramel and toffee notes along with ripened fruits and soft nutty flavors. Body is creamy and smooth. Mild carbonation with an overall medium feel. Finishes with more caramel, bigger fruit notes, light hops, light toffee and toasty malts. Touch of brown sugar as well. Nice!
11026 (1772) - Alabama, USA - APR 11, 2006
3.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Bottle. Clear, ruddy brown colored beer with a moderate sized off-white head. Nice lacing is left behind. Aroma is pleasant, some caramel malt, a touch of brown sugar/molasses. Light-medium bodied, moderate carbonation level. Flavor is much the same as aroma, perhaps a little drab, lingering hops in finish. Decent if not spectacular.