Ernest (7033) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - SEP 26, 2011
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Head is initially large, frothy/fizzy, light brown, mostly lasting.
Body is medium to dark brown.
Aroma is moderately malty (toasted grain/nuts, caramel), lightly hoppy (herbs), lightly yeasty (cobwebs), with notes of gum/banana, clove, orange peel, coriander.
Flavor is moderately to heavily sweet, lightly acidic, lightly to moderately bitter.
Finish is lightly to moderately sweet, lightly acidic, moderately to heavily bitter.
Medium body, watery/syrupy texture, lively/fizzy carbonation, moderately alcoholic.
Pleasant aroma and appearance. The spices push the finishing bitterness a little over the top, making it a little grating on the tongue. Watery and thin for its weight, but not really quaffable due to the alcohol. Pretty solid but nothing special. Although admittedly it’s pretty rare for this style to impress me.
Earlier Rating: 5/3/2006 Total Score: 3.3
Draught, Avery Strong Ale Fest 2006.
Head is mostly lasting.
Body is dark amber.
Aroma is lightly to moderately malty (toasted bread, nuts), with notes of clove, banana, sage/rosemary, and alcohol.
Flavor is moderately sweet, lightly to moderately acidic, lightly bitter.
Finish is lightly sweet, lightly to moderately acidic, moderately bitter.
Medium body, watery texture, lively carbonation.
Nifty aroma with some apparent dried herb spicing, but as with the saison the mouth experience doesn’t quite live up to the nose’s portent. Pretty good.
TheAlum (6681) - Aurora, Illinois, USA - OCT 16, 2011
3.1 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
750 ml from Binnys (Naperville, IL) split with the missus over making Sunday dinner. Pours a luscious brownish copper pour, good fiery orange red edges and bottom, healthy haze and a frothy beige head sits atop and cakes well, leaving a nice layer and good lacing. Aromas are coriander right off the bat, cool mellow spice growing into toffee and caramel, some touches of cinnamon, fruity estery banana, some brown sugar, and bready yeast spice. A touch of anise, but nothing overbearing (from a spice that easily becomes so for me) and a gentle touch of orange. Initial is medium bodied, offering a spicy front. Coriander and anise, touches of bready and Belgian spice. Middle throws some of that sweet estery fruit, caramel, toffee, and biscuits. Touches of brown sugar, faint cinnamon. Finish brings the spices back into the fold, taking over with anise and coriander, a strange pair in my book. Some dryness, with lingering spice that gets a bit dominant (But I wouldn’t say really strong, just definitely becoming the focus). Overall, this isn’t quite my thing.. getting away from the dark fruit and brown sugar/sweeter malt feel I like in my Dubbel and making this a spicy bomb kind of. Ok. But nothing I’d buy again and one of my least favorite Smokestack beers. Looks beautiful. Smell is good, taste slacks for me and the whole experience is subpar as far as how the flavors work in harmony. Meh.
5000 (6599) - Hardened Liver, Washington, USA - OCT 9, 2011
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle:   Deep caramel, burnt reddish hues, moderate to large foamy beige head, fairly nice lacing.   Soft cinnamon on the nose, even softer dark pitted fruit.   Very shallow Dubbel aromas.   On the tongue the cinnamon dimishes, yet it still shows some dark pitted fruit, a little bit of banana and clove.   Overall its very dull in its delivery, some spices and nice dank maltiness, but they are somewhat muted.   Body and mouthfeel are fairly moderate.   Lingering dull cinnamon and muted dark pitted fruit, some banana and clove.   A bit odd for an Abbey Dubbel, and also too light.   Doesn’t capture the authentic Belgian aspects, otherwise its okay.   Too light overall.
AmEricanbrew (6571) - Same Trailer, Different Park, Louisiana, USA - NOV 22, 2012
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Hazy brown color with ivory head. Rootbeer spice, toffee, brown sugar aromas. Light bodied with average co2. Earthy sweet molasses, brown malts, rootbeer spice flavors--not my favorite ber style to begin with--not bad
BBB63 (6507) - La Porte, Indiana, USA - NOV 18, 2011
3.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Corked bottle and served in a St. Bernardus chalice: Slightly murky light brown/ deep amber with a small but mostly lasting head and okay lacework. The aroma has notes of plum and raisins, simple molasses (not black strap), banana bread, clove, cinnamon, black liquorice, caramel, and some tobacco and earthy esters. Light faded old herbal hops do pop in and out.
The taste is rich caramel malts with a hint of toast, aromatic, Special B and pils malts over a layer of dark and tropical fruits that finished with a very light handed anise and cinnamon bun finish. The lingering floweriness displays the coriander and heather aspects. a bit peppery as well. That said this seems a tad dumbed down, more Special B and chocolate malt next time.
The mouth feel is moderately bodied with very sprite prickly carbonation. I do wish it was a tad more oily, slick and firm on the tongue however. I also wished the spices were just a tad more noticeable but then better to be a bit underwhelming than to be overkill... It is like Chimay Rouge light with spices... yep that it what it is. I would like to see what this could do in rye whiskey barrel but would also say that this is not a bottle for the cellar.
solidfunk (6482) - Washington D.C., Washington DC, USA - APR 26, 2013
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Pours cloudy mahogany. Nice head and some lacing. Smells of molasses. Carbonation slightly below average, nice for style. Molasses smell increases as beer goes down. Finishes with light sweetness. Nice. Thanks to Steve for sharing.
onceblind (6379) - Denver, Colorado, USA - SEP 20, 2010
3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 11/20
On tap @ The Cheeky Monk in Denver. Pours a ruby/copper color with very light brown, creamy head. So-so lacing. Aroma basically of brown sugar and earthy, dirty malts. When turbulated, a nice hop smell arises. Also a faint whiff of that smell you get right before it rains. Taste is woody and nutty, some malt character present but not overwhelming. Finish has a strong wood taste. Still can’t get over how earthy it all tastes, like soil. The oily mouthfeel doesnt help.
blutt59 (6357) - Dallas, Texas, USA - SEP 30, 2011
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
bottle, dark amber orange color with good foam and lacing, crystal malt and congealed fruit aroma, flavor of malty, tea leaves, fruity finish
Mora2000 (6132) - McKinney, Texas, USA - SEP 25, 2011
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Glad to have tried this beer, as this is the only Smokestack beer I had not rated.
The beer pours a brownish color with a tan head. The aroma is a nice mix of molasses, dark fruit, candy sugar and Belgian yeast. I get a little toffee mixed in as well.
The flavor is also very nice. I get some molasses and caramel malt, as well as some yeast and brown and candy sugar. The beer is semi-dry, even with the sugary notes. As the beer warms I get some toasted malt and a little bit of cherry.
Medium to high carbonation and medium mouthfeel. A nice, American-made dubbel.
Strykzone (6047) - Wood River, Illinois, USA - OCT 22, 2011
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Tulip at Bigelo’s. This poured dark brown and was opaque. A smallish tan head. The nose was fruity, malty, and had yeast. The first thing noticed in the taste was the alcohol. This is hot and it is not hidden. It would have been a better beer without that but it is to style. Nice malt, sugar, yeast, and fruit flavors. Mild bitterness. Too hot for me but not a bad beer at all.