Dogbrick (8657) - Columbus, Ohio, USA - FEB 6, 2003
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Thanks to CaptainCougar for sending me a sealed bottle of this one. I was thinking it would be a long time before I got to try this because I guessed I would have to pay for a growler and shipping. Anyway I can tell this beer has potential but I don't think it travels well. Pours a dark raisin color with a very thin off-white head. Aroma of raspberry creme, and some malt and vinegar. Character was somewhat flat and thin, with flavors of malt, caramel, and milk chocolate. However the flavors were all very subdued. I'd like to try a fresher sample someday, but I am glad I finally got to try this!
mixamatt (427) - San Francisco, California, USA - FEB 5, 2003
3.8 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Intense ginger bread aroma.
Light dry chocolate cake flavor.Similar experiance as ecrvich had.I dont think this beer travels well but I thank CaptainCouger for quelling my obsession about this beer.
urbnhautebourg (997) - Annapolis, Maryland, USA - FEB 1, 2003
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
This deserves its reputation. Captivating rich dark malty aroma. So solid in the mouth with lingering licorice notes. Very complex, with flavors of grape, fresh plum and light chocolate. But this is not a beer to be sipped slowly and studied. This beer demands greedy imbibition. Beautifully structured. I drank a 22 oz. of this in less than 2.5 minutes. It's more addictive than heroin. Huge thanks to Capt. Cougar.
jskendzel (602) - Washington DC, USA - JAN 27, 2003
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Slightly thin, leaves the mouth dry at the finish, which is fruity. More complex malt profile than others I've had, and this is a nice change from the over-hopped beer world today. Slightly tangy and zesty, which is also different and good. Not everything I was expecting but still an enjoyable beer.
muzzlehatch (4424) - Burlington, Vermont, USA - DEC 29, 2002
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
On tap at the brewery, on a late Saturday afternoon when I was the sole patron! Most of the recent posters are spending more time talking about Bob and Bonita than the beer; perhaps that’s appropriate. Anyway, it was a good experience, its certainly a unique brewpub, but I do think this beer needs some moderation in the ratings. It’s a very good, chocolaty, relatively complex dark lager; but I don’t find the finish all that exceptional, it is a bit on the thinnish side, and it is rather lacking in hops. Bob’s much more interested in the malt than the hop, and it shows in all of his beers. A good, solid dunkel, I’m very glad I made it to the brewery, but for me it is not world-class.
GermanBrews76 (679) - Richmond, Virginia, USA - DEC 28, 2002
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: OCT 26, 2003 My story of this brewpub seems to run congruently with every one elses. I told Bob that I was from ratrebeer.com and here to rate as many of his brews as possible. Bob did remember some of us ratebeerians, especially the guy from new york who paid more ofr the shipping than the beer. It was a real pleasure spending 3 or 4 hours in the pub listening to Bob"s eclectic joke reperetoir. At any time Bob is willing to share any information about his brewing techniques, ingredients and or experiences, opinions on the topic of his beer and others. This guy has got something going on that is truly unique. All of these beers have a wonderful creamy smooth mouthful and a caramely sweet taste to them, due to his direct flame under the wort, and a palate that cleans up very well, giving all of his beers some unexplainable power to make you take another drink. He calls his style something of a cross between English and Irish brewing techniques. Oh yeah, about the beer. Deep mohagany body with hints of amber. Very dense, creamy off white head. Nose was filled with caramel, chocolate (both milk and dark), notes of well roasted malts followed by hints of bitter hops. Tastes of chocolate with an unparalelled malty carmel sweetness. Great body, tons of depth, hints of smoke in there somewhere too. An almost floral finish, very drawn out with barley, and a hint of spice. Mildly effervecsent and very pleasant. Everything I look for in a lager.
AndyOtremba99 (12) - Long Prairie, Minnesota, USA - DEC 26, 2002
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
I have to say this is a very good beer. Last year while visiting some friends in eastern Wisconsin we stopped by the Tavern to pick up a few gallons for the evening. Well Bob had not yet opened when we got there and the door was locked. On the way back to the car he heard someone yelling. It was Bob telling us to come on in and he’d get our beer for us. Well this being our first trip to Rowland’s I was very impressed with the service. Needless to say we spent the next few our exchanging jokes(if you’ve ever met Bob you’ll know what I’m talking about)and enjoying a few of his other fine beers.
NDmullet (208) - South Bend, Indiana, USA - OCT 30, 2002
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
I had the pleasure of sharing a growler of this esoteric Wisconsin beer, courtesy of my beer companion Tom. Very dark brown/mahogany...well you see it in the picture. Big, bittersweet malty aroma, with notes of cocoa, brandy, and cinnamon. Medium body, and light carbonation. Superbly malty, of course, with many layers of complexity. In fact, probably one of the most complex lagers I’ve ever experienced. I’m reminded of Fuller’s 1845, due to the sweet, spicy gingerbread type flavors. There’s a delicate, lingering, sour finish which I’ve never encountered in a dunkel, although it served well to cut the sweetness of the malt. This beer is no joke, and in my opinion worthy of its hype. If you’re ever in Wisconsin, seek out Calumet. Thanks, CaptainCougar.
CaptainCougar (7132) - Columbia, Maryland, USA - OCT 21, 2002
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: JUL 17, 2004 I made a special point of traveling to this brewery. Before this website, I had never even heard of the Calumet Brewery and its only 80 miles away. Now I know why. The place is one of the best kept secrets in Wisconsin. It's hardly even a brewery in the conventional sense. It's a beer-bar with one wall of brewing equipment and the whole place only has seats for about twenty people. There is a pool table, a dart board, and a bowling game. They also have a jukebox and one TV and the only beer they serve is what they've made themselves. It's tucked away in the small town of Chilton on main street and the brewers have never entered any of their beers into any competitions, nor do they care to. Bob and Bonita Rowland seem quite happy with their establishment. They have a 3 barrel brewing system at the bar and another 7 barrel system in a building down the street. A sign above the bar marks the total number of barrels brewed by the Rowlands. It read 3378 when I was there and they've been in business since 1990. You do the math, there's no wonder the only place to get this beer is in Calumet County. If you get a chance to go there, take it. The best way to try this beer is out of the tap, plus Bonita said they're not too fond of going through the hassles of shipping growlers. In a way it's almost unfair to compare this microbrewed beer to its larger companions, since its obvious the smaller the brewery, the better. (At least for the most part.) Anyways, back to the rating...The dark was exactly that in color, with a smooth frothy tan head with a sweet malty aroma. The first sip was initially sweet and then grew sour before finishing up on a hoppy note. The body was very complex and full of malty character. This is definitely some of the best and most drinkable beer I have had, and I will be making the trip back to this brewery many times.
Velveeta99 (13) - Madison, Wisconsin, USA - OCT 13, 2002
4.9 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
This is just about the best thing since sliced bread! A true dunkel-lover’s heaven, with a hearty body and taste that’s sweet, yet not cloying. The malt comes through in buckets, but is just the right mix of chocolate and whatever else is in this to make it all work. So glad me and some friends made the short trip out to the brewery as this beer is only on tap!