shp555 (2024) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - MAR 15, 2008
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pours a light orange color with a white head. Aroma is grain, honey, green apple, alcohol, oak, vanilla, and some sugary sweetness. Flavor is grainy, honey, green apple, sugar, alcohol, and a sugary green apple finish.
3fourths (8019) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - MAR 12, 2008
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Whew. Hot, sharp, nearly boozy apple cider and apple and pear brandy nose. Very strong smelling, very powerful. Flavor is more of this intense apple and pear brandy, with actually very little of the Xtra Gold noticeable underneath the thick layer of the barrel character. Warming, moderately thick on the palate (but not frothy at all, rather thick like a liquor), very clean and unblemished, with little yeast apparency, finishes warm, sharp and boozy. There’s a lot to like about it, especially the novelty, but the brandy character is a little overbearing.
ryan (3186) - Beltsville, Maryland, USA - MAR 11, 2008
3.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
UPDATED: NOV 27, 2010 Courtesy of kmweaver. Clear golden body with a tiny white head, fading. The nose is apple, pears, honey, cotton candy and alcohol. The flavor is moderately sweet, lightly bitter with lots of apple cider, pears, honey, caramel, golden raisins, spices and bread. Full body is sticky with light carbonation. Finish is long and hot.
Rerate of first batch 11/2010... This is aging very nicely, much less boozy, lots of apple goodness, nice stuff. 8/4/7/4/15 = 3.8
kmweaver (3207) - Petaluma, California, USA - MAR 11, 2008
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
750mL bottle. Pours a slightly hazy, honey-orange color; off-white head with patchy, fine-bubbled lacing. Dense, generous aroma: loads of the original, complex yeast character and breadiness and dough, softly coupled to a warming apple cider / brandy barrel presence with soft edges; much to enjoy in the aroma, with a touch of booze. Medium-to-full mouthfeel: loads of warming apple cider (minimal tartness, if any) / apple brandy character; toasty oak and dense, chewy yeastiness; people talk about hotness in this beer, there’s a bit of warmth, but nothing at all harsh here; softly boozy, at worst; loads of fresh apple, breadiness, and that gorgeous yeast character of Batch 1 Xtra Gold still present; spicy and warming. Medium finish, showing toasty dough, apple crisp, and some bread.
beastiefan2k (2419) - Emerald City (formely NYC & KS), Washington, USA - MAR 8, 2008
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: JUL 23, 2011 After the long wait I finally get to try this beer. I was first supposed to try this in the summer of 2007 on cask, did not happen. Then constant carbonation issues but I finally picked the bottles up at the brewery drinking it now, 7 months later. It pours with a beautiful medium sized strong head that slowly fades into a thick lacing. The beer is full of carbonation bubbles shooting through the darker golden body.. Clear enough to see the beautiful bubbles (the last pour is ridiculously full of sediment and other junk). Aroma is very apple for me, nice thick cider like apple with a Belgian airiness. No hoppiness felt , as I like it. Taste is lightly apple sweet, light booziness, light oak, and some Belgian dough sweetness. All very nicely melded. There is the faintest heat at the end of the flavor left at the back of the throat, giving it some heft. Otherwise, its actually very easy to drink, the alcohol does into get in the way and the beer melds nicely with the base tripel. It’s not as groundbreaking as I hoped for but came out damn nice anyway. The last pour has a lot of apple muskiness.
Capped green 750mL, Duvel large tulip glass.
Re-rate: 3 years later this went to shit. May have not been kept the best (heat) but I could not help it with constant moving. It had very low carbonation and has become cardboard. I will leave the original rating but this wold be around 3.1 on its own.
sthlm (1231) - Minnesota, USA - MAR 7, 2008
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
[Bottle, thanks Stine!] Pours hazy amber with a small white head. Aroma is light apple, some caramel malt, a lot of alcohol and some light oak. Taste is about the same, with the alcohol very dominant. Medium-thick mouthfeel with a long finish. Not a bad beer, but really not a whole lot going on aside from the strong alcohol.
decaturstevo (5015) - decatur, Tennessee, USA - MAR 7, 2008
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Courtesy mgumby10. Light golden straw brown pour with light white lace. Delicious aroma of spicey almost like apple, hints of sweet yeast. Sour apple flavor that fades to nutmeg and abv. Very pleasant lingering flavor on the palate brandy comes through nicely. Very solid mouthfeel and carbonation. Unusual flavor combination that comes togehter to make this a very special beer.
badgerben (4399) - Blaine, Minnesota, USA - MAR 6, 2008
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Many thanks to Stine for sharing this. Dark gold color with a thin head. Tart hop aroma with plenty of citrus. The taste was very surprising... vinegary with a bit of dill. Some wheat and some sourness. Didn’t pick up any apples at all, other than maybe the tartness in the aroma.
Stine (1572) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - MAR 6, 2008
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Poured from a 750 ml bottle. Pale, dirty gold appearance; somewhat pasty and very murky. Lots of brandy and sweet apple sugars in the aroma; vanilla, and a wholly unexpected cache of wild, peppery spices; pungent cayenne, pears, honey, and a hint of something dank and intoxicating like coca leaves. Hemp. Flavors are very boozy, with a forceful vanilla and caramel brandy presence layering like a hot, chewy apple syrup over the fantastically well-balanced body of the Xtra Gold, which having aged has developed an intricate balance of french toast malts, doughy, musty yeasts, and sprucy hops that haven’t yet faded; a later pour yields some vinegar, cardamom, and honey. Palate is dryly sweet; medium to full in body; finishes with a generic, sterilizing alcohol flavor which is simply too strong and vodka-like in plainness. Though a very interesting concept, the barrel aging has done nothing to improve this already fantastic tripel; at this point, it needs to age for a quite significant amount of time if it hasn’t already been barreled too far into the ground. Thanks Jason!
Skyview (5208) - Papoose Jct, Minnesota, USA - MAR 5, 2008
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Sampled at Cellars Wine & Spirits in St Paul, Minnesota, shared by Stine. Pours a hazy butterscotch caramel with a fast dissolving white head that leaves behind a thin film and white ring. Aroma of dark pitted fruits, some bourbon character, vanilla with a touch of yeast and lemon zest. Taste is mostly bourbon/brandy character, medium bodied, smooth, with flavors of sweet apples, vanilla, and some brandy. Finish is high alcohol warmth, with a brandy aftertaste on top of some apple character. Quite nice!