danhitch (17) - USA - NOV 26, 2007
4 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
On tap at the brewery: Pours very dark with a tan head. Aroma is very pleasant, smoke and roasted malt. Taste is very similar. Very smoky flavor, but not overpowering. Slight hints of a steak flavor as well as an obviously large amount of roasted barley or black patent malt flavor as well. Mouth feel is also pleasant. Full bodied and soft feeling. Great finish as well. Overall, an excellent beer.
pforei (338) - USA - NOV 22, 2007
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
UPDATED: FEB 9, 2008 On tap at Hop Devil. Typical dark black porter color with moderate tan head. Aroma of roasted malt and little extra smokiness. Some chocoalte and a little berry. MIld in taste and finish. Thin but somewhat soft mouthfeel. Well crafted, not overdone. Makes for a good session beer. 7/4/7/4/13
Rerate: On tap at brewery tasting room. Big frothy tan head. Roasted coffee and chocolate flavors more pronounced. Gentle smokiness.
nhorween (645) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - NOV 22, 2007
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Tap. Dark opaque reddish-brown with a tan head. Full, but subdued smoky aroma - bitter notes of almond and a little sour like unripe grapefruit. Good beer. Had it with duck that came with a bourbon sauce and it held up nicely.
CaptainCougar (7129) - Columbia, Maryland, USA - NOV 18, 2007
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
On tap at Spuyten Duyvil on 9/14/07: Pours an opaque black with a frothy dark tan head. Aroma of sweet toasty dark caramel and chocolate malts. Body starts full, sweet and dark malty with a hint of tart balance and dark fruits. A nice porter with a slightly out of character tartness, but it seems to mesh well here.
golubj (1377) - San Mateo, California, USA - NOV 15, 2007
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Draft at Hop Devil Grill. Aroma of some roasted malt, a little smokiness, and some lactic sweetness. Good flavor in this beer, a combination of the aromas i just mentioned and some pit fruit. One of the better porters that I have had recently, but maybe not as smokey as it should be.
wetherel (1836) - Encinitas, California, USA - NOV 5, 2007
3.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Had at Logan’s Oceanside beer tasting with AlohaC, and Hair, and Matt, and Ken, and Bill, and others. Hand bottle from alohaC! Pitch black. A little malty. A little smokey, but very little. A little sweet. Smallest amount of acidity. Pretty nice.
FlacoAlto (3737) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - OCT 29, 2007
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
My growler of this beer, with a little bit of rousing, pours with an initially fat-two-finger thick, dusty chocolate cream color that leaves some nice lacing on the sides of my glass. The beer is quite dark, definitely opaque and so close to black I am having a hard time saying it is not. The aroma is most noticeably smoky; in fact it seems characteristic of malt smoked over beech wood (rauch malz). Underneath the smoke is an interesting sweet, fruitiness; this is not always noticeable, but at times is distinctly noticed as sweetened raisins. That last is actually quite fleeting and now that I am looking for it I am having a hard time picking it out of the other aromatic components. Lots of rich malt aromatics linger around in the nose too; Aromas of toasted malt, touches of black coffee, roasted grain dust and perhaps a touch of liquorice.
Lightly sweet tasting, which accentuates notes of burnt prunes and roasted raisins. This fruit character plays second fiddle to the dark & smoke malt character though. The roasted malt flavors play a much bigger role, in comparison to the smoke flavors, than the aroma would have suggested. In fact the roasted character of this beer is the dominant flavor contributor; flavors of espresso, darkly toasted malt flower, toasted bread crust and a significant, though not overwhelming burnt acidity. This acidity from the roasted grain lingers on in the finish a bit (like the slightly acrid, sharp bit found in a dark roasted pull of espresso), it is tempered a bit by some malt sweetness, notes of chocolate and some sweet smoke flavors. The smoke for the most part plays a secondary supporting role here in the flavor. It is noticeable at all flavor points during a draught of this ale and serves as a nice foil for the roast grain flavors. Somehow it does meld and even accentuate the residual malt sweetness found in the beer. I nice mouthfeel to this beer and the body has a certain heft to it that allows the malt to cling to the palate. Medium full feeling, especially up front and through the middle; the roast acidity serves to lighten the fullness of this beer a bit starting in the middle through to the finish.
I like the heft of this beer, it could perhaps use a touch more body to offset the heavily roasted flavors, but it is almost where it needs to be. As someone who loves smoked beers, I could wish for a touch more smoke character to, but it certainly plays a significant role here (especially in the aroma). While I find that it is generally so, the contribution of the smoke to the perception of sweetness in this brew is definitely notable (this is certainly not an overly sweet beer though, it is just interesting that I am specifically noticing the interaction between smoke & perceived sweetness). I definitely can’t wait to try the barrel aged versions of this beer; I am almost quite curious to see how a beer of this heft will stand up to and not be overwhelmed by the various barrel types. This is quite a nice beer & I am certainly enjoying the ability to quaff a couple pints of this brew.
egajdzis (5169) - Spring Mount, Pennsylvania, USA - OCT 26, 2007
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: OCT 28, 2007 Poured a dark brown red color with a small, tan head that left light lacing on the glass. Aroma of roasted malt, chocolate, and light smoke. Taste of chocolate, anise, smoked malts, and roast. Simple, and vague among their barrel aged series.
jcwattsrugger (10922) - Florida and, New Jersey, USA - OCT 17, 2007
3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
on tap-pours a big cascading, creamy light brown head and black color. Aroma is chocolate-dark malt, roasty. Taste is coffee/anise/ chocolate-dark malt, roasty, secondary bitter/acidic hops.
goldtwins (4320) - Nesconset, New York, USA - AUG 23, 2007
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Tap @ Capt. Lawrence. Poured black with a tan head. It had a nice milk chocolate aroma with some good roast. The aroma was semi-sweet. The flavor was roasty with some dark chocolate bitterness on the finish. Dry. Not much in the way of smoke but very good.