kosko20 (350) - Hopewell Junction, New York, USA - OCT 26, 2008
3.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 12/20
Way too much stuff. Palate is humongously bitter. Looks good, dark gold, white head. Aroma is spicy hops and some malts. Flavor is balanced decently of hops and malts but then on the palate, extremely bitter and very alcoholic.
Pastor (799) - Skowhegan, Maine, USA - OCT 25, 2008
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Thanks JVD for this want
Green waxed bottle poured into a tulip glass. Hazy amber in color with slight fine sediments floating around toped of with an off white head that goes to a thick lace.
Aromas of this brew is sweet malts and piney. It is towards the barleywine in its nose.
Flavors of bitter hops hit the tongue first but then a slight sweetness ensues from the malts it is thick on the tongue and dries in the finish. I didn’t taste the alcohol at all but its effects are evident.
This brew is a sipper and not one that you would drink more than one of in a sitting .It was an enjoyable experience and I do it again
fidelis83 (2224) - Clinton, Iowa, USA - OCT 24, 2008
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: JUL 21, 2009 Pours hazy mahogany with a 1.5 finger beige head that lasts a long time, slowly fading and leaving some lacing as I drank. Aroma starts with a huge burst of grapefruit and alcohol as soon as the bottle is opened. Upon pouring the alcohol is somewhat sudued, grapefruit is still present, dried orange peels, a tiny hint of pine sap, creamy caramel, toffee, biscuit, melon and some spiciness, a good helping of honey, sweet cereal grains and new leather. As huge as this beer seems in my sinuses the flavor is oddly smooth and light on hops. Right away its a little grapefruit, and tons or caramel and toffee malt flavors, as those linger a hint of anise, and some spicy hops lead on to molases cookies, cherry cordials, bitter leafy greens, and bitterness- like tree bark round out the finish. Palate is oily and sticky and warm like bourbon. The flavor profile is interesting enough to earn high marks from me but this is a very strange IIPA. At the risk of sounding a little redundant it really is alot like a barleywine in alot of respects.
Update-07/21/2009: Added a few notes above. This 2009 bottle must be a little more fresh, or the recipe was changed a little. It has alot more hops presence and a lighter mouthfeel, quite a bit better this way. Tastes a little more like an IIPA, but is still just as much of a huge, hoppy barleywine. Raised rating from 3.5 to 4.0
GAManiac (1944) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - OCT 22, 2008
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle courtesy of Monger. 12oz green wax-topped bottled poured into a tulip.
Pours a hazy golden amber with a solid off-white head that left great lacing as it receded.
The aroma was dominated by citrus hops up front with grapefruit and some orange peel opening things up. There was also a serious malt sweetness that I wasn’t expecting in the aroma.
The taste takes the malt sweetness to a different level. This one isn’t fresh but I imagine that, even then, the malt profile was a major player in the taste. The sugar sweetness of the malts give way to a slight citrus hop kick up front on the palate with some bitterness in the finish as well.
The mouthfeel is crazy smooth and sticky with sugar due to the massive malt backbone. Bitterness is at a minimum.
This one is bordering on a barleywine for me, even with the minimal amount of aging on it. It’s a great beer, but I would have loved to see the hops when it was fresh.
Swolf3 (262) - Elkton, Maryland, USA - OCT 20, 2008
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle thanks to GMCC2181. Poured cloudy amber in color with nice off white head. Aroma of alcohol, hops and caramel. Taste was hops, caramel, malts. The 14 % is covered up nice and finished sweet with niec texture. Enjoyed.
doubleo (1432) - San Diego, California, USA - OCT 5, 2008
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
12oz bottle from RaverJames. Pours cloudy brown with virtually no head. Smells sweet and dark caramelly malty with just a hint of hop spice. Tastes like a sweet and hoppy barleywine. Lots of sweet malts with some slow building spicy hop flavors and bitterness. I guess some of the sweetness is a a syrupy, hoppy sweetness as well. Full body, good carbonation.
beerbill (3575) - Laurel, New York, USA - OCT 4, 2008
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: DEC 15, 2013 Updated Rating - Bottle sampled at Dave’s tasting. Pours a lightly hazed reddish amber with an off-white head. Very pleasant aroma of caramel, sweet malt, and pine. The flavor is a lovely combination of sweet malt caramel and resinous pine. Mild-moderate bitterness at the finish. Rich and luxurious on the palate. I’m very glad I had an opportunity to update my rating for this beer. Excellent!
Original Rating 10/4/2008 - 12 oz. bottle courtesy of a trade with yem25. Pours a clear reddish copper with a thin off-white head that lasted until mid-glass. Super strong aroma of alcohol with notes of sweet malt and leafy hops. The flavor is super sweet malt up front, to the point of being sickly sweet. As strong as this initial flavor is, it is then joined by equally strong leafy hops and jet-fuel alcohol. Very hot on the palate with an overload of alcohol vapors filling the nose with each sip. Thick, sweet, and down the drain it goes...6 22.214.171.124=2.1
MartinT (8736) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - OCT 3, 2008
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
My Bottom Line:
This Barley Wine-ish Double IPA drops loads of honeyed, caramelized cereals onto a mountain of resinous hops for a plump, flaming and bitter sipping experience.
Further Personal Perceptions:
-A ring of foam circles the hazy amber.
-Although alcohol is very apparent in the aroma, it was easier to get used to than expected in the flavor profile.
-Although the malts and their residual sugars are enormous, I cannot say I find complexity within.
-This is surprisingly drinkable for its gargantuan size.
-The hops are a tad soapy at times.
-This manages to be balanced throughout, but it’s so extreme that its equilibrium is not really important.
joe1510 (501) - Illinois, USA - OCT 1, 2008
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Double Crooked Tree empties the bottle a dark mahogany with glowing ruby highlights when backlit. The head grew to one finger of off-white head that fell rather quickly to a solid cap and left good drink lines after each drink. This is a good looking brew with a quality head for such a high abv.
The smell is along the lines of a barleywine with a sweet caramel maltiness and I nice hit of booze. The hops come through nicely in the form of pine needle and aspirin bitterness. The alcohol fumes just work to bring the hops forward although it stays a fairly balanced beer. You can tell this is a sipper from the aroma alone.
Flavor closely resembles the nose. A big caramel sweetness is matched by a big piney and aspirin hoppiness, although the aspirin bitterness is a little less then the nose suggested. The hop profile does edge out the maltiness but not by much. This is certainly a well constructed beer.
The mouthfeel on this beer is top notch, especially when considering the high abv. There is some heft to the body but the carbonation is enough to keep it moving before it becomes at all cloying.
One of these is enough for me in a sitting because of the high abv. I do notice this beer leaving the glass far too quick. Although there’s a big sweetness the hops beat it back and the carbonation moves things along enough to keep it an easy drinker.
This is a high quality, highly alcoholic brew from Dark Horse. They did a great job balancing out all the huge flavor. I’ve made a point to pick a few 4-packs up the last couple years. It’s a good beer to sit back and try to enjoy slowly.
jcwattsrugger (11670) - Florida and, New Jersey, USA - SEP 1, 2008
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
@Indiana Beerfest-12oz bottle-pours a light tan ring for a head and cloudy amber color. Aroma is herbal/pine/resin hops, secondary medium malt. Taste is spicy/herbal/pine/resin hops, secondary medium malt. Syrupy mouth feel. OK/mild carbonation.