c0fein (389) - Helsinki, - MAY 1, 2014
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
330ml bottle @ Maunula beer tasting. Thanks Mikko!
Black outfit with small light brown head. Aroma of sour. Not toasty at all. Exciting beer, never drank sour IS before, this is good!
AirForceHops (4819) - Epping, New Hampshire, USA - AUG 22, 2015
2.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 9/20
12 oz bottle thanks to AdamC. Much thanks! Deep brown / Amber color, lasting full head. Aroma is sour grain, vinegar, and like smoke.
Flavor is pretty much the same as the aroma. Sour grain base with a bad Bactria note. This is an infected beer that the brewer somehow still bottled in sold. Are you kidding me?? No thanks!
Chalumeaux (504) - Methuen, Massachusetts, USA - AUG 22, 2015
3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Poured from bottle thanks AdamChandler for the Ratebeer Camp extravaganza. Pours dark black with a nice tan head. Aromas of smoke and funk. Taste is sour fruit and smoke.
AdamChandler (3785) - Enfield, New Hampshire, USA - AUG 22, 2015
3 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Dark brownish black, 1 finger head. good head cap sound.
Smells a bit infected but it is a ‘sour stout’ grapes, sour lemon juice Sour is light, not too much but it’s certainly sour. Grapes, wheat, oak, charred smoke, peat, a little chocolate.
WillRunForBeer (1593) - Massachusetts, USA - AUG 22, 2015
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
12oz bottle shared by AdamChandler. Thanks, Adam! Pours dark brown with a beige head. Aroma is very smoky. Taste is sour, dark cherry, dark chocolate, smoke. Odd.
Alengrin (3548) - BELGIUM - AUG 2, 2015
4.4 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
Two year old vintage bottle from De Hopduvel. It is a good thing De Molen tries to describe the style of their beers under the official name on the front label: this one read ’sour smoked imperial stout-ish’... Pours a very dark wine-red colour, almost black but transparent around the edges, hazy with a yellowish beige head of medium thickness, leaving medium lacing, bit milky in texture and not retaining too well, even dissolving completely after a while. Aroma is powerful and complex, a rich and enticing bouquet reminiscent of indeed imperial stout, smoked porter and oud bruin at the same time - three styles I’d never thought could be compatible in any way. I get impressions of wet oak wood, dried porcini, liquorice, sweet soy sauce, beef stock, full-bodied red wine, autumn leaves, Cuban cigars, very old madera (i.e. oxidation working perfectly here!), bayleaf, wood varnish, coffee grounds, old chocolate, dried orange peel, brown rhum, chewing tobacco, Worcestershire sauce, vanilla, elderberries, smoked cheese, cloves, dried plums, Christmas cake - in all, a lot more enticing than I had expected based on the deScription on the front label. Intense taste, beginning with a nice, well-dosed candied fruit sweetness, not cloying though, balanced with a deep, basic tartness of sour cherries, blueberries and redcurrant as well as a deep, broad, black olive- or even mushroom-like umami flavour; carbonation is there and adds an ever so slightly minerally feel at first, but otherwise remains very soft and inoffensive, just fit for this type of beer (whatever the type may be); it almost vanishes after a while, though. Mouthfeel is smooth, slick even, but full and oily, with a deep caramelly and chocolatey maltiness coating the whole mouth cavity; some roasted bitterness is there as well, but not too strong, well in proportion with the rest of the flavour profile. The somewhat sticky sweetishness is balanced with a drying, sour fruit- and manzanilla-like tartness as well as drying wood tannins - the perfect balance between sweet and sour. The smoke aspect is there, retronasally at least, but remains equally gentle and takes on a more umami, meat-like flavour rather than becoming truly smoky. Finish reprises all these beautiful flavours, vinous and complex, with all the thick, fat maltiness there, accompanied by spicy notes (peppery hops, I assume, but deeply buried), drying woodiness, remains of the subtle smokiness, sour cherry tartness and deeply warming, whisky-like alcohol. I must admit I have postponed tasting this beer for a while because of the deScription on the label - I reckoned there were going to be too many flavours at once conflicting with each other, but in this case this array of possible beer flavours has worked exceptionally well and rather than fighting, the properties of different beer styles only seem to enhance each other in this one. I also assume two years of ageing have made this beer considerably better, mellower and more balanced too, especially when reading the ratings here dating back to when this was first launched. This is hugely complex and demanding, not something you’d drink in some outdoors café, but a gastronomic piece of art which is to be analyzed and appreciated with great caution, patience and competence. In terms of style, I think this leans more to a very strong Flemish red than a real imperial stout, but in the case of hybrids like this, it is difficult to argue about truth to style, of course. In any case: all the basic flavours are present, from candied sweetness, fruit sourness, dried mushroom-like umami to a (luckily) very frail tinge of soy sauce saltiness and gentle roasted chocolatey bitterness. It tastes like some very, very old ale despite having only two years behind it, but more full-bodied. This is a world class masterpiece, like De Molen, incredibly so, has put out many a dozen. Another perfect Molen bliss, ideal for a Sunday afternoon. I was still enjoying the aroma of the last drops one hour after pouring this out - I cannot imagine anyone with an educated taste not liking this for its complexity, nobility and balance. Kudos to De Molen, once again!
Camons (8043) - Hasselager, DENMARK - JUN 25, 2015
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle @ Christers. Pours black with a creamy light brown head. Aroma of roasted malt, yeast, brett, berries, cherries, leather notes. Flavor is light sweet, roast malt, bretty, wood, berries, sweet cherry, high bitterness. Medium to full, soft carbonation, dry and rather bitter finish with a little warming alcohol. 250615
chrisv10 (13143) - DENMARK - JUN 25, 2015
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle, 10.5%. Almost black with small light brown head. Aroma is roasted malts, chocolate, coffee, notes of cherries, brett, oak and notes of acetone. Flavour is roasted malts, chocolate, coffee, dry, brett, notes of acetone, hop, bitter, smoke, notes of peat?, little acid, little over carbonated and medium sweet.
Rasmus40 (14429) - Beder, Aarhus, DENMARK - JUN 25, 2015
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle @ Aarhus tasting. Almost black with a brown head. Aroma is sweet, roasted malt, cherries, brett and wood. Flavor is quite sweet, rather bitter and moderate acidic. Dry, rather bitter and moderate acidic finish. 250615
saxo (15095) - Højbjerg, Aarhus, DENMARK - JUN 25, 2015
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle. Nice head with good duration. Color is dark brown. Aroma and taste are roast malt, brett, chocolate, wood, berries, fruits and hops.
tdtm82 (1313) - Essex, ENGLAND - APR 24, 2015
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
33cl bottle; a present from my elusive beer fairy.
Poured opaque with beige lacing around the rim of the glass from a complete cover. Aroma is high on peated malt; whisky; chocolate; tobacco; cigar ash; aged leather (madmitch76’s jacket to be precise) and blackcurrants.
Taste is blackcurrants; mixed berries. whisky, peated malt, some smokey malt, ash, leather, dark chocolate, Belgian truffles, some clove and mocha coffee. It’s incredibly drinkable for the abv. A perfect example of what to do with barrel-aging. Super!