TheEnemy (562) - Chicago, USA - SEP 5, 2005
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: SEP 7, 2005 From a 12-oz bottle purchased at The Sharp Edge, Pittsburgh (East Liberty location) PA
Massive alcohol aroma; also huge notes of dried fruit -- raisin, dried apple, citrus, etc. Almost smells like it would be great on breakfast panakes. (Probably would be, but I donít want to waste a bottle to find out.) Nice amber orange color, slightly cloudy. Little if any head forms on pour and carbonation is slight. Flavor is packed with intense floral & bitter hop. Lots of slightly tart fruitiness and huge complex highly sweet malt mitigates the hop bitterness to save the beer from simply tasting like hop extract. Even as these massive flavors stage a riot on the tongue, they canít disguise the high alcohol content, which gently warms the mouth and esophagus on the way down. Does not taste like an IPA at all -- at least one prior reviewer suggests it might be more appropriately classified as a barleywine, and I concur. Points knocked off for not being to style. Too bad -- this is an excellent concoction otherwise. Very thick almost syrupy palate. No beer that is 20% ABV has any business going down as smoothly as this stuff does. One of my all-time favorites.
mikie681 (4) - USA - SEP 2, 2005 does not count
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Amber pour with a very hoppy aroma. Very smooth for its strength, though. Orangey taste with pleasant sweet aftertaste.
lamas (1410) - Washington DC, USA - AUG 19, 2005
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle. I think itís from 2004. A clear, honey/amber pour with a smallish light-tan head that leaves delicate webbed lacing. Aroma is of spicy hops, caramel, vanilla and alcohol. Much better than I thought this would be. I expected something sickeningly sweet like Dogfishís Midas Touch. Instead, itís nicely balanced. Itís very impressive that they managed to do this considering just how much is packed into this beer. TONS of spicy hops that tingle the tongue with smooth and sweet vanilla and honey flavors underneath it all. LOTS of warming alcohol throughout that adds to the smoothness. Unique.
Immy (1955) - Virginia Beach, USA - AUG 19, 2005
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Wow! Smacks you in the head with hops, IMHO. Distinct sweet alcohol finish. Yeasty, flowery undertones in the nose. Pretty good, but more like a novelty beer to me. Watch out, this one will sneak up on you!
chilehead (186) - Laguna Niguel, California, USA - AUG 14, 2005
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: OCT 2, 2005 Dee-licious! Extremely chewy and over the top. Flavor is grassy, with strong honey and vanilla and the suggestion of orange blossoms. Not unlike a tawny port. Almost a barley wine. I had another last night with elnadeau, not quite as striking this time around, maybe some age will change it.
beerseer (51) - Lewiston, Maine, USA - AUG 14, 2005
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Fine golden color with sizable head. Smells strongly hoppy, with only some of the aroma elbowed out of the way by the permeating alcohol scents. Tastes amazingly like an IPA; some alcohol in finish, but overall smooth and not as overpowering as 21% should be. Standing up and walking to the fridge to get another one is a whole hell of a lot harder than drinking this fine brew.
AlexDonovan (14) - Dayton, Ohio, USA - AUG 14, 2005
4.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Rediculously balanced for a 20% IPA. Actually, not all that hoppy. One of the rare IPAs where they didnít need malt to balance out the hops, but vice versa instead! I loved it, and so did the half dozen or so I shared it with. (What? It was a 750ml, Iím not insane!). Glad I didnít try to down it myself or I may not be writing this today. Wish I had cellared it a lot longer, but patience is a virtue, and apparently Iím none too virtuous.
Frosty (2) - Murray, Kentucky, USA - AUG 12, 2005 does not count
4.5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
WOW! Yeah, itís strong, but itís not too strong where the alcohol takes away from the flavor. Pours amber/golden with an offwhite head. Have a couple of theses and you are set for the night!
Tejas (899) - Dallas, Texas, USA - AUG 11, 2005
4.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: JUL 13, 2009 Rerate. Draught > Flying Saucer. Just had to rerate. Nose from the snifter just says this is a SOB. This taste completely different on draught and is totally delicious. No alcohol flavor. Tons of cherry flavor is what I get. Great balance b/c of the sturdy sweet backbone. Creamy palate. VERY VERY easy drinker, which is almost a bad thing b/c it goes down so nice.
Bottle >> Nice hoppy aroma w/ a little alcohol in the nose too. Amber color w/ a little white head that surprisingly lasted longer than I thought it would. Big piney flavors. Chewy & sticky on the tongue & teeth. This one was far better when it was cold right out of the fridge. As it warmed up the alcohol became more noticeable & overpowered the hops. I can appreciate the attempt at a big fíing IIPA but this one just goes to close to the Listerine level.
Doppelganger (1388) - Dry County, Arkansas, USA - AUG 10, 2005
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: AUG 11, 2005 This is a paradoxical beer on so many levels. I donít understand how a 20% ABV beer could be this pretty, but it is. A big creamy layer of golden head, settling in viscous lacing. Bright copper body. Aroma is not really anything I can compare to in the beer world. More like if they were to make some intensely concentrated hop soap. Piney, resiny, grapefruit rind, honey...and kind of a post-thunderstorm clean. Before I can start to register the flavors, I am aware of how thick this feels in my mouth! Even the hairiest of Imperial Stouts Iíve tasted so far donít come close. Do I chew before I swallow? If not, will it get stuck in my throat? The predominant flavor I get is a very delicious orange marmalade. Sipped gently, the alcohol is very nice, like the vapors of sipping cognac. After a few sips, I am aware of how fantastic the balance is in this beer. Something this heavily hopped could have been horribly astringent and unpalatably bitter. And something this strong could have been syrupy sweet and cloying. But it is neither. It is a taut line of bitter, sweet, and alcohol. This greatly exceeds my expectations.