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.
alaskanwarren (286) - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - AUG 10, 2005
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
What an unexpected beer! Pours orange with thick white head. Intoxicating aroma of fall leaves, damp cloth and spicy hops, malt, hints of northwestern hops. I also notice some of the floral effects of the yeast. Some banana is noticeable. Taste is sweet, like mead or geuze. Not what I expected from an IPA. Lots of honey and tart fruit. Further tastes reveal hints of raspberry, some citrus hops, and more honey. Aftertaste is like honey-covered sour cherries. Medium to light mouthfeel with tiny bubbles. Quite a special beer. Though it calls itself an IPA on the bottle, Iím glad it is categorized here as a strong ale. I wouldnít know where else to put it. Calling it the Holy Grail for hopheads is a bit much, as I donít get any hopforwardness on this.
bu11zeye (12594) - Frisco (Dallas), Texas, USA - AUG 3, 2005
3.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
(Bottle, 2003 vintage) Pours a lightly coudy burnt orange body with a spare white head. Aroma of caramel, pine, and alcohol. Flavor of caramel, alcohol, and malts.
Zinister (1423) - Houston, Texas, USA - AUG 2, 2005
3.7 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pours like any other fine IPA, maybe just a bit more amber....even smells like a top-notch regular, but is far from it! Very hoppy...and of course at 21%ABV there is plenty of alcohol. If you drink it slow like a good brandy itís quite lovely....mild sweet honey and a touch of pine.
Mangino (1027) - Mississippi, USA - AUG 2, 2005
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pours a clear amber color, small white head, deceiving appearence for such a high alcohol monster. Aroma is booze and hops. Flavor is so strong, more booze and hops, almost like "hop schnopps".
johnyvt (158) - West Hollywood, California, USA - JUL 25, 2005
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Aroma is strong pine and alcohol that gets in and burns the nose. The taste hides the alcohol much better than the nose does. There is a surprising amount of sweet malt that dries out quickly with the obviously bitter finish. Oily mouthfeel to compliment the pine taste. Some honey and a little less sweet fruit than the 90 minute. Bottle was about 6 or 7 months old.
Gachupines (1231) - USA - JUL 24, 2005
3.5 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Aroma is strong of alcohol. Appearance is golden, with a very small head. Taste is sweet, possibly a bit too cloying and almost like a liquer but with a bitter aftertaste. Interesting but not something I would drink often, although I guess its not really meant to be.
erway (1004) - Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA - JUL 23, 2005
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Pours a deep golden with a quickl dissipating head. Aroma of apricots, peaches, pine and grapefruit. Heavily sweet with a balancing, I use balancing as I canít say much of the flavor is defined, hoppiness, with a seriou band-aid phenolic alcohol. Very heavy body. Finishes medium bitter. This has a lot of edges that can be rounded out with a lot of time.
mgumby10 (1856) - Jupiter, Florida, USA - JUL 20, 2005
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: FEB 2, 2007 Pours a deep amber with a very light white head. There is extremely strong smell of alcohol and hops. Knew this one was gonna be strong. Tastes of pine hops with a nice mix of sweet malts. Very strong. Had to drink in moderation. Fantastic IPA, wish it was easier to get.
BuckNaked (1230) - Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA - JUL 17, 2005
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
2003 vintage 750ml sampled 7/9/05: Clear deep amber body with a small, but present white head. Plenty of alcohol comes through in the nose along with some resiny pine/citrus hops and grass. I expected the aroma to show more bitterness than it did. Tastes spicy with alcohol-soaked hops, grass and plenty of syrupy malt. Very sweet. Will try a non-vintage bottle of this soon an re-rate, but wanted to include these notes for now.