Linc (737) - Sydney, AUSTRALIA - JUN 7, 2003
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Cloudy amber, super strong aroma of tropical fruit, papaya mainly. Man that aroma is strong, OTT! Fruity, bitter and sweet, yet all this is balanced surprisingly well. I've never had anything like this, it's an extreme barleywine really and needs age, the excessive sweetness becomes really cloying by the time you finish half a glass.
TheBeerGod (5003) - Newport News, Virginia, USA - JUN 2, 2003
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: SEP 24, 2003 Pours a beautiful bronze with a light brown head. The nose is hoppy but not as strong as the 90 IPA in my opinion. More of a fruity or sweeter nose to me with apples, peaches, grapefruits, or apricots standing out with only a slight piney hint showing up. The taste expounds on that with more of the fruit sweetness and alcohol coming out in the beer than the hops. Definite apples, and peaches with a hint of vanilla and an obvious maltiness. Nice "legs" on this. Seems almost like a sweeter EKU 28. The 20% is definitely not noticeable. Smooth sweet finish with a little of the bitterness in the aftertaste. Wonderful beer. I'd like to age some of this and taste it later.
argo0 (11167) - Washington DC, USA - JUN 1, 2003
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: AUG 11, 2003 (bottle) Remarkably clear amber body with medium beige head. Of course the aroma is hoppy, but not overwhelming like you would expect. Floral dominates, with medium sweetness. Some maltiness too, perhaps nuttiness. Amazingly enough, no discernible alcohol aroma. Taste is syrupy, medium sweet, some alcohol but nothing fierce, and oh yes -- hops (floral). Still not the hop bomb you'd expect, not even as hoppy as the 90-minute IPA. You'd never know it was 20% ABV, but there's a definite warming on the swallow. (draft) Very clear amber with small off-white head. Aroma is rich, floral, medium grapefruit, medium sweet. Taste is medium sweet, floral, fruity (raisin, orange), finishing with a mild burn. Sticky full body (8/3/8/3/16)
MilkmanDan (1943) - Eagan, Minnesota, USA - MAY 31, 2003
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Clearest of the three (60, 90, and 120, done as a "hopizontal" tasting). Looks like an amber. Head sticks around forever. Can smell the hops from a foot away. Getting closer, obviously very hoppy, quite floral. Sweetness is very prevalent, smells very refreshing. Would not in any way this is 20%, would think from the nose it’s a bit of a lawnmower beer. Bit nutty. No cloudiness even with the pour. What the heck? Odd that it’s this clear, just not expected. Certainly question the admonition on the label that this can be aged “for a decade or two”. With nothing vaguely resembling a floatie, how much bottle conditioning can it do. Anyways, at the taste, it’s syrupy, thick, very much coats the mouth. As it warms, more burn, when colder no burn at all for me. Still warming. Some definite citric qualities, the tartness stays around for a good while replacing any alcoholic burn. Predominant flavor is a subtle sweetness, which is expected, as for the abv this has to be chock full of malts. Hops are definitely there; for a beer of this strength, quite impressive that it would even have this hoppiness.
tbookman (618) - Ephrata, Pennsylvania, USA - MAY 29, 2003
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: NOV 23, 2005 Extreme is right - this certainly doesn’t fall in as an IPA. I don’t know why they bother to call it that. A fantastic BIG beer - very warming & thick. Lots of fruit flavors with some spiciness and some hops, although the hops seem to get lost in everything else. That doesn’t matter though - this beer is like a nice port or cognac. I can’t wait to get a hold of another bottle!!
Vac (2445) - San Diego, California, USA - MAY 29, 2003
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Golden amber body topped by a medium thick head with decent lace. Very sweet and fruity hop aroma. Very sweet and fruity hop flavor with an underlying spiciness. Full bodied, relatively smooth, yet very warming.
cb (810) - Roeland Park, Kansas, USA - MAY 26, 2003
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
The aspect that stood out to me the most was how subtle (sneaky?) the alcohol presence is. Much more so than the WWS, thank goodness! Clear, rich amber. Hoppy aroma...mostly raisins. Initial burst of flavor mirroring the aroma. White grapes linger. I'd love to trade for more of this.
JCW (1274) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - MAY 26, 2003
3.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
UPDATED: DEC 14, 2003 This is a huge beer. Aroma of hops with hints of malt. Sweet flavor mixed with a grassy citrus bitterness from the hops. Nice IPA or Strong Ale or just giant beer. I think I can drink a few of these in a sitting but then I after consistering how much alcohol is in it probably not. Cheers.
After drinking 4 or 5 of these over the last several months, the sweetness really start to destroy this one for me. More Hops please!
Eyedrinkale (3213) - Astoria, New York, USA - MAY 25, 2003
4.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: APR 15, 2004 Pridominantly alcohol and some floral aroma. Pours gold with nice head. Lacing stay throughout. This stuff is great. Sweet, hoppy (no shit) and warm with a dark alcohol finish. Like a port. Had it on Randall and it was even more fresh than the bottled version. This is a true hop monster.
raindog (560) - Evansville, Indiana, USA - MAY 24, 2003
3.8 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: MAY 25, 2003 Thanks to hopsrus for sharing. Clear oarnge. Minimal head,at first.Quickly fades. Assault of hop aromas,quickly turn to grape,champagne yeast,lightly sweet,malt aromas. Somooth,thick mouthfeel. Strong,smooth,caramel, flavors with a fairly,restrained hop finish.Laughable how drinkable this is at 20%. For the first beer of the night it tasted like a strong Ipa.Great job hiding alcohol,retaining Ipa flavors.