AR (1000) - Georgia, USA - MAR 7, 2014
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
This beer has an ever-changing character. There is a sweetness to it, then the juniper becomes noticeable. After that, you will taste some syrupy barley. There is a long-lasting aftertaste, in which the alcohol lingers.
ThisWangsChung (747) - Leonardtown, Maryland, USA - MAR 2, 2014
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
12 oz bottle into a pint glass.
A: Pours a dark brown color with decent (not spectacular) clarity. The head is about three fingers high, cream shaded. Its retention is really fantastic, and the texture isnít half bad either. It leaves behind some nice lacing on the glass, too.
S: PHE. NO. LIC. One can definitely tell that this is a peaty brew. Let it warm up a bit, though, and its sweet malt backbone develops nicely. In particular, it brings caramel, brown sugar, and maple sugar notes. Vanilla is slight but definitely evident. Iím having trouble picking up the oaky tones, though; that or its blending itself with the peat to create a ham-like smokiness. Nonetheless, this nose is telling me a lot - but thereís one thing it isnít telling me. Alcohol. This is a shockingly un-boozy nose.
T: Like expected, phenolic peat notes hit the palate immediately. This sensation tends to melt away around the mid-taste, being replaced by flavors of caramel and brown sugar. Thereís some slight vanilla in the finish; just like in the aroma, itís pretty subtle. Some faint tobacco qualities are peppered throughout. Once this warms up, its boozy qualities pretty much evaporate. My only real problem is this: take away the peaty notes, and this one is...kind of mundane. It only really develops complexity after many, many sips - and by that time, thereís practically none left in the glass.
M: Itís not exactly chewy, but it does have a decent body. While the sweetness has a negative effect on the general balance of the flavors, it does a great job of hiding the alcohol. There is absolutely nothing here to suggest itís 11%.
O: Okay, Iím really impressed with its lack of booze - and how the supposed peat isnít really that bothersome to my palate. This has some elements of a nice scotch whisky. Having said that, itís not quite as deep as I like my big, boozy monsters to be. Still, this has great aging potential, even with its currently well hidden alcohol.
ARH (568) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - FEB 27, 2014
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: NOV 17, 2014 12oz bottle poured into a snifter and a tulip. 4 months aged. A musty, smokey note is the first aroma that comes through (wet cardboard maybe more appropriate) and this evolves quickly to a doughy, bread-like malt note. This is followed by a combination of oak, roasted caramel, raisin, vanilla, and root vegetables (sweet potatoes or carrots came to mind). Thereís also some very subtle notes of maple or molasses and citrus. It pours a deep honey color with some sediment. Between the sediment, thereís hints of a sparkling quality to it. A puffy and creamy head, light beige in color, tops the body and has a slow dissipation to it leaving a thick ring around the edge of the beer with a filmy middle; a bit of lacing is left down the glass. A nice blend of medium, maybe medium high sweetness and medium light bitterness greet the tongue with a very very faint sour note. The medium-full, rich malty body has quite a bit of carbonation and goes down smooth and syrupy. A big raisin and toffee mouth initially give way to a mellow bourbon-alcohol warmth at the finish with touches of vanilla and maple. Eventually, by mid-glass, the alcohol fades and the malty toffee dominates the palate through the finish. The aftertaste is a fire-roasted grain (a touch smokey), resin, and caramel.
One year aged ...
The maple is much more pronounced on the nose with a muffin note. The vanilla and oak woodiness are also much more clear. Itís still murky orange with lots of sediment floating around, but the head has thinned out a bit. Thereís a much more dark chocolate bitterness to the taste, Iíd say more medium high bittersweet balance. Itís viscous, sticky, and full bodied with a very soft, silky carbonation. Lots of alcohol warmth to the finish with chocolate, maple, caramel, nuts, and raisin - kinda like a dark chocolate bridge mix. Thereís a heavy, rich dark chocolate and cookie note to the aftertaste.
AKORN (201) - Virginia, USA - FEB 18, 2014
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Vanilla , almond and other unique smells. Complex taste. Not too bitter, not too sweet, not too dry. Just right. Very good beer
thorongil2 (1395) - , Ontario, CANADA - FEB 14, 2014
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 18/20
(bottle) clear reddish amber colour with a small brown head; aromas of dried fruit, smoke; balanced and complex flavour with a long light bitter finish and well hidden alcohol; very nice
Gluepot (69) - Ontario, CANADA - FEB 14, 2014
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Musty vanilla and maple nose with a creamy off-white head. The taste is sweet with some spices, vanilla and bready malt. It is balanced at the outset and retains that balance through the aftertaste -- a Dogfish Head standard characteristic. Significant effervescence works well with the sweetness. A hint of sourness in the background as you work through the bottle. The alcohol adds richness but is not overpowering. Well crafted.
mgunn333 (11) - Virginia, USA - FEB 13, 2014
4.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
Pours a nice burnt sienna color. Smells sweet and slightly smokey. Tastes sweet and toasty with prominent vanilla, rather simple but not lacking. I donít taste the maple syrup. Not nearly as dramatic as I was expecting. All in all it was quite enjoyable.
dansac (106) - Loa Angeles, Alabama, USA - FEB 10, 2014
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Huge beer; lots of oak, vanilla, malt bitterness. Maple syrup, yep. There is a smokiness I think must be coming from the maple... Mouthfeel is cloying almost, boozy, shamelessly forward. Sweet, bitter, malty... itís just big in every sense of the word. Itís an excellent beer, and one of DFHís better experiments, if you can call it that.
charule (1307) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - FEB 1, 2014
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 15/20
On tap at Headquarters. Poured hazy dark orange with thinning tan head. Sweat malty barley caramel aroma. Light carb med bod. Smokey sweet taste.
callmemickey (3039) - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - FEB 1, 2014
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Dark brown colored body, medium to thin light tan head, spotty lacing. Peaty smoke, vanilla, dark fruits, brown sugar, and oak. Medium to full bodied, lively carbonation, lingering sweet finish.