TheEpeeist (2817) - Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, USA - APR 30, 2008
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
12 oz bottle. Ebony with a smooth, dark tan head. Nose is coffee caramel, vanilla and wood. A lush mouthfeel; sticky with a slight tingle. Taste is caramel, chocolate and vanilla then dried mushrooms, coffee grounds and burnt sugar. I would have enjoyed this more if not for the bitter notes in the aftertaste. Still very good.
DYCSoccer17 (3012) - Woodland, California, USA - APR 29, 2008
3.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
12 ounce bottle purchased from the Davis Food Co-Op. Aroma has some ethanol, leathery, tobacco notes. Plenty of vanilla-like oak aromas are present, too. Some sweet cocoa hints are there, too. Very aromatic and interesting. Pours a thick, opaque black color with a small to medium tan head that dissipates all too quickly. Some burnt, choco malts are present to start. Becomes lightly sweet in the middle with some overly aggressive carbonation present. Light woodiness and a bit of astringency late. An awkward mouthfeel and this is lacking something. Just seems a little bland and cardboardy. After so much going on in the aroma, the flavor is pretty blegh. This is unlikely 12%.
treadyroc (148) - St. Leonard, Maryland, USA - APR 29, 2008
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: JUN 5, 2009 Pours opaque dark brown with a creamy tan head that reduces to lacing that persists. A very light malty-sweet aroma. Much more roasty malted flavor than expected. Very much a surprise at first taste. Hints of chocolate round out the palate, and the alcohol is COMPLETELY hidden in the surprisingly balanced finish. Very unique. Definitely will be looking for this one again.
GAManiac (1944) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - APR 28, 2008
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: JUL 3, 2008 Pours a beautiful deep chocolate brown with hints of ruby on the edges. Tan head dissipates quickly leaving no lace and a slight swirl of foam in the middle. Quite a bit going on in the nose, and I can definitely smell a bit of smoked wood. Thereís also a strong molasses sweetness to the aroma with some chocolate as well. Whoa, this is quite the complex brew. An initial malty sweetness is balanced by the smoked wood flavor. Hints of chocolate, vanilla, dark fruits. The aftertaste has lingering spices, cinnamon and/or nutmeg. Medium body with a bit of carbonation. Syrupy, sugary stickiness. Where is that 12% alcohol? Itís quite the sipper, though I find it very hard to stop sipping. This is one of the more unique beers I have tried in a while and I find it difficult to categorize except that itís damn good. I hope DFH continues to push the envelope. Outstanding beer.
dmradus (227) - Ithaca, New York, USA - APR 28, 2008
4.1 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Black, cap of brown scum fades to nearly nothing quickly. Great roast and fruit interplay in the nose. Prunes and raisins, chocolate, coffee, some really nice toffee sweetness that I associate often with barley wines. Slight musky earthiness. Taste: upfront is dark fruits and sweetness, mid- and end-palate are strongly roasted in coffee, some dark chocolate, but not astringent. Spicy both with anise as well as a peppery alcohol note - has a drying effect. Notes of earth and wood, though certainly not oak, pervade throughout. Slightly bitter, roasted and woody aftertaste that lasts considerably. Very fine and strong carbonation, maintains good slightly viscous character. Truly unique.
Beershine (5173) - The Sunshine State, Florida, USA - APR 28, 2008
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle. Black, no head. Oily pour. Leaves fizzy cola-like head then instantly vanishes and looks flat thereafter. Nose and body both contain lots of black and red grapes, grape skin and stems included. Also stewed prunes, maple reduction, some tamari, licorice, cola nut and grape jelly as in the Asian soft drinks. Interesting.
Walt (2449) - Austin, Texas, USA - APR 28, 2008
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Pour is brown, pretty much black with a thin tan head...smell is fairly roasty and does have cherries, wood, and vanilla...taste is lightly roasty with an acetic dryness to it...I feel like just copying Markís rating because any original thought that I had about this beer is going to sound like I am copying his rating...oh well...well done DFH...
MrRomero (1966) - Nolanville, Texas, USA - APR 27, 2008
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: MAY 12, 2008 12 oz bottle from a 4-pack I bought today. Poured into a DFH snifter. Poured very dark brown with a brown half-finger head after an aggressive pour. Heavenly aroma of wood, roasted malt, cherries (no cherries in this beer), and some chocolate. The aroma led me to believe this would be a sweet beer but no. It is quite dry. Light chocolate and roasted malt. The wood stands out after the swallow. Very tasty beer and like others have said, the 12% is astonishingly hidden.
AceOfHearts (1375) - San Francisco, California, USA - APR 27, 2008
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle. Dammit, I just picked this up because it looked interesting and I needed to buy something to get change for the parking meter, but now Iíve already opened it and thus trapped myself into quaffing a 12%er right when Iím at the highest muscle/fat ratio in my life. Utterly beautiful pour, opaque dark mahogany, dark tan head which quickly goes away. Nice burnt nutty type of flavor with a vanilla finish. Some chocolate thrown about here and there. As others have pointed out, there is nowhere near 12% worth of alcohol perceptible in the experience of drinking this stuff. A bit yeasty but not enough to add to it. Pretty good.
JohnC (3000) - Mission Viejo, California, USA - APR 26, 2008
3.6 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Dark brown pour with a thin tan head.
The flavor is malty, dry and has vanilla and carmel notes. Whatís scary is that the 12% is no where to be seen... Tasty