trevor211 (1538) - Seattle, Washington, USA - JUN 23, 2008
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Pours black as night. No matter how bright a light I held it up to, I couldn’t see through it at all. The head is thin but dense, and mocha brown - I’m really surprised by how dark this one is. Aroma has notes of roasted coffee, cacao, smokey wood, vanilla, a bit of maple and molasses-dark malts. Coffee really comes through in the flavor, as well as the wood. There’s a sweetness that reminds me of burned marshmallows. Not toasted - burned. Torched. There’s a definite bitter presence, too, and just enough carbonation to keep it clean. At times I really feel like I have a block of wood in my mouth. This is far more like an imperial stout than a brown ale like they claim, but very interesting stuff, for sure.
puzzl (3257) - New York, New York, USA - JUN 23, 2008
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Pours a surprisingly dark black with a wonderful head. Having read very little about this beer I was expecting it to be a boring amber colored beer with mild malt, mild hops, mild wood, another loser from DFH. Not so! This is an awesome, truly "dark" beer, rich with old hops and thick syrupy malt, and a truly unique wood flavor I have not seen in anything else. Deep complexity in the flavor highlights plums and maple and charred pine. Boozy, red wine, molasses. A very well crafted beer and a great surprise.
kegbear (436) - Orange, California, USA - JUN 22, 2008
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Really nice complex ale. Malt taste with definate wood tones. Reminds me of oily tropical hardwood being cut in the woodshop. Slight smoke aftertaste. Would but again.
BigBen2120 (688) - Derry, New Hampshire, USA - JUN 22, 2008
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
12oz bottle from The Lighthouse in Manchester. Pours an opaque dark brown/black body with a quickly dissipating thin head of tan head. Smells chocolaty with woody notes. Tastes like chocolate and coffee, with strong woody notes. Full bodied, bordering on viscous, with ample carbonation to clean the palate. Drier than I expected, though still sweet, and the wood adds an interesting quality to the beer, complimenting the dryness... Having said that, it’s a solid tasty strong American brown. Not entirely sure yet whether it was worth the 14$ per four-pack though...
AleDrinker (1089) - Sunnyvale, California, USA - JUN 22, 2008
3.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
Picked this up at the store having no idea what it was. It’s made by Dogfish so I figured it was probably good. Viscous black fluid drains from the bottle, almost no carbonation. Aroma is malty sweet. Flavor starts sweet but finishes dry. Lots of roasted flavors. No bitterness or hops are detected at all, this beer is really just all about the malt. Pretty good.
rds (230) - USA - JUN 22, 2008
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: OCT 16, 2008 Ultra-dark with a thin tan head, notes of toasted malt mix with sweet chocolate and vanilla, even a faint touch of coffee. Very smooth finish, the alcohol flavor is highly subordinated to the complexity of flavors. What an accomplished creation!
lb4lb (2582) - Austin, Texas, USA - JUN 22, 2008
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle courtesy of hoppymeal. Thanks!
Pours dark black with a nice tan head. Smell is roasty, almost fresh woodiness, and perhaps chocolately. Taste is roasty, very fresh woody bark like and some chocolate and earthiness. Light alcohol flavor. Creamy, slick mouthfeel and light to medium carbonation. Good and unique, but not too weird to inhibit drinkability much. One of the better DFH beers for sure.
guzzler67 (1643) - Hanover, Maryland, USA - JUN 21, 2008
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Deep brown appearance with a large, dense, tan head and good lacing. Aroma is a mix of molassas, chocolate and vanilla extract over the wood. Sweet, roasted malt flavors along with some dark fruit. Hops take their time to clock in and you may have to wait a bit for them to register. Full bodied, moderately carbonated mouthfeel. Lingering, sweet, slightly cloying finish. Alcohol was warming but seemed under the range of 12%.
vyvvy (5369) - Florissant, Missouri, USA - JUN 21, 2008
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pours dark brown with a small dense tan head. The aroma is milky with vanilla, wood, clean toasty malt, milk chocolate and dark caramel - rich and delicious. Medium / full body with an aggressive feel and some subdued carbonation. The flavor starts with heavily toasted malt that bordered on roasted, heavy wood, warming abv, dark caramel, figs, dates and some sweetness that is offset by the wood. The finish has full richness with some hops and coffee-like bitterness. Molasses starts coming out a lot as the beer warms. A very fine offering from DFH.
tgncc (3078) - Bellmore, New York, USA - JUN 20, 2008
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: SEP 22, 2012 Rerate on 09/22/2012. Aroma is very sweet, roasty, very hoppy, and the gorgeous smell of wood. Also, plums, raisins, chocolate. It’s reminiscent of the Indian Brown Ale. Appearance is more like an Imp. Stout. It is more black than brown, and has a thin tan head. Very attractive. The flavor is fruity and sweet, piney hops, chocolate, with the flavor of the wood coming through. Licorice, molasses as well. As it heads to the finish, I notice real piney hop bittering, some candy sweetness and alcohol. The alcohol provides a warming and pleasant finish. Beuatiful beer all the way around. Great effort by Dogfish Head to create something truly unique. Also, at $15.99 for 4 beers, this was an expensive beer adventure. Definitely worth it though. I wish I could buy this in bulk.