EricE (1367) - Seattle, Washington, USA - MAY 13, 2008
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Dark brown opaque pour with a light tan head. A nutty aroma with lots of cherries and fruit, some sourness. Very fruity taste, grapes and cherries. Finishes with chocolate. Very complex beer...there is a lot going on here! Bitter finish with some alcohol. Very good.
dalepryor (305) - Paducah, Kentucky, USA - MAY 13, 2008
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
poured from 12 oz. into pint glass, wow this is one dark brown ale, the head is tan and short lasting, the smell is very roasty, i smell mostly caramel malts, and possibly wood also alcohol is present. The flavor goes with the smell, as i it i’m getting some hints of vanilla and fruit. another complex dogfish head addition. good stuff all around
talon1117 (1152) - Fort Collins, Colorado, USA - MAY 13, 2008
3.5 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: JAN 17, 2009 Pours a very dark brown color with a light brown, pillowy, fairly small head; it settles to a very small layer and leaves a bit of lace. Nose is nice but somewhat unpronounced for the ABV; vanilla bean is prominant with faint notes of caramel, burnt wood, hazelnut, roasted malts, and an obscure fruit note. Flavor is better with vanilla bean dominating still but with also: maple, charred wood, roasted hazelnut, semisweet chocolate, faint raisin, and some caramel nougat. It is quite sweet but has a moderately light, earthy bitterness to it. Palate is full, chewy, slightly syrupy, nearly lively and slightly warming. Finishes with an almost cotton candy sweetness from the vanilla and the caramel nougat notes; it also remains on the tongue for quite a while with some mildly dry semisweet chocolate and hazelnut notes. I really wanted to like this one with the creative wood aging and the imperial brown ale base, but the sweet vanilla notes became almost cloying at times. The Palo Santo wood does add an intriguing new quality to the beer, but I feel it might be better suited for an imperial porter or stout given the high vanilla character and the charred notes could be more balanced by more roasty or bitter notes. Or even the Palo Santo wood could be used with some other wood to age it? Nevertheless, I have to give DFH credit for trying something inventive and pushing the boudaries again.
carl4beer (522) - Fairfax Station, Virginia, USA - MAY 12, 2008
4.8 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
12 oz. pours dark with a small tan head. aroma is vanilla and some nut and woody notes. mouthful is crisp with nice full brown ale flavors that finnish crisp and delicious! There is no hint of the big abv, even after some warming. i think this is the best dogfish has brought to the bottle, perhaps my favorite from any brewer. even at the big price i will buy as much as I can get my hands on.
maniac (3800) - Baltimore, Maryland, USA - MAY 12, 2008
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: JAN 16, 2009 On tap at Capital Ale House - Midlothian on 08/29/2008. Dark black body with a small tan head. Big smokey chocolate and molassas aroma. Big smoke character, molassas, anise, caramel flavors. Full body with medium low carbonation. 8/5/8/3/16 - 4.0
05/12/2008: Dark brown body with ruby highlights and a medium creamy brown head. Sweet caramel, roast and rum soaked fruit aroma. Very smooth caramel flavor with rum soaked fruit and molassas and some light wood. Medium full body with moderate carbonation. 8/4/8/3/16 - 3.9
sebletitje (9348) - Enghien, BELGIUM - MAY 12, 2008
4.1 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
On bottle at OTH.
Really great flavor, bottle indicates hints of vanilla on Paraguayan Santo wood. I could smell more hints of banana with little touch of the vanilla.
Hard to believe the beer clocks 12% abv. another great addition to the Dogfish Head family.
jmuhops (669) - Winchester, Virginia, USA - MAY 12, 2008
2.7 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 10/20
Pours imperial black with a dark brown head. Charred wood in the aroma alongside roasted malt. Flavor is mostly forest fire, with some cocoa, toffee, and dark fruit (all burned). Tons of booze and a good bit of plastic smokiness. Overdone and unappetizing. I say a rosary to subtlety every night, but apparently there is no god.
wingman333 (333) - San Antonio, Texas, USA - MAY 11, 2008
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Very tasty take on a brown ale, not my usual favorite style. Think and dark in appearance, it had a definitive aroma I cannot place, perhaps it was the vanilla. Nice velvety mouthfeel, flavors of coffee, chocolate, banana, vanilla. Thin tan head. Alcohol well-hidden. Good product from DFH but very expensive.
BeerFanDan17 (1086) - Brunswick, Maine, USA - MAY 11, 2008
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Sampled at OTH. Incredible strong ale almost like a porter. Smokey and possibly hints of banana. Well balanced and sweet.
daninferior (4) - USA - MAY 10, 2008 does not count
4.8 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 20/20
pours in gobs w/mild tan head, really sweet and smokey, goes down like a really nice imperial stout, with aggressive hop atributies, one of my favorites to date