Pigfoot (2268) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - MAY 23, 2004
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
One of the many things I appreciate about the Dogfish Head Brewery is the air of mystery that sometimes surrounds their brews. For instance, who are those two odd, chimp-faced chaps mugging at us on the label? I like to think that they are manifestations of bottle imps trapped inside that are scheming to escape and bedevil whoever holds the vessel and dares to drink...in fact, after downing a full 750 of this "bulbous brown ale" all on my lonesome, Iím sure of it!
Appearance: dark tawny brown, garnet-tinged edges, head is brown and fluffy white while it lasts, but gone in a quickness.
Aroma: powerful and winey, full of deep, dark, devilish fruity flavors, wicked stuff! Each sniff unturns more sensations, raisins, dates, leather, grapes, cognac, dark rum..."complex" only starts to describe it!
Time to drink...THICK mouthfeel! An 800lb gorilla sitting on the palate! Washes all corners of the mouth with flavor, rich and sharp, yet syrupy, almost treacly, but definitely delicious.
Quickly intoxicating, this, and though the ABV is left off the label, it must assuredly be abominable. Only 1/3 of the way through the bottle now, and I feel totally whipped! Wish I had a secret cache of this to carry me through cold winter nights or to break out in celebration of some personal triumph, and I definitely need more of the latter than the former!
At this point, my notes from this sampling (done in early September) trail off into gibberish and surrealistic non-sequitors, (what else is new?) but I can tie that all off and merely conclude that this was one incredible brew, very much enjoyed!
Sickboy282 (1115) - San Diego, California, USA - APR 26, 2004
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
A very big brew that pours a deep reddish/brown with little head. Aromas of sugar and raisins and a little vanilla. The flavor attacks your whole mouth... a little thick, very sweet from the raisins and a little chocolate flavor in there too. I only wish this came in small bottles.
bu11zeye (12109) - Frisco (Dallas), Texas, USA - MAR 30, 2004
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
(Bottle) Pours a deep mahogany color with hardly any head. Had a strong alcohol aroma as one could expect from 20% ABV. The flavor was fiery like a scotch on the rocks. Hints of raisins and caramel add a nice finish to this beer. Enjoy this one warmed up a bit.
Nuffield (3761) - Roseville, Minnesota, USA - MAR 30, 2004
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
December 19, 2002 bottling. Amazing amount of carbonation for a 20% abv. The alcohol is too much when it is too cold, giving a nail polish/paint aroma. there is a huge flavor--nose-clearing, stinging on the palate, fiery, with raisins, grape, sweetness, and a je ne sais quoi. As it warms it becomes much better and I found myself enjoying this deeply.
TChrome (1436) - Bedford, Texas, USA - MAR 29, 2004
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pours burgandy in color with a rapidly dissipating head. Head can't be sustained in the face of 20% ABV I imagine. Aroma is quite alcoholic with some dried fruit. Flavor is BIG and the alcohol somewhat hidden given the huge ABV number. Quite tasty. One to be very careful with.
adwoan99 (244) - Ft. Worth, Texas, USA - MAR 28, 2004
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
Hhow can this be classified as a brown ale? This is a barleywine all the way! Strong aroma - mostly sweetness, alcohol, lots of whiskey characteristics.
3fourths (8481) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - MAR 28, 2004
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Clear brown appearance, nose of brown-ale type malts: caramel and maple. No head on this one. First sip stings the tongue and continues to burn through the drink. Burning throughout... has the flavors of almonds, other nuts, peaches, apricots. Very resiny and thick.
temporrari (387) - Fort Wayne, Indiana, USA - MAR 21, 2004
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: DEC 16, 2007 Big ass beer. Pour with a decent head that diminished fast. Deep amber like color. Slight woody characteristics. Hides the ABV in the aroma and mouthfeel, but is sure warms your chest up on the way down. Flavor gets much better as it warms up. I drank a whole bottle alone in about 2 hours. Once I got to the last of 3 glasses, mind you I was quite buzzed by then, it almost tasted like Indian Brown Ale with a lot more ooomph. Iíll re-rate a more mature bottle in about 2 years.
2005 Bottle: Woody, port like aroma and flavor. Still retains an overall beeriness. Raisins, sweet. Strong tasting but ABV is hidden well. Itís not even as abrasive as the 20% tawny port I have in my fridge. Sipping beer. Would go well with a nice dinner, chicken or duck or something like that.
5 year old 2002 Bottle Re-Rate coming SOON
ClarkVV (4003) - Allston, Massachusetts, USA - MAR 13, 2004
3.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 12/20
UPDATED: SEP 27, 2005 12/19/2002 bottle sampled 03/12/2004. Good pour, fairly muddy, with some drab browns, yellows and oranges. Good light caramel colored head. Aroma of vegetables, beet sugar?, dry pulpy hops and ripe brown fruits (pears, bananas, mangos). Starts out immensely sweet, huge candied sugar taste dominates the palate. Mouthfeel is extra-super-double full and slightly syrupy, definitely chewy. Raisins, prunes, figs, dates, more sugar AND alcohol. Yes, definitely an intense alcohol flavor. Alcohol adds bitterness and attempts to dry this out, but canít, this is so sweet. Finishes sharp and acidic due to the alcohol, with some sweet caramel flavors and more raisins. I thought raison díetre was sweet enough without having to up it to this level. I guess if they added more hops apparency, it wouldnt be the same beer, but it needs something, this stuff is just plain brutal. Interesting celery flavor though, yes, that definitely reminds me of celery. 8/4/6/2/11
Vintage 2004 draught Itís nice to have tried both vintages of this stuff, but my feelings arenít changed. Too much alcohol, way too sweet. Even the little mouthfull I had was painfully burning, alcoholic and just too much. Seems like this yearís is spicier than the 2002. Perhaps to hide all that alcohol? It dosenít do it though. 7/2/6/2/12
Vintage 2005 draught 16oz pint. Iím likin this yearís version. Complexity is not very high, and itís still rather boozey, but I like the basic flavors, cherry, dates, toffee and a slight raisiny-like sweetness in the back. Nice and honey-thick, almost syrupy. Less sharp, alcoholic and overbearing than the 2004 and much less thick, syrupy and cloying than the 2002. Probably my favorite yet. Might even have to get a bottle. 8/2/7/3/12
DrunkAsASkunk (847) - Lynnwood, Washington, USA - FEB 28, 2004
4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
This was kindly given to me as a sample at the San Diego Strong Ale Festival by the ever gracious jcalabre! This delectable trogladite effervesced a brandy-like alcoholic aroma that begged for consumption. Sweet nectar was dying to be flowing through my veins!! The aroma continued with heavy alcohol, some cherry and vanilla malts and sweetness...perhaps raisins. Appearance-wise we're looking at an ambery ale..headless and intimidating. The taste provides that warm belly feeling that we've all grown to love. Brandy beer at its finest. Heavy alcohol and twigs, with a nice strong, tangy raisiny finish. Dry finish, no carbonation to speak of..and dangerous at 20.5%! I definitely want more!