fraternie (806) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - FEB 5, 2003
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Delicious sweet fruit/caramel aroma. Alcohol very present in the aroma. Cloudy brown, headless body. Malt is sweet, caramel--but strong alcohol flavor hits the palate quickly after. The finish seems smooth all things considered, but overall, the malt seems subdued by the abv in a way unlike WWS or even Olde School. It doesn't really seem out of balance as much as just very alcoholic without the complexity in the malt of the better brews from DFH. I respect DFH a great deal for its innovation--if indeed that is its goal. However, brews like this one--albeit much better than a majority of immotative knockoffs that we see from many microbrews today in the US--begin to push the envelope.
raindog (560) - Evansville, Indiana, USA - FEB 4, 2003
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottled 12/19/02: Next,to,no life in cork removal. Smells of raisins already noticeable. Light brown with fizzy,diminishing,head. Huge raisin,malt,rum, aromas,with the alcohol being nearly unnoticable. Mouthfeel is fizzy,soft,and thick.Body is big and flavors are defined. Heavy raisin,toffee,molasses, flavors come off very defined and not over assertive.Dark bread,fruity finish has just the slightest,spicy,alcohol to it. The fruit lingers a long time. I'm not even half through the bottle and am getting rather,light headed.Alcohol is not tasted,rather felt.
Drinkingdan (371) - East Norriton, Pennsylvania, USA - FEB 2, 2003
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Of course just like the D'Etre but more hint of the alcohol being present. Once again, One Great Brew!!!
fuchebu (146) - Croydon, Pennsylvania, USA - JAN 31, 2003
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
gets points for uniqueness and potency. This dark beer has hints of raisins and rum. It's a winter warmer for late evenings.
Gunshy (479) - Ohio, USA - JAN 27, 2003
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 16/20
Okay, decided to have this one in my Waterford brandy snifter I rarely touch. This beer poured a a very reddish amber color and formed a small bubbly off white head that disipated quickly and left no lace. An aroma of molasses and raisins. A flavor of molasses and raisins with elements of the alcohol. A very warming aspect to the finish reflecting the alcohol. An after dinner or night cap type of drink.
WISEGUY572 (1372) - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - JAN 25, 2003
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: FEB 8, 2003 Looks like a great cognac. No head, not even much lacing. Smells like a great Haitian rum. Fills the mouth beautifully, lots of body, and a little fizzy tingle. So far, so good. Taste starts with an alcohol slam, a lip tingling, mouth burning slam, that is followed by a long slow esophogeal burn. This puppy announces its alcohol fast! After the alcohol slam, and after the fizzy tingle is forgotten, there is a temptation to conclude that this is not beer at all. Easy to feel that way, since with this degree of alcohol most of the malt has long since fermented out and the brewers seem to have left out the hops! I'd like to say fruity, like a barley wine, and indeed the usual barley wine tastes are present if you can get over the burn and the slam. In many ways this is a cross between raison d'etre and a good barley wine, with a whole lot of alcohol thrown in on top. Usual barley wine and raison d'etre medicinal finish. With individual numbers so high, the overall rating may seem surprisingly low. But — really! — what can you do with a 20+% wine in a 25+ oz bottle? It's too sweet to serve as an aperitif, too sweet to serve with food, not sweet enough to serve with dessert, and, hey, how many people do you really want over to share a nightcap with you? What could you possibly do with this beer? The cute little bottles that Anchor uses for Old Foghorn are starting to seem very useful! // Rerated 8 February. I like the flavor more ... maybe even a little more time in the bottle helped? But mostly I decided that a beer this good does not have to be reasonable. Just drink a glass, put the cork back in the bottle, and go to bed.
dberger624 (1028) - Phila, Pennsylvania, USA - JAN 21, 2003
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Liquid raisons with a hidden alochol flavor is what I drank. Very good. I can't believe they bottle this now.
Kathy (241) - Washington DC, USA - JAN 20, 2003
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
Innocuous amber color. Sweet aroma, with fruity, strawberry-ish-ness. Shockingly smooth and mellow for such a high alcohol beer. Sweet, but not cloying. Buttery, but not thick and oily. WOW!
argo0 (11181) - Washington DC, USA - JAN 16, 2003
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Clear copper body, virtually no head. Aroma is sweet and fruity, mostly strawberry. Taste is sweet raisin & strawberry, with good bitterness in the aftertaste. Ridiculously mellow for a beer that"s 20% abv. The alcohol burn hits more in the chest than the throat. Doesn"t seem very similar to the D"Etre, not sure of the tie to it.
MilkmanDan (1943) - Eagan, Minnesota, USA - JAN 16, 2003
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 20/20
Yowza. Very reddish. Beautifully fruity nose, loads of peaches, pears, and strawberries. Lovely, lovely flavor. Very fruity, strawberry hints throughout. More like a port wine than any beer I've ever tried. Tastes of chocolate and brandied cherries. Alcohol amazingly well-hidden, really only noticeable after the swallow, and the slight burn was only noticeable deep in my chest. A beautiful brew, but doesn't remind me in the vaguest of Raison D'Etre.