amx1970390 (480) - Southampton, Pennsylvania, USA - JUN 17, 2003
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Great aroma, but I feel that the 23% had better more "rich" smell. Very dark with minimal head like the 23%. Flavor is quite smooth with a chocolate covered cherry flavor. Not as acidic as the 23%. Good smooth finish. It is not as extreme as the 23% but when it comes to a beer like this I like it extreme. What would make this beer great would be some hop flavor
Lizabeth (360) - east falmouth, Massachusetts, USA - MAY 31, 2003
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Smells of dark chocolate and alcohol. Some malt presence. The beer is intensely dark with a medium tan head. The taste is richly complex ; dark chocolate, raisons, coffee, cherries, plums and liqorice. The alcohol presence was surprisingly mello. My advice: drink slowly and savor every drop.
mhanley (3) - USA - MAY 31, 2003 does not count
4.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Oh man what a draught! You know it's special just pouring it - thick, rich, like black cream. The aroma - like barley nougat, so smooth, with a hint of hops and noticable, but quite agreeable alchohol. This is not a beer, this is in a barley nectar.
Caton (160) - Sydney, AUSTRALIA - MAY 16, 2003
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
An amazing brew. The beer is amazingly smooth for a 18% beer. The palate had great persistance of flavour. If you have this beer make it a small session of beers and dont leave it to last as Duff and I found out.
jskendzel (602) - Washington DC, USA - MAY 8, 2003
4.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Very sweet, port-sh nose. Lots of dark fruits and a richness not found in many beers. This is wonderful! Very drinkable with the ethanol only slightly noticeable. Not as rich in a thick-way like others (Speedway Stout), but makes up for this in complexity. Great taste and a good example.
AustinMilbarge (681) - Denver, Colorado, USA - MAY 8, 2003
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
I tried the 23% at New Years and I have to say that the 18% was an order of magnitude better. Thanks to BelgianHomeBrew for this one. I usually can appreciate an imperial stout, but I actually liked this one a lot. The ABV is very apparent, but not so much as the 23%, maybe the concealment comes with age. Pours very dary with a dark tan head. Thick. Sweet aroma, plums and chocolate. The mouthfeel is smooth and the alcohol bite is minimal, all things considered. Plums and raisins in the flavor. Overall, very tastey. I agree with chronictonic on this beer as too drinkable.
chronictonic (471) - Oreland, Pennsylvania, USA - APR 20, 2003
4.8 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Awesome. Sweet yet balanced. Flavors of vanilla, plums, currants as well as some roasty chocolate malt. Very "slick" mouthfeel. Comparable (yet smoother) to a real fine Thomas Hardy vintage. Even with the kick ass ABV, it's not really evident in the glass. Too drinkable!
LilBill66 (9) - Glassboro, New Jersey, USA - APR 11, 2003 does not count
4.7 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
Drinking this beer on draft was a unforgettable experience. The 2002 offering was a bit sweeter than the 2001 that I sampled in the bottle. It is hard to comprehend the fact that you are drinking a beer that is 23.04 % abv. Savor it and relax in disbelief. Ruthian indeed.
KURTO99 (18) - wexford, Pennsylvania, USA - APR 6, 2003
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Roasty start with a wonderful finish. This catches you off guard. It's strong. Good beer to give to the wife if you want to get her in the mood.
BrianO (138) - Ambler, Pennsylvania, USA - MAR 24, 2003
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Pours dark with little head. Seems to settle a bit as it took me an hour to finish but I enjoyed every minute of it. Smells and tastes strongly of alcohol and roasted malt. Has all kinds of flavors going on. Very complex and simply outstanding. Drinking this struck me more like an experience as it felt really good to take the last swallow, almost like finishing a journey. Wonderful and highly recommended if you can get past the 18%.