JMerritt (1850) - Macomb, Illinois, USA - JAN 15, 2004
4.9 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
2003 version. Black with flecks of red. Head is massive, chocolate brown, and beautiful. Big chocolate malt aroma has hints of raisins, bubble gum, and a definite alcohol nip at the end. I drank this at room temperature, and when savoring the aroma of this stuff, it actually hits you with a thick, almost swampy feel. You can actually FEEL the aroma hitting you in the face. Amazing. A very full flavor: light roasted malt, juicy sweet plums, and burnt sugar. Roastiness is subdued by an alcohol presence that is noticeable, tingly and hugely warming, albeit distracting at some times. (I don't seem to remember the alcohol being as pronounced in the 23% version). Could I have possibly found a new favorite beer?
rmalloy (199) - los angeles, California, USA - JAN 15, 2004
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: FEB 5, 2006 More strong than good. A thick mouthful of dark blah. I wasn’t as impressed as I have been in the past. Not enough complexity. Sort of like a fruit bomb shiraz.
axilla (962) - New Providence, Pennsylvania, USA - JAN 14, 2004
4.8 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: DEC 2, 2005 A wonderfully thick, malty aroma with a definate banana smell and taste. the smooth dark head was just as enticing to look at as the beer itself making it love at first sight for me. The head just didn’t hang out as long as I expected. A brandy-like warmer. Great Stout!!
SpringsLicker (3172) - Tennessee, USA - JAN 5, 2004
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: APR 28, 2004 **100** At cellar temperature this beer can be coaxed into a decent head which is a creamy, mocha color. It coats the glass before slipping into an opaque, black beer. The aroma is complex, with notes of strong coffee, caramelized molasses and a faint hint of licorice. These aromas become the flavors that you get as well, all mixed into a sweet tar-like beer that ends with a long finish which is lightly bitter, burnt, and sweet. The roast malt in this brew is very subdued and if it were more intense would detract from everything that goes on in this beer. Alcohol is everywhere but also in a much disguised way. An interesting beer. Quite good, but probably not for everybody.
4/28/04 WOW 5 months have improved this beer!!!
tidiaguy (168) - Hawley, Pennsylvania, USA - JAN 4, 2004
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
What sweet nectar the beer gods have handed down to us. Beautiful near black body with a nice dark tan head that disipates to a sudsy ring. Aroma of licorice, molasses, and malt with a slight mediciney alcohol note. Flavors are complex, dark fruit, dark chocolate, licorice that finish with a slight burnt coffee flavor that is swept away by a mildly astringent yet syrupy mouthfeel. Then the nice alcohol warming. I love this stuff.
DragonStout (1408) - Pickerington, Ohio, USA - JAN 3, 2004
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Wow!What a great friggin beer.This 100 times better than Sam Adams Triple Bock.Poured black as night with virtually no head.Sweet malty tastes with a high alchol taste.The alcohol warms u all the way down.The finish was not too heavy with a little hint of bitterness.This was worth every cent that i paid for it.
Frank (3097) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - DEC 29, 2003
3.1 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
UPDATED: JUN 23, 2010 I original gave this beer a 4.2. This was in 2003 and in 2003 Dogfish Head, was one of the high rollers in the world of avant-garde brewing. Almost everyone thought this beer was really something. In fact, we all wanted to get our hands on the stronger version. Nowadays, there’s lots of people like me wizened to the ways of this sort of brewing and, frankly, don’t really find it to be worth much. This is just sort of a stout-like substitute for port wine though, unlike even some very moderately priced ports, it burns like a motherfuck and is not really the kind of thing you want to sip on at all. It has a mildly tart old coffee flavor and is just generally sweet and boozy w/o much else to it. Had this been my first taste of it, I’d imagine I’d rate it still lower than I have now. I honestly winced on a couple sips. More of a curiosity than a beer, this is something I can really live w/o.
Original rating: Bold and black, quite a bit more head than the 23% version. Thick, boozy aroma with an edge of roasted barley. Sticky, thick mouthfeel, low carbonation with enough alcohol to warm the cold heart of Uncle Scrooge in the dead of winter. Sweetly port-like with a wash of earthy bitterness in the finish. A lovely nightcap or early morning brew.
jbak (111) - Torrington, Connecticut, USA - DEC 26, 2003
4.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Pours a deep black color with some reddish hues. Almost no head that doesn't last anyways and has zero lacing. Aroma is malt, malt and more malt, some raisin and licorice. Taste is much of the same with notes of chocolate and vanilla. Body is quite heavy. This is much better at room temperature than even slightly chilled. Alcohol is much less apperent at warmer temperatures. Overall, a very nice beer, much better than most super high ABV beers.
haddon90 (1503) - Denver, Colorado, USA - DEC 25, 2003
4.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Deep black pour with a slim, thin tan head. Thick aroma. Licorice, malty, chocolate, among other things. Nice flavor. Lots of malt, alcohol, sweet. Lighter then the 23%. Very flavorful, great taste!
warrior (213) - Mt. Wolf, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 22, 2003
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
Aroma of licorice, some roast malt and molasses. I also get the alcohol in the aroma. Dark opaque has a small tan head that lingers. Huge malt with chocoalte and some roasted malt flavors. The malt flavor is not syrupy sweet because the alcohol content helps thin the beer. I can definately tell it has a high alcohol content but would never have guessed it to be close to 19%. This is an excellent and very flavorful beer. I have to rate this right up there with Sam Smih's Imperial but on a different level. Tidiaguy I couldn't wait till Christmas eve I had to try it tonight!