SubstanceT (1092) - Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - MAR 15, 2004
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: MAY 3, 2004 WOW dark with big late forming medium lasting brown rich head. The nose is full of alcohol and malts and hops present in the back. The taste is very alcoholy with lots of malts and hops. Very vaporish and exciting. The body is full and spicy and vaporish. Quite Good. Oh yeah
MAP (1133) - Lakewood, Ohio, USA - MAR 14, 2004
4.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Black oblivion for a color with a miniscule layer of head on top. The smell is not overly impressive, faint chocolate and sweetness of caramel. If you get past the alcohol presence, there is a little bit of coffee hiding behind it. Flavor is pretty smooth for what this is, notes of coffee that linger in your mouth and a bitterness that isnt to potent, but just enough to let the beer flow down easy enough for a heavy hitter. From what I remember from the 23%, this is much less brutal, so the complexity comes through in a more pleasant fashion.
drismyhero (815) - Tacoma, Washington, USA - MAR 10, 2004
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
I was a bit shocked to see this in my local grocery store, especially considering what I had to go through to get the 23%. This was definitely a more palatable beer than it's more potent cousin. Very thick vinous sweetness mixed with a not so burning alcohol combine to give a fairly smooth mouthfeel. Thick woody notes and a yeasty raisiny character lend quite a bit of interest to the burly malt, and the overall appeal of this beer just gives it more of a finished quality than the 23%. My only qualm here is that the aroma is just a tad on the alchoholic side, hinting to a much more alchoholic than flavorful beer...luckily misleadingly so.
jercraigs (9877) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - MAR 8, 2004
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: JAN 5, 2010 2009-01-05. Black body with a decent brown head that fades away. Alcoholic aroma, dark fruity malt character. Flavour is similar, rich dark malt is sweet with fruity overtones, alcoholic finish is warming. Smooth medium to full bodied palate is lightly carbonated. 7/4/8/4/17 - 4.0 2006 Vintage Bottle, courtesy HogTownHarry
March 2004. Most expensive beer I have bought so far I think and it was quite good but not great. Almost chocolatey aroma with hints of coffee (very very slight) and alcohol as well. Surpisingly smooth palate with the alcohol only really making an appearance in the back end and a startlingly quick warming of the throat. The high alcohol content is exquisitely hidden in the sweet maltiness of the flavour, some slight mocha notes and tiny hints of fruit. A very good beer but while the first was worth the price of admission I don’t know that I would pay full price to see the show again. 7/4/8/4/17 - 4.0 2003 vintage bottle.
fasteddieIX (55) - Rochester, New York, USA - MAR 6, 2004
4.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Pours a muddy black, reminiscent of mississippi mud. Hoppy aromas with a bit of burnt sugar, which is also present in the flavor, along with barley. A tad sweet for my tastes, but all around, a great beer for stout lovers.
whaleman (2178) - North Wales, Pennsylvania, USA - MAR 5, 2004
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: MAR 28, 2004 Opaque muddy black body with a very uniform silky tan head. Intense and mouth-watering nose of rum raisin, alcohol, coffee beans, and chocolate-covered strawberries. Flavor of fat juicy raisins, chocolate, raspberries, and cola. The alcohol is unbelievably well-masked. Mouthfeel is very full but includes a peculiar sugary fizz. This beer is like a killer dessert. Actually I've never had a dessert as good as this. A little more hop bitterness and slightly less residual sugar would elevate this beer to near perfection in my book.
PorterPounder (7432) - Tallahassee, Florida, USA - MAR 4, 2004
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: MAR 30, 2009 Rerate A bit too much sweetness this time around - still overall very solid though. Original 4.5 Just an all around, damn good stout. Black as night appearance with a tight off-white head. Sweet, licorice like aroma. Has elements of a port more than a beer. Flavor presents chocolate, chicory, licorice, and faint cherries. Mouthfeel is oh so smooth and pleasant - coats your mouth luxuriously. Gets better as it warms - a bit of nuttiness and cotton candy sweetness comes through in the finish. Worth the $7.49 a bottle.
Aurelius (5094) - Tallahassee, Florida, USA - MAR 4, 2004
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Raisinette extract aroma - chocolate, fruit, vanilla and alcohol. Coffee, fruit, chocolate, tangy acidity, medium sweetness, masks the ABV extremely well. Palate was burdensome for me -- tart fruit hung around too long. This is a fine brew. I think I would have liked more hopping, but I wouldn't turn down another glass.
johngalt1977 (3) - Slinger, Wisconsin, USA - MAR 4, 2004 does not count
4.8 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Pours thick as oil making no noise as it flows into the snifter. Very, very little head allows an explosion of bouquet. Smells like a raisin cooking in a frying pan with a little rum in the bottom. Beautiful. The sip rolls across the tongue, releasing that wonderful bouquet into my mouth and out my nose. The smooth, hot flavors of raisins and very ripe plums are simply round in the mouth.
Very good beer. Not one for every day, like a very fine wine.
FlacoAlto (4152) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - MAR 2, 2004
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Vintage Bottled 2003, Sampled February 2004
Pours a deep black color and is topped by a thin brown head. Strong aromas of fruit are stirred up as I pour this beer into my glass. When I go in for a deeper smell I get a strong aroma of alcohol on top. Underneath are roasted notes, and more plummy/ figgy / fruity notes, as well as some chocolate aromas, anise, and a sweet molasses note.
The beer has a pretty thin feeling to it as it first hits the front of my tongue, as I get a full amount in my mouth the viscosity of this beer is discovered. It is thick and coating in my mouth. It is fairly sweet with some strong malt flavors. The finish is lightly hot from all of the alcohol that is packed into this beer. It has a fairly muted roast character, a chocolate character is what comes through. There is a very fruity aspect to this beer that is evocative of a roasted/ caramelized/ concentrated/ condensed fig or plum.
Definitely interesting as a concept beer, but it is too much, or perhaps not enough, to drink, except perhaps on rare occasion. It is does have well integrated flavors with no jarring characteristics, even the evident alcohol is on par with the other flavors that are found in this beer. The intense fruity character was most surprising to me, I was not expecting such concentrated fruit flavors.