Blockhead (11) - USA - JAN 25, 2004
2.8 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 10/20
Ok, you don't know me, so my opinion is just that, another opinion. However, I will assure you that I am very well versed in beer, particularly stouts. A buddy and I got our local beer retailer to get this brew and we were quite excited. I've been waiting many years to find it, and was surprised that we were finally going to be able to try it. We paid $7 a beer (we split a case). We each went home and simultaneously took our first swig while on the phone so we could immediately compare notes. We eached swigged and there was a long silence. It's obvious that lots of time and effort went into this beer. TONS of flavor. Unfortunately, even the 18% makes one wonder if we had inadvertently picked up someone else's half-drunken beer that someone had dumped their unwanted bourbon into. Sorry fellas, the alcohol content overwhelms every good aspect of this beer. The nose is alcohol, the first taste is alcohol and the after taste is alcohol. Might as well just drink a nice scotch instead. two thumbs down. For the life of us we can't figure out what all the hype is about. Even worse than Belzebuth, which is just simplu undrinkable.
Darkover (1534) - Columbus, Ohio, USA - JAN 23, 2004
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
2003 version: Very black with a small brown head. Aroma of alcohol and some roastiness. Flavor of sweet dark fruits and alcohol. I liked the 23% version much better.
bu11zeye (12517) - Frisco (Dallas), Texas, USA - JAN 22, 2004
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
(Bottle, 2003 Version) Pours a black color with a small tan head. Had a rich aroma with flavors of roasted chocolate, alcohol, and coffee. Very thick and heavy, but alcohol is covered up nicely for a 36 proof beer.
crazyvin (2026) - New York, USA - JAN 22, 2004
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
2003 version- very dark and heavy beer! Has a rich aroma both sweet with alcohol and roasted chocolate. Taste was a mix of alcohol, coffee notes chocolate and hops. very enjoyable
TheRimmer (483) - Florida, USA - JAN 17, 2004
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
I was apprehensive about trying this due to the ABV. i thought it'd be too much for a beer. in a way it was. the aroma was alcohol, i got very faint malt sweetness out of it. the initial taste was incredibly sweet and filled with potent raisins. the finish i wish was more complex. it was nothing but alcohol, much like sniffing a vodka bottle, that kind of sensation. Due to its potency i really didnt find much going on, the flavors are overpowered by the intense alcohol. however i think they did a marvelous job at controlling the alcohol tastes as i was able to drink this without gagging. very port like, yet still remains very beer like. I'm still not sure where i really stand on this. If you want a decent buzz, drink one of these.
ztrvz (218) - st paul, Minnesota, USA - JAN 16, 2004
4.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
i've wanted to try this for a while, and i had to come to FL to get it. it's, really, everything i expected and maybe more. rich, dark caramelly odor, some coffee and chocolate. initially very sweet and a tad burnt, then the bubbles start to tickle your tongue. an incredibly long complex finish assaults your palate. there's just enough bitterness to offset the sweetness. you can't really taste the alcohol, but you can feel it in your esophagus (and i could see it upsetting any ulcers one might have). i'm glad to make this #100.
JMerritt (1921) - 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 (3374) - 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!!!