JCW (1274) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - DEC 8, 2002
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
UPDATED: JAN 19, 2003 Drank this a cellar temperature. There was a pretty strong aroma of alcohol. It taste like combination of alcohol, malt and coffee. I"m not sure I"d call it beer, strong stuff to be sure.
Suttree (5130) - Knoxville, Tennessee, USA - DEC 8, 2002
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Drank at cellar temperature. Alcohol is apparent in the nose. It taste like, hmm - Take a quality port, mix with your favorite coffee, and add a touch of dark chocolate. Incidentally, I put the remainder back in the fridge and drank the next day (i.e. right now) and cold seems to mute some of the vinuosness and highlight the malt flavors. Non-playin’ grown up beer here.
Racegoer (352) - Indiana, Indiana, USA - DEC 8, 2002
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: DEC 31, 2003 12-08-02 & then updated on 2-21-03 Ok, we did a side by side by side tasting with 3 Floyds Dark Lord Imperial Stout ,WWS 18%, & WWS 23%,Insane alcohol, you can actually feel it going down,like liquid fire,coffee,cocoa, malt, lethal if taken in huge doses.I will say I thought 18% was a little bit better, only time will tell if this one improves.Vertical tasting (I have 5 bottles left) 12-31-03 its been a year since I had one of these and they have been aging in my cellar, they have mellowed nicely quite a significant change over the past year rich rudy robust coffee, chocolate covered cherries and molasses, warming and a perfect fit for the new year. and the alochol has subdued, Really I am amazed at the difference over last year's tasting, The 18% is still better and I have not yet had the 21% so I can't compare that one. Score improves from a 4.0 to the current one, can't hardly wait till next year! Recommended !
herbjones (742) - Orange, California, USA - DEC 7, 2002
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Big huge brew. On Tap at the strong ale fest 2002.Nose is a big malty brew with so much going on. More like a port than a beer. Great brew, huge potential not for the light of heart.
JohnC (3000) - Mission Viejo, California, USA - DEC 7, 2002
4.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
Enormous! on tap at the strong ale fest 2002. flavors of dark cherry, chocolate & port. Jet black w/ creamy mouthfeel.
apoptosis (1317) - Denver, Colorado, USA - DEC 6, 2002
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: APR 19, 2003 How can this be called a beer? It's unbelievable how well 23% alcohol is masked, but it's equally unbelievable how much sugar must be put into the wort. Definetly for dessert. Very heavy. Brown sugar, maple and coffee - but mostly molasses. Nice, very nice. I will buy more to keep around for special occasions, and when I want to sleep really well. If only it wasn't so syrupy and heavy.
notalush (4833) - Denver, Colorado, USA - DEC 6, 2002
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
UPDATED: JAN 4, 2009 [had again recently - soooo sweet - why did I love this so much back in the day?] The write up on this beer that I got from my beer dist. said that a bottle of this beer was 666 calories, which is so very fitting because if Satan drank beer, this would be it. This is more of a cross between a dessert wine and a chocolate liquor, but this is a good thing. Chocolate, brown sugar, molasses, coffee, with a dominant, syrup-sweetness, combine to make this beyond any ordinary beer. My girlfriend and I bought several bottles (at 7.99 a piece, but well worth it) and made the mistake of opening a bottle a piece. I sure hope we can finish them. I’m two-thirds done, and I feel dizzy. I’ve got two more bottles, and these suckers are getting set aside to age for a very special occassion.
UnionMade (621) - Connecticut, USA - DEC 5, 2002
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
It’s a six pack in a bottle! Reminds me very much of Samichlaus, perhaps a bit thinner. Alcohol is well hidden, although seems to bring forth a warmth in your stomach. Hints of wood, chestnut, milk chocolate, molasses, roasted coffee beans and caramel. I noticed that my eyes stung with an alcoholic burn when I exhaled through my nose taking a sip....I thought it was funny. I think beers like this are sort of gimmicky and a $9 bottle of beer is a little extravagant, but it’s fun to try, and share with a friend.
Dickinsonbeer (5077) - Hoboken, New Jersey, USA - DEC 4, 2002
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: APR 19, 2009 Poured very black- but not as dark as I expected actually. Starts off with a slight filmy head when it is chilled but vanishes quickly as it warms. Flavors change as the temp changed. I agree that this gets harder and harder to drink as it warms because the alcohol in the taste gets stronger, but more flavors appear after time. Syrupy molases, sugar, dates, rum, brown sugar- anything rediculously sweet si what this beer reminds me of. I think the sweetness and the alcohol blocks any hops that were added. After about 2/3 of a bottle i can feel it sitting very warmly in my stomach, as if I had just taken a couple shots of rum. It has a nice carbonation which lasts the entire time, however a longer lasting head would have ben neat. OK- it has been over an hour and i am almost 3/4 of the way done and although it is really good, I am not sure if i can finish it. Leaves a warm slightly burning sensationon my lips after each sip. Overall the alcohol is hidden quite well for such an extravagant beer, and I would have expected to notice more alcohol than I did, which is not to say it isnt apparent becuase it is- but Dogfish Head did a really nice job with this one. I like very exotic and experimental beers- and maybe next years version will be even stronger?- not sure if that is possible though. Excellent!
WISEGUY572 (1373) - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 4, 2002
5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
My first American perfect 5. I agree with Wakie that it is perhaps too intense. I found that a single 12 ounce bottle is meant to be shared with two or three friends, but not drunk by one person at one sitting. Is this beer or hoppy Kaluha? Screams of coffee, choclate, sweet dark roasted malt, kinds of hums about hops, and then slams you with a serious alcohol burn. The alcohol is probably necessary. I bet that it would not be possible to get such complex aromas and flavors to dissolve in a regular beer. I wonder how they kept the yeast from dying? Appearance is jet black, no more head than on a glass of Kaluha, sweet and syrupy thick, with more and more going on the longer it sits on your tongue. Of course if you try to drink the whole bottle you miss all this wonderful activity and end up giving the beer a lower score because it is, indeed, too hard to drink. The only thing you get out of the second half of the bottle is the remaining 333.3 calories. And enough alcohol to have a one-beer hangover.