Bov (9371) - Bienne, SWITZERLAND - JUL 2, 2003
3.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 13/20
very dark brown colour, almost no foam, roasted black chocolate aroma, strong notes of portwine, nougat, gingerbread and wood; incredibly oily and very sweet, some finishing bitterness, explosive and deeply warming alcohol finish, long dry and very sugary aftertaste - The alcohol is so present that I would believe it if the label would say: 35% - confusing and unbalanced, the 18% version was much better; interesting experience anyway
DJMonarch (9159) - Northwich, Cheshire, ENGLAND - MAR 14, 2006
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle (small sample) at the GABF, Colorado Convention Center 01/10/2005
Black and extremely strong in alcohol. Crisp on the palate. Slightly dry lasting finish.
hopscotch (8915) - Vero Beach, Florida, USA - JAN 4, 2003
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: AUG 18, 2003 The aroma is more smoky than I remembered it being the first time around. The 23% ABV is very well hidden. Cloyingly sweet, though. Still, a great sippin', "knock-you-on-your-ass" stout.
hopdog (8823) - Lansdale, Pennsylvania, USA - JUN 5, 2004
4.1 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Poured with almost no head, dark black color. Aromas of chocolate, coffee, dark fruits, maple syrup, and alcohol. Tastes sweet and syrupy with a moderate alcohol (but no where near the 23%) finish. Not a beer you can drink fast - one to sit down, sip and enjoy.
jtclockwork (8047) - , New Jersey, USA - MAY 9, 2010
3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 3/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
While I appreciate the impressive alcohol content, this one was more bourbon than beer. Some vanilla and dark fruits. Lots of alcohol. Good sipping beer, but I’ve had much better imperials. Rated 2/6/03
3fourths (7888) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - JUN 27, 2003
2.9 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 13/20
UPDATED: OCT 10, 2013 Black. Brown head. Very potent aroma of wine, bourbon, cherries and wood. Rich flavors, very thick drink. Alcohol is covered suprisingly well, but this one is just too rich to drink the whole 12oz bottle in one sitting. RE-RATE: I must up the flavor and overall points. I "aged" this one quickly... basically let it sit out on my desk for 2 months... and holy crap did the flavors improve... rich, chocolatey coffee flavor and amazingly smooth.
JorisPPattyn (7820) - Antwerpen, BELGIUM - OCT 3, 2003
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
(draught !) Jet-black, slim brown head. Roasted, grilled bacon, BBQ and soy sauce for a nose. Impossible to write or explain, but you can both SMELL sweet and bitter. This is a quite sweet stout tastewise. Saying it's a very strong one is as forcing open doors, but that's the problem. It's got a rosewater flavour, so sweet it's made lopsided. Still a superb beer, but I prefer the 18%. Mouthfeel: well. Liquified coffee-flavoured pudding with a dash of soy sauce. How DOES that feel? OK - there's alcoholburn. Huge.
MartinT (7760) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - JAN 12, 2003
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
1st half of bottle : A fierce alcohol pendulum swings steady throughout as ashes, bananas and plums gravitate around...With belligerent oppression, it rules the day just like most clocks do with our lives...A thin, feeble simulacra of the 18%...
2nd half of bottle : A galvanic chocolate cream, emboldened by a now philanthropic alcohol, churns the palate to revival and, very soon, fondness...Prunes emerge, macerating in a sticky treacley bitterness, to offer sanative care and aphrodisiacal heat...A utopian world with no hierarchy...Rating is an average of both glasses...
DocLock (7745) - Lower Pottsgrove, Pennsylvania, USA - APR 16, 2004
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Pours very black and syrupy. Huge aromas of port, molasses, cognac, prunes. Tastes thick, malty, super complex, and alcoholic. Finishes with a heavy complexity that involves licorice, cognac, port, coffee, prunes, and molasses. A very nice beer, but at small quantities.
Dogbrick (7687) - Columbus, Ohio, USA - FEB 17, 2003
4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Thanks to Trappist for sending me a couple bottles of this. First of all, do NOT gulp this beer. It is definitely a sipping beer. I literally coughed after taking a normal drink. Pours pitch black with a very thin beige head and thin lacing. Aroma is sweet with sherry or port wine qualities, along with some malt and alcohol. Flavor really packs a wallop. Sugary sweetness eventually matches stride with the strong malt, dark fruit (raisins), and alcohol flavors with which you start out. With all this, it still manages a somewhat dry and bitter finish. While this beer is complex it is still a little unbalanced, but what can you expect from a 23%ABV beer. It is probably impossible to mask such a high level. A strange but good brew. I look forward to trying the 18% version.