brewandbbq (269) - Manchester, New Hampshire, USA - JAN 16, 2009
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
A vertical tasting of vintages 2003, 2004, 2006, and 2008.
The 2003 and 2008 were sampled together, and the 2004 and 2006 were sampled the following evenings.
Vintage 2008 bottled on on 9/12/08.
Pours dark amber with a ruby hue. Clear body with a half inch head of off white. Some light rings of lacework after the short head fell, and a partial skim coat remained on the surface for the duration.
Aromatics lead off with jammy malt, red and tropical fruits, and warming alcohol.
Peaches, apricots and melons lead the way for shadows of red grapes, cherries, and bourbon-spiked honey.
Sweetish and quite juicy.
On the thick side of medium bodied. Sticky and chewy mouthfeel. A bit light on the carbonation.
Sweet crystle malt, ripe fruit, fresh caramel, and a resinous bitterness start the palate. Warming alcohol steps forward as well as hints of caramel-candied apple, spruce dew, and candied figs.
Finishes with a lingering warmth, sustaining bitterness, and drawn-out sweet fruit.
A classic American strong ale that dances along the lines of a Barleywine.
Next up, a mini vertical with an aged example.
Pours cloudy, dark amber, with a half inch head of off white. A slow retreat revealed some spongy lacework and a few whisps on the placid surface.
Aromatics are heavy on the malt, with lots of wet leather, rotting cedar, wet paper, and Sherry. Very earthy and oxidized. Hops are not to be found, and the nose rounds out with hints of cocoa, cardboard, and dried earth.
Medium bodied, but very syrupy and chewy. A slick, tacky mouthfeel with subdued carbonation.
Stale malt, wet and dusty boards, worn leather, and earth-dusted chipped toffee start the palate. Oxidized Sherry steps forward as well as a warming boozy note and tannic caramel.
Finishes with a lingering dried earth note, dusty leather, stale malt, and old wood tinders.
Not a fan of the five year old DB.
Side by side with the 2008 freshie:
Wow, I wouldn’t believe that they were the same beer unless I poured it myself. The freshie is cleaner, infinately hoppier all around, and much brighter. The peaches and apricots really shine though when sided with the oldster DB.
Pours clear, dark amber with a two inch head of off white. Retention is moderate and theres some decent lacing after the fall.
Aromatics lead off with ripe, red fruits, sweet malt, and alcohol. Significantly more boozy than the 2003 or 2008.
Slightly vineous with hints of bourbon fusels, cherries, figs, and sherry.
On the thick side of medium bodied. Slightly syrupy and plenty slick.
Dark fruits, cherry-infused malt, and bourbon-spiked toffee start the palate. A mild throat burn quickly steps forward as well as a peppery warmth.
Finishes with lingering alcohol, sweet malt, and fading red fruits.
Hardly a trace of oxidation in the 2004, which makes it pretty amazing how quickly this beer goes off the deep end. Looks like four years in the cellar is the max for a Double Bastard.
Pours murky dark amber, with a one inch head of off white. A partial skim coat remained on the surface for the duration, along with some spotty lacework.
Aromatics lead off with dry, papery malt, caramel, toffee, earthy cedar, and a trace of cocoa. Warming alcohol follows through along with wet cardboard.
On the thick side of medium bodied and chewy. A creamy and somewhat syrupy mouthfeel.
Drying malt, caramel dust, and hints of cocoa, nougat, and wet boards start the palate.
Dark fruits, warming alcohol, and an approachable biterness follow through.
Finishes with lingering cardboard-infused malt, stale chocolate, and a drying bitterness.
The 2004 was remarkable and somehow far superior to the 2006. Zero oxidation and was clearer in the glass.
I’d like to think that the perfect amount of time for DB in the cellar is four years if you use the 2004 as a benchmark. The 2006 disproves this though.
Vintages in order of best to worst:
Note: All were stored in the cellar on thier sides for the duration, and the 2006 was very close to the 2003 in last place.
kingaugusta (49) - Georgia, USA - NOV 30, 2015
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
deep copper amberwith a fairly frothy light brown head. nose is potent West Coast hopswith a touch of barley sweetness.this beer is aggressive as advertised with tons of hop bitterness balanced against a big sticky barley malt. alcohol is well hidden. A very well made American barleywine
Ahuth (110) - - NOV 27, 2015
3.1 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Bottled. Pours nice dark copper. Has a nice dark Ale taste. The only thing I don’t like is the alcohol aftertaste other then that it is a great beer.
chriszfat (52) - Lake stevens, Washington, USA - NOV 27, 2015
2.7 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 7/20
Pours dark amber and big lasting head. Smell is sweet and boozy. Isn’t as horid as I was expecting. Drinks mild but finishes big and boozy and too sweet.
Smithld1 (75) - Greater London, ENGLAND - NOV 27, 2015
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Not entirely sure why they sell these in such big bottles. Slightly irresponsible I would suggest . Luckily I’m already on the sofa. Raisiny , pruney, very alcoholic. Slight chocolate. Intense. I can’t argue with this beer, one winner.
Troupis (138) - - NOV 26, 2015
4.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Intense! Holy mother. I wish I had the regular bastard to compare as it feels somehow even stronger. Simple palate but complex taste. Not for anyone but the most ready for extreme beers.
---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone
jesperhammer (3720) - Copenhagen, DENMARK - NOV 23, 2015
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
20-NOV-2015, bottle (best before 2014) @Erik, from Systembolaget somewhere, thx.:-)
Murky, brown’ish, tan head.
All the American Strong Ale characteristics. Pine, grape fruit, caramel, almost roasted, fruity. Sweet, bitter. Clearly not fresh but still very tasty:-)
MaBeer1972 (1564) - Taunton, Massachusetts, USA - NOV 17, 2015
3.8 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle from Julio’s. A clear deep amber. Tan head that settles to a thin lace. Aroma of earthy sweet fruit. Alcohol is very well masked. Flavor is deep and complex. Well balanced bitterness and very smooth drinking. Notes of chocolate, prune, herbs, pine and coffee. Long lingering bitter finish.
Klimaet (978) - Aarhus N, DENMARK - NOV 17, 2015
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle @ Dangerous Bottleshares 1 Year Anniversary. Pours hazy reddish amber with a big offwhite head. Aroma is hoppy, sweet, caramel, malt, plums, vanilla, citrus. Taste is hoppy, fruity, bitter, malty, dark fruits.
RasmusOtt (1763) - Aarhus, DENMARK - NOV 17, 2015
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle @ Dangerous Bottleshares 1 year anniversary. Pours red amber with a beige head. Aroma has some rather big hoppy notes up front, behind that comes all the sweetness. Caramel, big fat sweet plums, deep malty profile and some weak vinous notes. The taste is hoppy with all of that big fat sweet fruity notes which leads to some vinous associations. Alcohol is quite present and the end is rather bitter from the hops. Yet this beer is a pleasure to sip but is indeed a mother drugger in terms of being intense.
smcniel24 (4) - Idaho, USA - NOV 15, 2015 does not count
4.9 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 20/20
One of my favorites! A bit pricey but occasionally worth it. Usually only a seasonal bear.