markgugs (86) - Wood Ridge, New Jersey, USA - FEB 20, 2008
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 13/20
12oz. bottle served in a pint glass, thanks to alexgash for the trade (consumed: 2/14/08)
A: Pours an extremely murky mahogany, like a stirred up river bed. Small 1-finger white head that bubbles up then disappears rather quickly. Reminds me of a glass of sweet tea.
S: Pretty much the only part of the beer I was disappointed in, as there wasn’t too much of a hop profile. Almost all aromas were of the roasted malts variety, complemented by some nutty scents.
T/M: Wow, this is so well-balanced right off the bat, it’s delicious! There is ample bittering from the hops, definitely more maltiness than most IPAs, as I guess clearly indicates this being from the English style family. There is a solid moderate bread flavor in the middle, before giving way to an extremely piney bitter finish. The beer itself is so creamy and has a nice oily texture to it. Very nice.
D: Wonderful beer, very easy to drink, I was surprised to see that it was 7% ABV, because it sure doesn’t seem like it. Recommended!
Hudspart (538) - Byron Center, Michigan, USA - FEB 16, 2008
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle: I thought that this was a pretty good IPA, although the flavor was a little more like a good Pale Ale. Aroma and flavor of citrus.
auerbrau (3203) - Ithaca, New York, USA - FEB 1, 2008
3.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 11/20
12 oz Bottle. A quieted hop sugar aroma, glowering with lemons and spice marinade. Nice and nuanced. Piney. A decent aroma. Pours this side of ruddied amber, with a silken draping of birch. Flavor is surprisingly boring. There’s a cracker-like malt sweetness, running amongst a nip of honey and sherry. Heat. Hops run away in fright. Where did the hops and bitterness go? This has a humulus profile of a APA or an aged Barleywine. Fresh tasting at least. Earthy. Thin and soapy. Meh.
crizay (1050) - Brook Park, Ohio, USA - JAN 2, 2008
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Thanks a lot MikeTD. Hazy dark copper almost mahogany pour, big white head that stays. Aroma is sweet, toasty and citrus hops with lots of caramel. Taste is lots of sweet caramel malts, some fruits like berries and apples with more sugary sweetness. Citrus hops with a very cloying sticky sweetness in the aftertaste. Really is a malt bomb and completely overides the hops to basically make this a barley wine. Boozy taste with more barley wine aggresive maltiness. Doesn’t taste bad but where did the hops go.
boboski (1095) - Alabama, USA - DEC 22, 2007
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 12/20
Very dark, cloudy mahogany pour, very appealing. Thick, light tan head, heavily lacing, very slowly diminishing. The nose is mild, with equal parts toasty grains and a combination of earthy and raw citric hoppiness. Mild floral and herbal notes grace the edge of each strong inhalation. The aroma is partitioned on the back side by toffee and breadiness. Rustic sweetness and whole grain notes lead in the flavor, the fore bearing high sweetness and little bitterness. Hops are mild to moderate, gathering at the sides and back of the tongue and culminating in earthy bitterness with hints of grapefruit rind and orange. The flavor is very buttery and hints at diacetyl, though I think it’s just an interesting malt expression. Malt supercedes hoppiness throughout each sip, and only in a mildly bitter finish do hop oils congregate at a strengthened quotient. Overall, the flavor isn’t impressive or memorable but for it’s unique approach to the style. The mouthfeel is creamy, light-medium to medium bodied and oily. Carbonation is medium and soft. Above average but mostly due to a creative stance.
jujubeast6000 (854) - Houston, Texas, USA - OCT 29, 2007
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
(Sampler @ Dragonmead Brewery, Warren, MI): Clear brown color. Small head, whitish. Hoppy aromaj some grapefruit. Not too strong. Hoppy sweet nutty taste, balanced. Slight bitter aftertaste. Tasty but a little sour.
jpm30 (1587) - East Central, Georgia, USA - OCT 26, 2007
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
12 oz. bottle, no freshness date, sampled in a pint glass. I noticed at the updated Dragonmead website that the description for Crown Jewels has been dropped and this is listed under the American Ale section.
Poured a cloudy tarnished orangey copper with a large frothy pale tan head, good retention, small amount of ringed laced sticking.
A nice hoppy nose of grapefruit rind and oily orange, a bit flowery at the edges. Light malty backing, traces of buttery biscuits and caramel toffee.
Textured mouthfeel, airy creaminess along with an oily slickness on the tongue. The malts play a larger role in the taste than in the aroma, sweet caramel and a buttery grainy biscuit. The hops are mild with a softly tingling bitterness, floral oily leaves and freshly squeezed oranges, hints of pulp and rind. Herbal oils and sour orange accompanied the sugary maltiness in the finish. The alcohol takes on the hop flavors, implanting a low grade warmth in the palate.
A pleasant, easy sipping IPA, another good brew from Dragonmead.
SpudClampDawg (1029) - Jasper, Indiana, USA - OCT 25, 2007
2.4 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 1/5 OVERALL 10/20
12 oz. bottle: This beer may be getting a bit buggy as the three bottles I have tried have all poured with a tremendous amount of carbonation. The body does settle down over time, but the super spitzy carbonation creates an unappealing mouthfeel. Almost like drinking overcarbonated Coke. When the giant head does settle, a clear amber beer with a creamy cap remains. The aroma is a bit flat, with sweet citrus and caramel malts mixed together. The body offers only an average bitterness, with a slight sour tinge in the finish. This is OK, but really sinks in the sea of great IPAs these days.
jcr (2544) - Jasper, Indiana, USA - OCT 19, 2007
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
After drinking dozens of American IPAs that are filled with citrusy hops, this IPA is refreshingtly different. It is a sweet IPA balanced with floral hops. Murky copper pour with a pleasing, big off-white head. Aroma of flowers and caramel. with the slightest hint of citrus and pine. The flavor is mostly sweet and balanced by a light to moderate bitterness. Medium to full body. Minimal carbonation. Somewhat sticky body. Long finish of floral hops and caramel sweetness. Well balance and nicely crafted.
iowaherkeye (2703) - Ocean Beach, San Diego, California, USA - OCT 9, 2007
2.7 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 10/20
Notes from heemer77’s January ’07 tasting. Hazy orange caramel with a moderate yellow light beige head. Aroma had an odd plastic aroma (like that of the El Toro Stout), perfumey and floral hops, and some toffee. Flavor had big bitterness and some strong perfumey hops, and fairly astringent. Light to medium body, moderate carbonation. So-so.