Kathy (241) - Washington DC, USA - AUG 21, 2002
3.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 11/20
Had this at a wonderful (REALLY WONDERFUL) little restaurant in Toronto during the RateBeer weekend in Toronto. Smokeless Joe’s (Joe was kind enough to open for lunch just for us!). The heady (and obliterating) aroma of garlic mussels in the background overwhelmed the aroma of the beer. This beer needs to warm a bit. When it does, it has a warm, rich, slightly fruity aroma that came through the garlic. The flavor is a little fruity with some malt character, but hops are defintely there, too. The flavor gets fruitier as it warms, and it’s pleasant and inviting. The palate isn’t very complex. It’s good, but there’s not really much to it.
argo0 (11077) - Washington DC, USA - JUL 22, 2002
2.8 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 11/20
UPDATED: OCT 16, 2003 (bottle) Hazy amber with off-white head. Aroma is grapefruit, lemon, biscuit, and cookie dough. Taste is grapefruit but not really bitter, some misplaced caramel sweetness. Slightly chalky mouthfeel, light/medium body. (RBSG02 (draft))Filtered copper. Nice balanced beer, malty with pleasant bitter finish. Definitely a good session beer (6/3/6/3/12).
Gusler (2653) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - JUN 1, 2002
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
’Bless the Beer Gods’, and ’OAKES’ for the chance to sample this most rare brew, Clear amber in color, the head minimal, the lace light, the nose is malt, earthy. Front is sweet, top light, minimal carbonation, lightly hopped, different it ’TIS’.
Oakes (11031) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - MAY 11, 2002
3.5 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Durham’s first bottled beer - I had this on cask a few times and gave it a 2.4, but figured it was worth the shot if for no other reason that to supply my thirsty beer-loving bretheren in AZ and Stockholm. They only sell this is three Toronto stores, only one of which was near my house. So I went there and they had but 7 sixers - one of which had a broken bottle, rendering it and its neighbours the ’soggy bottom boys’. I thought I was going to be living a life of constant sorrow, but thankfully the others were fine. I got it home, set aside the three I would actually be allowed to drink myself and got to business. The pour was disconcerting - no foam. Where’s the carbonation? Does their new bottling line not work properly? Oh no, I was mistaken. One sip and I realized what they’d done. This was cask ale in a bottle. Yes it is filtered, but this had the perfect cask ale mouthfeel that they’d achieved by restraining the CO2 - a trick I’ve used as a homebrewer for Sleeping Village Mild (and inevitably causes consternation for judges who don’t get what I’m trying to do - MILD SHOULD NOT BE FIZZY, DUMBASSES!) But I digress, gone are the minerally overtones that have impeded this brew before and the fresh, crisp hoppiness, perfect mouthfeel and beautifully balanced malts are doing their thing like Durham’s never shown me before. It isn’t a particularly assertive beer, but neither is it timid. It’s the kind of straighforward beer that looks at you funny if you try to sniff it and analyze it. Unspectacular, but a session pint I’ll be returning to again and again.
daboskabouter (1470) - Fergus, Ontario, CANADA - JAN 3, 2002
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Golden color, a little head. Some sweet hop aroma, a little bit of sweet caramel like tastes. Starts very nice, ends a bit watery.