muzzlehatch (4829) - Beloit, Wisconsin, USA - DEC 8, 2005
3.4 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
22 oz bottle, about a year old, from Sams in Chicago (Dec 2004). Pours a light reddish gold, substantial head dying quickly to leave some creamy lacing...citrusy hops in the nose, bit of caramel, new leather, pine tar, fairly assertive but not particularly well blended....quite hoppy at the front, but large amounts of sweet citrus and more than a hint of syrupy honey keep it in check, as well as making for a somewhat cloying mouthfeel...still the hop level is pleasant, and it dries out enough at the end to provide a nice dried orangepeel citrusy tang...ehh, it’s decent enough.
MIBRomeo (2570) - Wisconsin, USA - NOV 20, 2005
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
brownish orangish color thick white head well laced. Hoppy aroma a bit stale some nice citrus and a good carmel w/ a twinge of alcohol. Palate is lightly creamy and well coated. Reminded me of a barley wine. Big malt taste some carmel and toffee a lightly bitter finish and a warm swallow. Pretty good stuff.
1FastSTi (3360) - Glendale, Wisconsin, USA - NOV 20, 2005
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pours to a deep brassy red colored body with a nice thin white head that’s bubbly and foamy. Excellent lacing. The aroma is citrusy and malty with sweet fruits. The flavor is a lemony malt with nice barley and light peanuts. Actually a nicely balanced and flavored brew. The palate is medium bodied with a nice carbonation and smooth mouthfeel. Very drinkable. Thanks Matt!
mreeves (276) - Sammamish, Washington, USA - NOV 14, 2005
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
A nice amberish beer. Very hoppy for a winter ale, but very tasty too. Definitely worth trying and having quite a bit of.
JahNoth (1039) - Rochester, New York, USA - NOV 11, 2005
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Very nice brew. Pours a dull amber in color wih decent white head and minimal lacing. Some tangerines and lemons in the aroma, along with a bit of dustiness. Lots of malts in the flavor, sticky sweet, plus the flavor of alcohol soaked lemons and oranges. The use of amarillos does not go unnoticed. Kind of reminds me of that frat boy punch where they soak the fruit in grain alcohol. Pretty good.
TChrome (1447) - Bedford, Texas, USA - NOV 10, 2005
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Beer pours nice reddish amber color with a well retained beige colored head. Aroma is sweet like caramel with a dash of vanilla also some hops in the background. Flavor begins with nice sweet malt accented by a bit of nuttiness, this flavor sensation is promptly gunned down in flames by a significant Cascade hop barrage. This is not necesarily a bad thing, and I think the finish is quite reminiscent of fresh Bigfoot. Why was this beer classed in English Strong? It seems much more of an American Strong to me.
Probiere (992) - Pennsylvania, USA - OCT 29, 2005
2.7 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 11/20
There was a sweet, candy sugar and caramel sweetness to this beer, but it was almost entirely overpowered (except when it warmed to near room temp) by the resiny hops. I have become really cynical of late about what seems to be a spate of beers of myriad styles all held to mediocrity by generous hopping with C hops. Seriously, people. If it’s an English Strong Ale, it isn’t cute or edgy or over-the-top to chuck Centennials or Cascades in it. It’s stupid, and it turns what could be any number of very pleasant beers into near-IPAs with clashing malt profiles. Suffice it to say, this beer with some milder English hops would have been a real treat. As it was, it took some serious concentration to finish the bottle. What malt notes I could find were of biscuit and weak sweetened tea.
porterdude (170) - Bellingham, Washington, USA - OCT 24, 2005
3.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Bottle. A clear copper colored pour, with a thin off-white head. A great aroma piney and citrusy hops. A sweet caramel malt flavor with a bit of roasted hints round out this beer. The hop/malt balance is a bit off, with the hops dominating this beer and making the roasted flavor of the beer a bit odd tasting, but otherwise a decent winter beer.
jimmack (1223) - Nutley, New Jersey, USA - OCT 11, 2005
3.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
22oz. bottle. Hazy amber color with a small beige head. Citrus hop aroma with a bit of pine. Flavor was a sort of dull version of the aroma. A bit hoppy with some biscuity malt.
willblake (2654) - Bel Air, Maryland, USA - OCT 10, 2005
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: MAR 13, 2006 10.09.05 Bomber, thanks to Glenn at HW open house. Aroma is amarillo and centennial and tea. Now, had I known this was an English strong and not an IPA I might have made more sense of the tea notes I was getting. Bitter and empty. Pineapple and pine. Oxidized to the brink of cardboard not a great mix with cat pee. Dry and stark. Reminds me of something from Rogue, but I can’t remember what.
Second attempt at this beer, strangely, also from Glenn at HWOH. This time, I loved it. I’m not sure if it’s a better bottle or if my palate has changed over the last six months, but I really enjoyed this. I hadn’t recalled having tried it in the past, so I took fresh notes:
Dark golden. Sweet, strawberries, wood, mulch. Is this a big ASA or mildly malted BW, I’m not sure. Very nice with excellent balance of sweet backbone and dry hopped goodness. Centennials stand out, amarillos are subdued. Lots of grapefruity citrus, some perfume. 7-4-8-4-16, previous score: 6-4-5-2-12. I wonder if the last bottle was a bad one.