FaithHealer1 (358) - - NOV 3, 2012
4.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: MAY 23, 2013 Bottle from Beer Ritz. Pours a pitch black, with half a finger of dark tan head. Aroma is a lot of ginger (Fentimans Ginger Beer), gingery cake, a bit of cinnamon. It gave me flashbacks to International Arms Race, and set me up for a disappointment. Taste came as a wonderful surprise. Rich sweet barleywine malt, coffee, chocolate, liquorice, a little bit of spice (from the ginger and chipotle?) and a tiny hint of raspberry. Sweet upfront, but a nice coffee bitterness and a little (but genuine) spiciness, tempered with a touch of alcohol heat balances it really nicely. Complex as hell. To answer gyllenbock’s question "Who buys this junk?" (not entirely sure what he’s looking for - this has complexity by the barrel, and is maturely made and tasty as hell), I do. And I f*cking love it.
cagou007 (346) - FRANCE - FEB 6, 2015
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Pours deep brown with no head. Nose is hazelnut, chocolate and caramel. Aromas are roasted malts, chocolate, caramel, with spices (especially ginger of course). Oily texture, no carbonation. Surprisingly dry finish, with spices and sweet chocolate.
Alengrin (2742) - BELGIUM - FEB 6, 2015
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
The eleventh issuing in this fascinating series, intended to exalt the art of brewing to its purest form. Three year old vintage bottle - of which the synthetic cork was very hard to remove. The front label is as concise as it is powerful, with the letters in relief. Very dark mahogany brown colour with a ’black soul’ but transparent on the edges; negligible head, all I got (with forcing) was a very thin, yellowish beige rim around the glass and a thin, discontinuous veil over the rest of the liquid’s surface. Powerful, enticing, unusual and complex bouquet of sweets and spices; the first thing which jumps to your nose, is the ethereal, unmistakable smell of (actual) dried ginger, after which all kinds of less volatile odours of chocolate sauce, meat broth, fish sauce, hazelnut oil, exotic peppers, crème de cassis, very old madera, tea, paprika, India ink, curry, leather, vanilla, basil, diluted coffee and, last but certainly not least, soy sauce rise up from the glass. The taste is equally intense and equally complex, candied sweetness and syrupy chocolate sauce at first, somewhat tart presence of the blackcurrant, but most strikingly: spices immediately present, as well as the kind of soy sauce saltiness which typifies yeast autolysis in old dark beers, but not too disturbing here. Smooth and thick, deeply (and genuinely) caramelly and chocolatey, oily maltiness follows, supple with a soft, low carbonation but some delicate tingling still there. The added spices become increasingly stronger towards the finish, with a retronasal effect of - you guessed it - dried ginger but also a drying effect I remember from beers heavily spiced with coriander seed; the peppers add a touch of heat, some peppery hops support this and blend in nicely, and a warming, quite strong, liqueurish alcohol effect further dried the throat. Result: a sweet onset, full malty and spicy middle phase and very long, dry, bitterish, (perhaps too) alcoholic and very spicy, warming finish leaving you in a state of wonder and respect. Maltiness lingers on with a roasted bitter touch, but nothing coffeeish as e.g. a heavy stout would have. Unfortunately, the saltiness was the last impression in the mouth, which did put me off a bit. The spiciness also becomes somewhat too intense in the end - I think the combination of ginger and hot peppers is just a bit over the top, though I cannot but sympathize with this kind of boldness when it comes to making arty craft beers... I can’t help feeling a bit privileged to be able to taste this rare bottle (n° 9366 of only 9819 total) and I must say it was an exciting experience. Not something to simply drink, but something to savour and contemplate over carefully (this is mighty strong even for a barley wine), like anyone with good taste - and I’m not saying this applies to myself - would treat an old single malt. Liquid art indeed and absolutely inspiring if you’re a true beer afficionado, like most of Brewdog’s most elusive brews. But something in my head tells me this behemoth was a bad choice to start a tasting session with...
Florya (527) - Bergen, NORWAY - JAN 12, 2015
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
How: Bottle Appearance:dark brown, no head Aroma: ginger, spice, booze, caramel.. Palate: full body, thick texture, low carbonation.
yngwie (14628) - Kristiansand, NORWAY - DEC 28, 2014
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle. It’s a dark brown beer topped by a few beige bubbles. The aroma has ginger, roasted malts and a touch of other spices. Licorice, brown sugar and some vegetable hints. There’s some chili burn in the mouth, it’s full-bodied and warming, with an oily feel. Not much carbonation going on. Roasted malts, coffee hints, beef stock, some oxidation, a touch of berries and chili. Well, more vegetables than chili. Lasting finish. Nice this one, but very demanding to drink as it’s rather boozy and very full-flavored, on the dark side. 141228
Mr_Pink_152 (1333) - Lincoln, Lincolnshire, ENGLAND - OCT 19, 2014
3.5 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle (not numbered) from BrewDog nottingham. Dark almost black, little to no head. Not got the strong ginger aroma I expected, taste has liquorice, and starts with subtle ginger, but the ginger grows and grows. Maybe too much in the end.
tiong (4147) - Espoo, FINLAND - OCT 11, 2014
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottled 08/09/12, bottle #5707/9819 - Pours pitch black with no head. Aroma of ginger, cinnamon, spices, pepper, syrupy malts and berries. Taste is sweet, spicy and peppery with notes of berries, syrupy malts, ginger and cinnamon. Finish is warming with peppery notes, sweet and syrupy with some spices, ginger and cinnamon. Spicy and sweet barley wine with a touch of berries and chipotle. A bit weird, but quite interesting.
laiti (6258) - Helsinki, FINLAND - OCT 11, 2014
3.4 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
37,5 cl bottle @ lusikka. Bottle #5707/9819, bottled 08.09.2012
Aroma has ripe fruits, licorice and some raisins. Feels somewhat sweet. Flavour is rather spicy with peppery tones, chili, ripe fruits and some licorice. Herbal tones take over at the end of the glass. A spicy christmas brew but more strong than the usual suspects. Does not work for me.
MannyGoldberg (164) - The big bad LDN, Greater London, ENGLAND - OCT 8, 2014
2.3 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 9/20
Bottle at home 7th October 2014. Pours jet black with no head. Fruit and chilli totally overpowered by the ginger. Nice idea but doesn't work.
---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone
gad905 (197) - London, Greater London, ENGLAND - SEP 7, 2014
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle purchased 18 months ago at BD Birmingham. Hazy dark brown pour with barely discernible head, some UFOs/bits of barrel. Aromas of Christmas cake, caramel, ginger, dark dried fruit, tart berries, licorice, smoke. Slightly boozy still. Rich dark caramel sweetness, licorice, prunes, chipotle smoke and a touch of heat rears its head. Lots of ginger and more dark spices, cloves. Still some acidity from the fruit, and a little bitterness on the end. Full bodied, sticky, almost completely flat. This beer’s mellowed out nicely with age, for sure. It’s still boozy but also surprisingly easy-drinking
OleR (4802) - Oslo, NORWAY - JUL 10, 2014
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
A small big-bubbled ashy blond head, covering an unclear deep burgundy body. Mild ginger and chili tones hit the nose at first, then a whiff of rounded alcohol-soaked dark malts. Hint of fruity acidity. Full body. Thick, juicy and warming mouthfeel. Taste has a refined malt-sweetness, nicely balanced by the subtle ginger and chili additions. No disturbing alcohol. Nice spicy malt finish. A fully balanced and elegant BW. Nice sipper. [Corked and wired half champagne-sized bottle from Vinmonopolet Nettbutikk. Cellared for a year, enjoyed at home]