northropfrye (2600) - Steinbach, Manitoba, CANADA - AUG 15, 2011
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Bottle. Faint chocolatey aroma. Oily texture. Dark reddish-brown colour. Faintly sweet chocolate and vanilla mocha taste. Not bad.
troyc (2870) - Illinois, USA - JUL 18, 2011
3.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 13/20
[Tap] Part of a sampler at Lazlo’s in Omaha. Aroma of vanilla, hazelnut and espresso. The taste is of molasses, milk chocolate, vanilla and even some light bourbon. Chalky mouthfeel and lingering sweet vanilla notes. Very little hop contribution here. A bit watery and on the thin side. Not bad overall.
sthlm (1246) - Minnesota, USA - MAY 11, 2011
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
[Bottle] Pours dark brown with a tan head. Aroma is very hard to pick up when cold, but when it warms, toasted malt and brown sugar come out. I actually really enjoyed it, except for the fact that there were also some vegetal notes that showed up from time to time. Taste is really weak, but there is vanilla, a very subdued chocolate, with some caramel like candy, and surprisingly restrained deeply roasted malt at the end. Medium-thin mouthfeel, finish length is above average. Overall, a difficult one to rate, because it doesn’t impress, but it isn’t bad either. It just is one of those middle of the road, to slightly below average beers that doesn’t stand out in any way.
adnielsen (10037) - Fort Collins, Colorado, USA - MAR 25, 2011
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
On tap @ Great River Iowa City. Dark brown appearance with a brown head. Light vanilla and light toasty malts in the nose. Delicious vanilla bean flavor on a smooth porter body. The vanilla is done well which is appreciated.
MaltOMeal (1092) - Land of Sugar, Texas, USA - FEB 22, 2011
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
bottle. Pours black with a tan head. Nose is of coffee and vanilla. Taste is of coffee, vanilla and ash. Mouthfeel is thin. ok, but not great.
jake65 (2881) - Boise, Idaho, USA - FEB 1, 2011
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Black Hills Beer Fest - Dark brown pour with a small tan head. Aroma is smooth with roast, espresso, and chocolate. Tastes heavier in the roast with light espresso and modest chocolate. Very light vanilla. Nice amount of bitters.
FlacoAlto (3838) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - JAN 31, 2011
3.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Best by January 2011; Sampled January 2011
A vigorous pour into my Lost Abbey Teku glass produces a four-finger thick, lightly brown tinged, tan colored head. The beer is a deep, dark brown color that shows a brilliantly clear, ruby-brown hue when held up to the light. Up front the beer smells of smooth roasted whole grain, a dark brown toasted bread character and even some coffee leaning roast notes towards the finish. I can’t say that I get much in the way of vanilla in the nose, but the rich, toasted, whole grain character that this beer achieves is quite appetizing. Wait, there was a little something fleeting there that made me think of Bourbon, it disappeared pretty quickly, but I do believe it was some vanilla peaking through; in fact my nose just needed to adjust to the dark grain character as the vanilla is now easily noticeable.
Sweet tasting up front with a sweet accenting vanilla flavor to it, as the beer rolls across the tongue the beer dries out with an ample burnt, roast grain character (that can be a touch acrid and definitely bitter) as well as an almost creamy textured, vanilla infused flavor that lingers on the tongue for quite some time. The vanilla in the finish competes with the roast bitterness; at times it is more dominant and at others it is the opposite. A light carbonation tickles the tongue as the beer rolls through my mouth, the body of this beer is fairly light given the sweetness and I think much of this is because the vanilla accentuates the sweetness that is here. A touch of hop character in the finish contributes to some of the bitterness, but this is certainly not a hop focused beer. Somehow the vanilla character in the finish can come off as being manufactured, though I am not exactly sure why. Roasted malt notes remind me of slightly acidic, richly roasted coffee and toasted / burnt whole grain bread; the roasted character definitely plays a secondary role to the vanilla though.
Not bad, perhaps a touch simplistic as the vanilla really dominates the flavor of this beer; if you really like vanilla and you like coffee then this will likely be a flavor profile that you enjoy.
Strykzone (5501) - Wood River, Illinois, USA - JAN 11, 2011
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
An ESBLS tasting. Smoky coffee aroma is nice and rich. Feel is on the thin side. Coffee and rich chocolate cocoa flavor. Vanilla came later. Very nice after warming. Quite tasty!
j12601 (7700) - Poughkeepsie, New York, USA - DEC 13, 2010
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle. Pours a deep chocolate black with a medium sized beige head. Coffee, chocolate, and roast. Vanilla notes show up a bit later as it warms. Medium bodied, light vanilla flavors, sweet chocolate and roast. Toast with some sweet caramel and light roast on the finish.
FreshHawk (596) - Iowa City, Iowa, USA - DEC 9, 2010
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
UPDATED: DEC 18, 2010 Bottle.
A - Deep mahogany brown, nearing black, with ruby hues. Good sized, sticky, full, creamy, frothy, light beige head. Not quite meringue-like, but close. Average retention leaving a thin speckled layer of lace.
S - Strong vanilla along with plenty of coffee. Lightly burnt malt. Bitter coffee and dark bitter chocolate. Some sweet creaminess and caramel. It alters from sweet vanilla coke like aroma and bitter chocolate/coffee.
T - Watered down, coffee grounds are a lot of the flavor. A lot of vanilla also comes out. Hints of chocolate in the back, and some lightly roasted malt. Some sweet caramel and creaminess. A little cloying.
M - Light body with average carbonation. Sticky and thin mouthfeel.
D - A little too sweet to be too drinkable. Not great coffee flavor either.
Notes: I had somewhat high hopes, and the description sounded nice. Unfortunately once I started drinking it, I was slightly let down. Strong vanilla and coffee, but it was not necessarily great flavors from those. Also lacks a bit of that roasted flavor. Not bad, but not great either, and it could have been much better.