JPDIPSO (4956) - Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, USA - JAN 18, 2005
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Deep oxidized copper color with a taller head for style that settles to a more typical lid of beige bubbles. Initial whiff after the pour revealed much medicine and band-aides to help the healing. A rest was given to let the volatiles hopefully escape. Much relief was found when the hospital wing was replaced with a fruit and flower stand. Mild rose, touch of pine and some dark berries lurk. Actually the aroma improves significantly from start to finish (from a 6 to an 8) Thin vale of lace on the side of the snifter. Light silk and oil feel, but a touch of acidity late leaves the mouth a bit scorched. Quite dry from the start. Dark heavy caramel mixes with marmalade and dry biscuits. Spice and hops hit in the finish along with a hint of sharp medicinal alcohol. Orange and lemon zest mingle with mace and white pepper. Very dry woody finish. As good as the barrel aged? No, at least not yet. The bottle I had had that was barrel aged was a couple years old and this was bottled just two months ago. I can see this one mellowing quite well. Plus, if no barrel aging mean we get more of this in the midwest, iím all for it. Sorry barrel aging geeks.
JoeMcPhee (8063) - Toronto, ON, Ontario, CANADA - JAN 16, 2005
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Just realized upon purchasing a bottle of batch 4, that this rating is for batch 5, so Iíve put it where it belongs. Garnet red colour with a huge lasting creamy pale yellow head and very sticky lace. Sweet malty aroma, orange, caramel, biscuity malt with a nice brandy like aroma. Flavour is also sweet and malty. Quite vineous. Orange and spicy malt are apparent before the bright and intense hopping starts to come out with pine, resin, and spice being noted. Very well-balanced with a long sticky finish that reminds me of brandy or sherry. As it warms there is even more maltiness, light molasses and brown sugar. Very complex and delicious, like a fine sherry. Warming ABV is noted as well. Sublime.
3fourths (7537) - Boulder, NEW ZEALAND - JAN 14, 2005
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
12oz bottle. Slightly murky dark red color. Hot and hoppy only 1 month from being bottled, when sampled in December 2004. Nose is similar to a fresh Bigfoot but not as intense with the hops. Some plum and wood and caramel in the aroma. Flavor is a light mixture of nutty fruit and semi-sweet sugar, with considerabe tart, woody hops. Young, and not too bad to drink, but certainly lost the unique character of the previous barrel aged batches.