highlandlad (1416) - Blue Mountains, AUSTRALIA - FEB 5, 2006
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
We were somewhere around Randwick on the edge of Sydney when the beer began to take hold. I remember saying something like ’I feel a bit lightheaded; maybe you should pour...’ And suddenly there was a terrible roar all around us and the sky was full of what looked like huge bats, all swooping and screeching and diving around the table, which was carrying about a hundred bottles with the tops off. And a voice was screaming: ’Holy Jesus! What are these goddamn animals?’ .... ’It’s okay, it’s okay!’ I yelled. ’It’s just my goddamn cat!’ It was almost night and we still had more than a dozen tastings to go. They would be tough miles. Very soon, I knew, we would all be completely twisted. But there was no going back, and no time to rest. We would have to ride it out. MotelPogo flicked the cap off the Flying Dog Gonzo Imperial Porter and splashed measures into glasses. It glared at us, as black-hearted and uncompromising as the ugly motherfucker on the bottle. I snatched a glass and took a long hard look. ’You better watch yourself,’ I said to myself. ’There are limits to what the human body can endure. You don’t want to break down and start bleeding from the ears right here at the table. Not in this town...’ I could smell the porter from a yard away: a powerful mix of caramel, Cascade, Millennium and bubblegum, as rich and resinous as a Colorado pine forest. I took a cautious sniff and felt the hairs in my nose ignite. ‘Sweet motherfucking Jesus! What’s in this stuff?’ I gasped as Eczematic beat out the flames with a couple of swift blows to my face. ‘Don’t sniff it,’ he snarled. ‘Just drink.’ I took a long pull on the glass and felt my kidneys start to boil in a searing wash of chocolate, grape juice and grapefruit. ‘Ambulance! Get a fucking ambulance!’ I hollered. The last thing I remember before I passed out was Duff laughing out of control. ‘What the fuck are we doing out here on this desert?’ he shouted. ‘Somebody call the police! We need help!’ (Bottle, Duff homecoming gathering, with apologies to Hunter S. Thompson, RIP)
Rastacouere (6125) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - FEB 5, 2006
2.8 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 10/20
Hugh brown head bursts into a lasting lacy patchwork of irregular big bubbles. The body underneath is deep brown and opaque. Burstingly hoppy (cascade?) nose becomes very perfumey as it warms, bordering shampoo and definitely green fresh hops to the point of feeling vegetal and salty at times. Cocoa component is all I get from this vague, so-so maltiness that reveals its poor structure in mouth. Dominating roastiness suffers from a strong wave of citric, pine-sol and ashey character, thankfully no lactic aspects, but that the astringence remains limited within those conditions is beyond me. Dry and hoppy palate where unenvelopping dark cocoa and anise-floral loose malts get abashed by growing whispers of alcohol. Medium body, very effervescent. Fair as it is, but forget balance, round malt fruitiness was traded away for a hop putsch.
MikeMac (185) - Wyandotte, Michigan, USA - FEB 3, 2006
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pours a black/ brown color nice frothy to foamy brown head Roasty chocolated aroama. Big chocloate to licorice flavor.Balanced out by some hop flavor Smooth creamy finish very nice..
MilkmanDan (1943) - Eagan, Minnesota, USA - FEB 2, 2006
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Dark with a milky brown head. Nose is chocolate and fruity sweetness. Flavor is bitter chocolate, lots of hops. Some sourness. Finishes very dry. Leaves kind of a weird film in the mouth.
CapFlu (4493) - Victoria, British Columbia, CANADA - JAN 31, 2006
4.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
(Bottle) Bottle came courtesy of Lubiere. Pours a god-sized, frothy, brown head. Amen! A body of an African sun-worshipper. Amen! And a nose of such distinction. Amen! The whiskey-barrels and coffee grinders worked this recipe down. Down. Down. The grit… oh Lord, the grittiness and scant scent of alcohol convicted this boy before trial. Because if… if one was to sample, they would know that the body, the heart, the soul was sold to Satan. Molasses stained dress, whiskey for breath, and bitter repress. Bless this soul. Bless this soul. Bless this soul! Amen.
Schultsc (572) - San Diego, California, USA - JAN 31, 2006
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Completely opaque brown/black color with a creamy dark tan head. Nice roasted malt aroma with a good amount of hops and alcohol. More roasted malt in the flavor with dark fruit flavors and some sweetness. Bitterness is here from both chocolate malt and hops--nice alcohol character as well--and all are superbly balanced. This results in a nice, flavorful, and seriously stron porter.
ABUSEDGOAT (2354) - California, USA - JAN 31, 2006
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pours a black body with a small head. Aroma is roasted chocolate with notes of coffee and caramel. Flavor is the same, some bitterness. Had no idea this was a 9.5%er, guessed woulda been 5-7. Good job. Flying Dog finally made something good, and I finally found it.
pstorvik (60) - Tennessee, USA - JAN 29, 2006
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
750 mL bottle produced June 2005. Poured with a tight tan head having a sweet chocolatey caramel malt aroma. Full rich malt flavor with hints of chocolate. Just a hint of bitterness and well masked alcohol. I liked this better than the 12 oz bottle. If it weren’t $18 a pop I’d buy more of this to lay down.
IslandHaole (1091) - Yokosuka-Shi, Kanagawa-Ken, JAPAN - JAN 29, 2006
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 15/20
Thanks BuckDich! Opaque black with a mahogany colored, thin head. Nice lacing. Fruity, licorice, chocolate. Like smelling a bagfull of Halloween candy, lots of goodies all mixed up!
Roasty up front, very tangy middle, citrusy and bitter, like a kumquat. Tart finish with a lightly bitter, herbal follow.
Nice feel, smooth & creamy. Bottle artwork is ugly as hell, but the brew contained within is very nice.
BobHommel (2) - Georgia, USA - JAN 26, 2006 does not count
3.1 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Nice thick nearly opaque pour, with tan tight head. Coarse roast-chocolate aroma with some muted hops and a whiff of alcohol. Flavor is rich but coarse and roasty-grainy, with a bitterness that balances nicely. Alcohol flavor is surprisingly hidden for such a big beer. Overall just OK-- not quite smooth or complex enough for my tastes for this beer.