BBB63 (6200) - La Porte, Indiana, USA - OCT 5, 2005
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
GABF 2005: Opaque with a small but solid frotht tan head and very good lace. The aroma has notes of cofee, smoky malts, ripe fleshy fruits and some earthy yeast esters. The taste starts with a sweet malt flavor, lots of mocha and smoke. Prune. molasses and white grape add a twangy and acidic quality to the flavors, before ending with a touch of hoppy bitters. The feel is slick and oily, coats the tongue, very nice! I was more than impressed with this beer, it is a more drinkable stout than it’s big brother, just not as intense.
3fourths (8291) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - OCT 5, 2005
3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
UPDATED: OCT 10, 2013 Pale black colored body with a tan head. Rich, semi-thick body - has a nice, tart wood and meaty smoke and chocolate flavor, finishing with an excellent oily, woody coating. Mild nose however, not very strong or complex scent but still quite good.
argo0 (11712) - Washington DC, USA - OCT 3, 2005
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
(GABF05) Black body with beige head. Aroma is moderately sweet, cocoal, some coffee. Taste is moderately sweet, coffee, roast, dark chocolate, light dark fruit. Smooth, medium-full body.
MIBRomeo (2567) - Wisconsin, USA - OCT 3, 2005
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Jet black tall tan head w/ great lacing. Roasted malt aroma w/ hints of vanilla. Palate is a solid light creamy well coated. Roasted malt flavor w/ a bitter chocolate. Something missing from this but not bad at all.
ClarkVV (3892) - Allston, Massachusetts, USA - SEP 8, 2005
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Hand-bottled by Csbosox and generously delivered to myself. A 2005 growler of an early 2005 or late 2004 brewing? Consumed 9/7/2005. HUGE head, tan, thick, dense with very fine bubbles rising on the edges. Good and creamy. Great retention and provides tons of lacing as it recedes. This stuff was bottled from a growler, about 3 months ago and then sent to me, held for 3 more weeks and here it is, pouring a huge, well-retained head. That’s just incredible.
Smells of raisins, slight vinousness/grapeskins, rich roasted barley and dark berries. Faint coffee and very modest hops, just lightly floral and fresh. Thick and English-like, with prunes, raisins and dark chocolate galore! And all this while the head is still concealing much of the aroma! Ultra-opaque body, can’t even see red or violet tinges on the edges, though I know they must be there. Smells a lot like a rich Oatmeal stout, moreso than what you would think an American Imperial to be, but then, this is no cookie-cutter American Imperial, as I see from the description.
First sip introduces sweet caramel and toffee, with lightly bitter molasses in the back, to balance. Very English. Prunes, butter toffee, light coffeeish roast. Not as thick as I was expecting and quite dry on the end with some oily vinousness and roast, combining with lightly bitter, tastefully done hops. Almost like an English Barleywine, it’s rich, dark fruits and low hops apparency make it tremendously drinkable. Tiny bubbles have lost some steam, no doubt, but how this must have been fresh, I only dare to dream. The more it warms, the more a pleasing bitterness grows in the back of the mouth. Mouthfeel is silky, not oily or chewy, just luscious and lightly tickling as it goes down. One drawback is that right upon drinking, there is a bit of a gap in the flavor. Complexity dosent explode on the palate. Oh but that finish! The chocolate dipped prunes and green, leafy, juicy hops just come alive and stick in the back of your throat. An incredible IS, and so unique and elegant. Free State knows what’s up! Thanks so much Chris!
footbalm (1219) - Western Minneapolis Suburbs, Minnesota, USA - JUN 30, 2005
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Thanks to csbosox for this hand bottled sample.This is even darker than the Black Jack Porter.Lots of roasted malts and an earthy tone,Oatmeal??I like better than the porter but they are very close in lingering roasted malts,this one has a little bitterness.Thanks Chris.
BuckNaked (1230) - Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA - MAY 13, 2005
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: MAY 14, 2005 Hand bottled by csbosox and shared with jeffin7: Dark brown, near black with ruby highlights and a very small light brown head. Aroma: citrus, grassy, floral hops, grains, roasted malts, light yeast. Full bodied, light carbonation (hand bottled), more chalky than the owd macs. Taste is much more bitter and hoppy than the owd macs, citrus/pine/floral hops, cereal, grains, roasted malts, wood. Finishes with bitter mild hop notes, bitter roasted malt, bakers chocolate.
jeffin7 (613) - Silver Spring, Maryland, USA - MAY 13, 2005
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 18/20
Hand bottled from a growler: Pours black with a thin layer of bubbles. Aroma load of citric hops, chocolate, roast malts. Flavor is fairly bitter citrus hops, chocolate, slight ash, roast malts. The huge hops in this one are very good but drowned out the malt. Still a top notch beer.
MartinT (8218) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - MAY 4, 2005
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottled by csbosox, shared by beerbuzzmontreal. Mega thanks to both!!
Roasty malt and a conifer forest of hops are well-balanced by the marrying sea of molasses. Steak tartar sits within, vibrant, throbbing.
Citrusy hops and roasted malt converge in a lasting but never overwhelming bitterness. Carbonation is pleasant for the style, and lets the tongue perceive vanilla and molasses. A basic example, and very well-done.
Another sturdy sargeant of the Free State army.
tiggmtl (4548) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - MAY 4, 2005
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Floral, spruce, earthy, orange, lightly meaty aroma with strong roastiness. Opaque dark brown with a decent cover of fine-bubbled tan head that recedes to ring and swirling cover. Strong bitterness is both earthy/leafy and roasty in character while thick maltiness is subdued. Hops and roasted malts play well together but somewhat overwhelm the sweetness. Medium-full body with fair carboantion and a thick, chewy texture. Bottle (from a growler) enjoyed with beerbuzzmontreal, MartinT, Olivier_MTL and Rastacouere.