drewbeerme (3897) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - DEC 17, 2011
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
draft at gtmw. Pours black tan head n chocolate vanilla oak blueberry flavors of dark chocolate blueberry bourbon finish, awesome brew.
holdenn (2088) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - SEP 5, 2011
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
On tap at GTMW 11. Thick black pour with a thin head. Rich chocolate fruit some bcs aromas (bourbon, malt, oak). Rich chocolate bourbon flavors some nuts some indistinguishable fruit. Sweet kinda messy. I liked this one more as it warmed in my glass. Enjoyable. 8/4/8/4/15
drowland (6771) - Georgia, USA - AUG 17, 2011
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
On tap at GTMW 2011. What an awesome surprise for GI’s "brewer’s choice" at the end of the fest. Pours a deep, rich black with a small brown head that fades. Definite sweetness in the aroma, reminds of regular BCS, complex fudge and vanilla, with more vanilla from the DK and a touch of tartness that I’d have to guess is the berries. Flavor is again reminiscent of regular BCS in my eyes - fudge, roast, vanilla, and more complexities, but there is that touch of tart blueberry going on as well. I didn’t get the huge blueberry presence that others note, but it was definitely there... perhaps I need to eat some more blueberries in my day for future comparisons. All in all, I can’t say it was my favorite brew of the day, but it was definitely quite good and I’m super glad to have tried it.
cbfobes (2678) - Quad Cities, Illinois, USA - AUG 16, 2011
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
On tap at GTMW 2011, possibly one of the best surprises of the entire weekend, I was very excited to try this brew once I heard what it actually was. Pours a very dark brown/black with a nice thick head that diminished fairly quickly and spotty lacing, the aroma was incredible, there were notes of chocolate, coffee, vanilla and tart berries, the flavor had a great mixture of the chocolate and bourbon mixed in with the sweetness of vanilla and berries in the finish. One of the most complex beers I have ever had, there is so much going on here. Truly a treat and I was very lucky to have been able to try this.
NobleSquirrel (3438) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - AUG 16, 2011
3.9 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Draft at Great Taste. Second to last beer of the fest, iirc. Pours a deep black with brown at the edges and hints of purple in the tan head. Nose is super fruity then vanilla. There is a bit of a tartness as well in the nose. Some nice cocoa comes across. A very pretty nose on this one with the berries working as a dominant factor. On tasting, it starts to get a bit less awesome. The tartness and the roast are a little at odds for me. The sweetness of the base stouts does help to round it all out and this is a very good beer for sure, right around my top 5-7 of the fest, just not my winner. Lots of char, but that acidity from the blueberries is a bit distracting. Solid.
TheAlum (6193) - Aurora, Illinois, USA - AUG 16, 2011
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Draft on tap at Great Taste of the Midwest 2011 (Madison, WI). Pours a rich murky blackish brown pour, opaque with dark and ominous. Opaque and thick with a frothy light brownish head, dies down. Aromas are roasty and sweet, toffee, cocoa, and mellow coffee. Sweet, with touches of oak, vanilla, and some touches of Bourbon spirt. A touch of blueberry. Initial is blueberry, cocoa, roast, toast, and toffee. Touches of vanilla tannins, wet oak, and blueberry tannins. Middle is sweeter, rich oak, vanilla, toffee. Lingering blueberry, and oatmeal, caramel, toffee, roast, cocoa, hot chocolate. Finish is lingering sweetness, barrel, a touch of blueberry and vanilla. Great. The blueberry nose really wins me over, giving some shades of remembrance to the original BCS Blueberry. Rich and well done, roast, toast, sweet vanilla, earthy bitter cocoa and caramel and toffee to sweeten things up. A decent barrel touch, some spirit, and that ever lasting blueberry last over all. Really nice work here. Better than Neapolitan in many ways, though my score on reflects it minimally. Probably my favorite beer of the fest, though there were several top tier beers on the day.