FlacoAlto (3737) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - JAN 14, 2004
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
2003 bottling, Sampled January 2004
The cork explodes from the bottle. A deep ruby color that is topped by a dark tan head. Aromas of plum, raisin, lots of dark malt aromas, and slight notes of alcohol emanate from my glass. The taste is rich and sweet with dark fruit (cherry, raisin, and fig) and alcohol in the finish. The mix of fruit and alcohol is evocative of brandy. Ends with a bit of acidity, which is a nice balancing note. The fruitiness is perhaps most reminiscent of dark cherries, though there are some subtle notes of peach as well.
This is quite good, very rich and a definite brew to savor. Could perhaps use something to balance the sweetness and fruitiness; maybe some Belgian yeast complexity or some off-setting spice notes. This beer is very smooth, with no harsh components despite the high alcohol.
BierBauch (784) - Cape Coral Waterfront Wonderland, Florida, USA - JAN 9, 2004
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: NOV 7, 2010 750cl Corked bottle dated 2002. Label has a blue banner reading "Grand Cru of the Emperor". Poured a hazy firey reddish amber color with a thick head which reduced in size quickly. Aroma is a malty fruity one with notes of caramel and vanilla. Has a sugary brandy like quality as well in the nose. Mouthfeel is full and velvety smooth with a crisp finish that couldn’t be better. Flavor is fruity and delicious with sweet candy sugar and yeast creating a complex and flavorful ale. The 2 years of aging has served this ale well. Alcohol is unnoticible and flavors are pronounced and soft. Nice Belgian!2005 vintage Delicate palate and fruity sweet aromas. Flavor to die for, sweet malty fruity treat for christmas. Cherry, plums, figs and more. My favorite seasonal to be sure!11/7/2010, 2005 Vintage2005 Bottle drinking nicely. What a major difference 5 years make. Ultra smooth and luscious body, no alcohol showing at all. well rounded malt and fruit profile. Faint biterness from long faded hops. Really a great bottle and a fantastic brew for aging.
bubslang (438) - Kentwood, Michigan, USA - JAN 2, 2004
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
2003 Version: Poured a dark ruby brown with a beutiful beige head. Wonderful aroma of malt, candi sugar, figs and oak. Nice full mouthfeel with a pleasant malt sweeetness balanced by notes of figs, chocolate, dark fruits, oakiness, and a slight alcohol presence near the finish. A real treat, I must get another bottle to age.
Zach Diesel (906) - Portland, Oregon, USA - JAN 2, 2004
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
pungent apple and date aroma, redish purple with a nice thin light khaki head, strong date and ripe fruit flavors, sticky mouthfeel and great body, nutty and molasses flavors with currant notes and a slight sour apple finish
Darkover (1511) - Columbus, Ohio, USA - DEC 26, 2003
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: DEC 27, 2003 2003 vintage. Dark ruby color with a big lasting creamy beige head. Sweet candy sugar and wood aroma. Flavor is sweet with maple syrup, toffee, and figs. Alcohol is well hidden. Finish is acidic and dry.
Dalle (1145) - Skørping, DENMARK - DEC 14, 2003
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: OCT 13, 2004 2000 vintage (4 yrs old). Dark brown colour w. very small beige head. Sweet (candi sugar), dark rum/alcohol, little cork, musty cellar-like qualities. Rounded, soft, medium bodied. Very nice..... 2004 vintage: imo more full-flavoured and better... (8,4,8,4,16)
mkobes (2138) - paramus, New Jersey, USA - DEC 7, 2003
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
The 2003 version. High in alcohol percentage 10%. Red brown in color with a tan head. Sweet and fruity. Delicious and complex. I really liked it.
MaiBockAddict (1497) - Good Beer Bar Deprived, New Jersey, USA - DEC 6, 2003
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: DEC 7, 2003 The 2003/10% version. Red brown in color with a tan head. Woody fruity aroma with a hint of alcohol. Hops? Sweet big fruity malt flavor with hints of wood. Delicious and complex. Have another bottle aging and can't wait till year next.
BBB63 (5701) - La Porte, Indiana, USA - DEC 4, 2003
3.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Medium bodied brew with a dark slightly hazy hue and little head. The aroma hinted of toasted malt, bourbon chared oak, maple, prune, and alcohol. The taste doesn't match the smell, it's one-diminsional with a malty sweet base and alcohol. Boring and flat.
argo0 (11167) - Washington DC, USA - DEC 4, 2003
3.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
Dark red-brown with minimal beige head. Aroma is oh so inviting -- rich, maple sugar sweet, fig, buttery, wood, alcohol. Taste is disappointing (relative to the aroma) in its overstrong alcohol, but also has some fig and spice. Quite full body.