heykevin (1276) - Decorah, Iowa, USA - MAY 29, 2004
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
2003. Attractive sweet malt aroma, cherries, spice, and a touch of alcohol. More spice, rich sweet malt. Rather phenolic (bubblegum). Soft on the tongue. Some alcohol burn, sweet long finish.
omhper (19447) - Tyresö, SWEDEN - MAY 26, 2004
3.9 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottled, 2001 vintage. Thanks Bov!
Deep ruby, beige head. Fruity bubblegum aroma. Richly malty with dense soft mouthfeel. Relatively dry. Complex and very flavourful, notes of caramel and disturbing green apples. A balanced Belgian beer, playing in the super premium league.
jazz88 (2556) - San Francisco, California, USA - MAY 15, 2004
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: NOV 9, 2006 Rating #1 Bottle of the 2003 vintage (9 4 8 3 17). A gloriously dark brown color with a creamy light brown head. A sweet nectar aroma with lush fruits, cherry, wood, maple, and alcohol. I expected a sweeter flavor, but instead the typical belgian style came through - somewhat dry, high in alcohol, flavors of wood, vinous fruits, and toffee. A mild alcohol burn at the finish and a sticky palate. Rating #2 of 2005 vintage (6 3 7 3 16). A brown reddish color. Overloaded with grape in the flavor and aroma.
humulus (339) - Salem, Missouri, USA - MAY 5, 2004
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
2003: Yes. This is a fine beverage. Grahmn crackery goodness with a butter sauted cinnamon apple taste and texture. The color is deep sienna with chantilly lace. All in all, to complex to describe and to exquisite to warrant the attempt.
Silphium (3167) - East Lansing, Michigan, USA - MAY 4, 2004
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
2003 edition. This beer ended up being an incredible pairing with Unibroue 10. For some reason I was expecting a lighter-bodied beer, but this Grand Cru poured deep red-brown and somewhat cloudy with a medium-light off-white (light tan?) head. Aroma was very potent and interesting- I picked up tangy, rotting fruit (not in a bad sense, of course), bubblegum, and even peat. Awesome flavor profile- bubblegum and red licorice/strawberry candy flavors pierce the toasty body. A touch of cinnamon, chocolate, and apple peel join alcohol in the finish. This reminds me in a sense of Avery The Beast (with much lower ABV). Its relatively heavy body, rich flavor, and nice blend of sweet and dry notes puts this beer in the upper echelon of Belgian Strongs. Trying this back-to-back with Unibroue 10 was quite a treat for the senses- two beers with amazing, complex flavor profiles.
scraff (2121) - Baltimore, Maryland, USA - APR 18, 2004
4.1 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Co-rated with Hopscotch...this beer rocks indeed! Clear deep ruby ale, fluffy beige head. The nose is intense with dark fruits, buttery caramel, molasses, and fruitcake.
Flavor is about the same, just a bit too sweet for my Belgian tastebuds. This being the 2003 version, I bet a few years in the cellar would make it damn near perfect. Full bodied, soft fizzy finish. Awesome....
hopscotch (9171) - Vero Beach, Florida, USA - APR 18, 2004
4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: APR 20, 2008 Co-rated by scraff... This beer rocks!... Crystal clear, ruby ale with a mid-sized, creamy, beige head. Decent retention with thick, creamy lacing. The aroma is way complex... butter, pear, caramel, dates, soy sauce, dried plum, alcohol, light molasses and fruitcake. The flavor mirrors the aroma and is bittered nicely, but is a touch sweet at present. A couple years in the dark would do this beer tons of good. Full-bodied with an astringent mouthfeel and lively carbonation. Short, spicy, dry finish. Although a tad green, I really enjoyed this one. World class stuff!
rauchbier (3612) - Isle Of Beer, Lincolnshire, ENGLAND - APR 2, 2004
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Tap 2003 version, Kulminator Antwerpen March 2004. Hazy red brown, long lasting creamy beige head and good condition. Fruity malt and a touch of woodiness in the nose, sweet and yeasty in the mouth with a hint of oak that develops into a low Oud Bruin type malty tartness. Long finish that is fruitily sweet and chalkily bitter.
Schroppfy (2360) - Łódż, Warsaw, Poland; Michigan, Ohio, USA - MAR 30, 2004
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
I have to agree with my Muzzle that this has all sorts of vanillaey candy elements. It is ridiculously sweet. Some nuttiness, but really who can tell. Maybe a peppery (yeasty?) element trying to fight the wash of fatiguing sugar, but it will not succeed - alcohol? Sure, in this case bring it on! I like this (the malt has a tiny bit of a canned character) but....whew!
muzzlehatch (4424) - Burlington, Vermont, USA - MAR 29, 2004
4.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
750 ml bottle, 2002 vintage. Smallish off-white head topping a very dark brown/red ruddy body; a bit less muddy than the Carolus d'Or I had last night. Sensational rich candyish nose: chocolate cherries, caramel/toffee and a hint of smoke, and a light vanilla-whiskey tone underlying it all. Tasting, you realize a more complex, intricate flavor sensation than in the "classic" version, just as compelling in its sweetness, its thick, smooth but never cloying body, its light alcohol presence. Cherries again, and raisins, and vanilla, and caramel... its hard for me to come up with greater superlatives than I did on the "regular" rendition...this really is close to flawless. Perhaps the alcohol is a little prominent near the end, but it is hard for me to think of anything I'd want different in the nose or flavor; this has few peers.