bark (255) - Linköping, SWEDEN - DEC 6, 2004
4.8 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Vintage 2003, matured on keg for one year.
The colour is clear brown with a small hint of red. The firm beige foam is two-finger thick and made of medium sized bubbles.
The smell is very complex and intense: Among the flavours I noticed marzipan, dark rum, cinnamon, caraway, preserved cherries, milk chocolate and a full apple pie. Wow!
The carbonation is robust and grand with small bubbles.
The taste starts with some sweet lactose-notes that slowly change into a full-bodied taste of apple pie, complete with cinnamon and butter. There is a slight flavour of alcohol, but it isn’t dominating at all. The long and multifaceted aftertaste includes such flavours as sweet Madeira wine, candid apples, clotted cream and, for that special contrast, a hint of bitter hops.
This is indeed a world-class yuletide beer. Yummy!
I talked to the publican at The Rover (in Gothenburg, Sweden) about this beer. He had stored it for a year in his cellar, just for fun. At that point, he wasn’t even sure that the beer had “survived” the maturing! We agreed that the keg probably needed to settle for a few days to reduce the carbonation a little.
Dorwart (2266) - Robbinsville, New Jersey, USA - NOV 28, 2004
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Thin light brown head which lasts the duration due to some great carbonation. Aroma of brown sugar, yeast, maybe a hint of black cherry and a touch of alcohol. Color is a cloudy dark brown with some orange around the edges. Thick and warming with caramel, alcohol, dark fruit and a bit of a tangy zip (sour). Finish is slightly sour and warming. A good belgian but not as goods as the Gouden Carolus Cuvee Van De Keizer. The best thing brewery makes.
JCW (1273) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - NOV 25, 2004
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: JUL 23, 2005 Dark brown, with a brown head. Aroma is yeasty(like a brown bread), brown sugar(dark Belgian candi) and slightly hoppy. Flavor is syruppy sweet and slightly bitter(maybe hallertau?) . Full bodied. Well made/
MAP (1133) - Lakewood, Ohio, USA - NOV 19, 2004
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Dark brown color with a thin layer of head. The aroma is a very spicy one, mostly marked by an anise with hints of cherries in the background. Flavor is rather smooth, with a nice combination of sweetness and spice, followed by an overall warming sensation. Another quality brew by this brewer.
ThomasE (5176) - Copenhagen, DENMARK - NOV 15, 2004
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Dark brown colour with nice lasting head. Aroma is sweet and malty, with hints of licorice. Flavor is malty with a clear taste of licorice, some alcohol in the finish.
Jukkabro (3486) - Tampere, FINLAND - NOV 13, 2004
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Dark amber color, lasting yellow head. Sweet caramel, licorice and bubble gum aroma, slight alcohol comes up too. Strong licorice with sweet roasted notes in flavor. Medium to full bodied, still little bit of thin for 10.5% ABV. High carbonation is little surprise, but it fits here well. Warm mouthfeel with high alcohol, although it is covered pretty well. Licorice lasts in aftertaste.
TBone (9999) - Pori, FINLAND - NOV 11, 2004
4.1 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: DEC 6, 2004 Bottled (0.75l), alc. 10.5% (BB 10/2006)
Dark red portwine-like color with small tanned head. Aroma has anis, licorice, plum, fruitcake and chocolate. Par to flavor: lots of salty licorice. Mouthfeel is (a bit too) carbonated. Alcohol jumps from palate in the finish. Aftertaste is salty and malty. Really interesting and complex brew. (9/4/7/4/16 4.0)
Draught, alc. 11%
Deep clear red, huge creamy brown head. Sweet berries in a nose. Sweet, wineous portwine-like, tasting grapes. Easy to drink and warming, hides ABV well. Totally different than bottled version - but almost as good. (8/5/7/4/15 3.9)
sayravai (4655) - Helsinki, FINLAND - NOV 7, 2004
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: FEB 25, 2006 (Bottled, 0.75l, 6 months old, sampled 2/2005) Deep, dark red-amber color with a largeish, light beige, lacy head. Sweetish-caramely, slightly alcoholic aroma with lots of anise and licorice. Very smooth, sweet, very anise-licorice-malty, spicy and herby, cough-syrup-like flavor. Long, sweetish and sticky anise finish. Medium to full-bodied, quite soft-carbonated, slightly liqueur-like palate. Alcohol is quite well hidden. A nicely spiced and herby, sweet herb-liqueur-like brew. Maturing even for a few months makes the brew clearly more balanced and enjoyable. A quite original brew, no matter what. (15 months old, sampled 11/2005, BBE 10/2006: no real change, maybe some smoothing in the flavor and flowery hops, too. Alcohol is now perfectly hidden. Still not quite ready yet - or maybe it just is what it is. Stored too cold (in +6 C), though. Quite sweet - like anise liquour.) (18 months old, sampled 2/2006, stored in room temp) Clearly dried flavor with immense fruitiness and huge amounts of salty licorice. Quite yummy, but not close to its peak, I guess.
MiP (12172) - Sønderborg, DENMARK - OCT 26, 2004
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle. Sweet, spicy, anisy aroma. Dark chestnut colour, small light-brown head. Flavour is sweet, spicy, anisy, cough-syrup-like. Very complex.
muzzlehatch (4425) - Burlington, Vermont, USA - OCT 7, 2004
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
750 ml bottle, 2003-4 presumably. Dark, rich molasses in color, soupy off-white head. Rich bourbon-vanilla in nose, with hints of orange, juicy thick spicy Seville orange. Whiskey and smoke join the lusciously complex fruit on the tongue, combining for a very drinkable, "wet" approach, alcohol well-hidden throughout, great sweet-sour balance; another work of art from Het Anker.