Gurst (338) - Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA - MAR 16, 2008
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle in Togo. Thick and sweet smelling, with almost no head. Tastes like burnt toast, sugar, prunes. Slighty odd metallic/ hoppy finish. Could be that the malts don’t cover the alcohol well.
Ethereal (2421) - Los Angeles, California, USA - MAR 8, 2008
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle in London, UK, imported from Ireland. Pours black with a reasonably persistent tan head. Strong aroma of cream and chocolate malt. Full on flavour of roasted malt, coffee, blackcurrant and dark fruit. Very smooth on the tongue. Coffee comes through more strongly on the finish.
greenmanalishi (519) - Leicestershire, ENGLAND - MAR 1, 2008
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Pours near black with a thin, tan head. roasted malts, barley, raisin, expresso, treacle, ashy finish.
charcot25 (181) - Cordova, Tennessee, USA - FEB 27, 2008
3 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 12/20
Black with a light tan head. Has a malty aroma with some coffee and chocolate notes. Also a good bit of diacetyl. Taste is similar with some dark fruits. A bit too roasty for me, though and has a an ashy finish.
VTHopHead (1511) - Barre, Vermont, USA - FEB 19, 2008
3 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Bottle - I spent some time in the Peace Corps in Sierra Leone quite few years ago. Normally I would not rate a beer that I had not tasted recently, but I was going through some old pictures and found some of those days gone by. I have fond memories of FES, which was brewed in-country by the Sierra Leone Brewery. Much of the beer that I drank then was not refrigerated very well and FES held up to this fairly well. We also did not drink much beer poured into glasses. However, from what I remember, FES is a dark black pour with a creamy tan head. You had to be careful pouring it out of the bottle as it was bottle conditioned and there was a thick layer of yeast hiding on the bottom that was not too pleasant. The aroma was very strong of darkly roasted malts and coffee/espresso. Flavor matched that pretty well. This was a quite bitter beer, to the point of being astringent. The bitterness lingered as did the coffee flavor. FES was a lot stronger, but more expensive than the Star Lager, which is mostly what everyone drank. Lots of fond memories of those times and of the FES that added to the experience.
MBison (548) - Southern Highlands, AUSTRALIA - FEB 18, 2008
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
UPDATED: MAR 10, 2009 Bottle (330ml). Poured black with a dense frothy, tanned head which lasted very well. Aroma was of toasted malts with new leather, horse blanket, cooking chocolate, coffee beans. Hints of hazelnuts and some smoke. Flavor was a great dry, slightly ashy bitterness with dark chocolate, roasted malts, liquorice, an intriguing barnyard/horse blanket notes and a pleasant earthy/dirty finish. Medium to full bodied with medium carbonation, a dry mouthfeel, slightly thick texture and a great lasting finish. Very well balanced stout with a well hidden alcohol content.
Stew41 (1909) - Phuket, THAILAND - FEB 1, 2008
3.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Brewed in Ireland with a BB of Jan 2008. Kept back for about 1 year after purchasing. Great looking beer; dark brown body and a totally delicious choc orange / mocha coloured head. Holds a good creamy body. Chocolate and brandied fruits / fruit cake on the nose, definately hints of barley wine here. This is impressive, aromas-wise, but the flavours don’t really transfer to the palate. ABV is more evident with some burn. Flavours are tight; I get some bitter chocolate and perhaps oak, but there’s not a lot of ’love’ here. Slightly tinny finish. Not sure if the cellaring worked on this occasion.
Moz (613) - Gothenburg, SWEDEN - JAN 30, 2008
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle. Black colour with a tan head. Aroma of roasted malts. Similar taste with spicy and smoky notes.
Slacks (615) - Bolton, Ontario, CANADA - JAN 27, 2008
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle, Belize City, Belize: Brewed by the Belize Brewing Company, home of the Belikin Beers. What a find! Poured jet black, excellent foamy tan head. The aroma was promising, very deep chocolate and espresso notes. The flavour is stunning, rich, caramel sweetness like candy bounced with oak highlights, dark chocolate, coffee, and hints of that 7.5% alcohol. If only such a product was readily available here in Canada, I absolutely loved it!
Hollywoodt (240) - Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA - JAN 19, 2008
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
Poured a dark brown color with minimal tan head. The aroma was dark malt with some chocolate and coffee hints. It had good flavor without the alcohol being in the forefront. I’ll have it again if I have the chance.