Alengrin (3396) - BELGIUM - AUG 1, 2015
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle from batch 643, bought online; apparently already brewed two years ago but since this is a strong, bottle-conditioned beer, I do not expect this to be any problem. Slow gushing upon opening the 50 cl bottle. Very dense but still opening, pale yellow beige, creamy head leaving lacings on the edges of the glass; colour is a murky mahogany brown, cloudy from the start, which, in combination with the gushing, worries me a bit. Weird spicy aroma totally dominated by caraway in first instance, very ethereal and medicinal, and penetrating the nostrils rather vigorously, reminding me of my grandmother’s collection of dried medicinal herbs and old spice seeds. Other impressions involve baker’s chocolate, brown rhum, wet pine wood, juniper berries, gingerbread, chocolate cake, brown bread, baked banana, earth, rotting autumn leaves, moss and something vaguely sulphuric, as in fried eggs. Soft fruity onset, banana, raisins, overripe pear and medlar, sweetish and a bit sourish, very rich, ’fluffy’ and filling body with soft carbo; bready and caramelly malts with more ’chocolateness’ in the end but more in the form of added chocolate bars than bitter chocolate malts, though there is some toasted malt bitterness for sure (as in a Scotch ale, the beer type traditionally used in Belgium as a basis for dark, heavy winter ales). Needless to say, the caraway from the aroma comes in as a resiny, ethereal, somewhat wry spiciness, too much for my taste, as is not seldomly the case with spiced winter ales. Finish is a continuation of this resinous, very sticky, bittersweet spiciness (I suspect a big dosis of coriander is at work here as well), along with juicy malts, chocolate, some herbal hop bitterishness and indeed a touch of wood, but only subtly so, without the drying tannins which could have made this beer better; I get warming alcohol as well, but not particularly an aquavit flavour (fortunately perhaps). Big, bold winter beer, perhaps I made a mistake by tasting this on a warm day in mid summer, but on a cold winter night too I would find this too overly spiced. I have nothing against caraway seed, but it should have been applied a lot more subtly in this case as it dominates the bouquet way too much. Needs more subtlety, but then this goes for a lot of other (I’m thinking primarily Belgian) spiced winter beers of the Scotch or quadrupel type as well.
77ships (5500) - Antwerpen, BELGIUM - JUL 18, 2015
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
500 ml. bottle. Purchased @ De Hopduvel. Batch 643. Brewed (if I understand correctly) 28.08.13 – I bought this one very recently, I do believe that it was a new arrival. I do feel like this brewery has some issues with distribution. BBF 28.02.16. GUSHER! Dark red copper deep brown amber, small tanned head. Nose is lightly sour, touch spirit, rotting red berries, very heavy Christmas spices, light varnish / alcohol, rum cake, overripe, fermenting raisins, big wood & quite a touch of oxidation… Not overly impressive or comforting. Taste is boozy, oxidation, varnish, heavy furniture, rotting raisins, raisins soaked in alcohol, cheap booze, very heavy dark fruits mixed with some varnish, overly spices, bread, some less pleasing Belgian qualities,… Body is thin, thinned by age to some extend & seemingly barrel treatment, pricking carbonation which doesn’t work for me,… Overly heavy on the booze, spices, oxidation with some flavors I didn’t care too much. A disappointment to be honest. A traditional Christmas beer in a negative way in my opinion. Some flaws are possibly at work here as well. Somewhat manageable but not overly pleasant. Not a fan.
madmitch76 (18660) - , Essex, ENGLAND - APR 18, 2015
3.4 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
16th April 2015
A mild gusher. Hazy amber brown beer, small cream colour head. Palate is airy and a little soft. Decent fine carbonation. The malts are creamy sweet. Touch of chocolate. Coca Cola and dark fruits. Mild tang. Soft finish. Not bad.
Beer5000 (5120) - Kristiansand, NORWAY - FEB 10, 2015
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
500 ml bottle @ Haandverkerstuene May 2014. Slightly unclear dark amber body with a thin, dense coffee latte looking head. Aroma has malt, some bread, spices, hint of wood and a pleasant touch of aquavit. Flavor is more than less what to expect from aroma, some pleasant bitterness and warming aquavit. Fine balanced body and a bit alcoholic in aftertaste. Nice one, the sweet aquavit flavor seems to becoming more dominating when drinking a bit of this. Enjoable.
RickFifty (725) - Fredrikstad, NORWAY - JAN 11, 2015
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Dark red-brown color, golden beige head. Ripe fruit nose, yeast, anise, licorice, brown sugar, caraway, roasted malt. Roasted malt taste, moderate to heavy sweetness, licorice, caramel, wood, hint of alcohol, dry finish. Medium body, soft to average carbonation.
tandembrauer (605) - Stavanger, NORWAY - JAN 2, 2015
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: APR 18, 2015 At Cardinal Den Store Juleøl Testen 2014. Vintage 2013. Pours dark ruby, cloudy, with thin off-white head. Aroma of sherry, raisins, cherreis, plums, spices and a little malt. Sweet with some bitterness; spices (cloves, star anis). Smooth mouthfeel.
nilsas (2440) - Bryne, NORWAY - DEC 31, 2014
3.1 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Lukt: Duft av malt og karamell.
Utseende: Mørk farge, nesten sort.
Skum/kullsyre: Tynt lag skum, ring langs kant.
Smak: Smak av karamell, krydder og en anelse alkohol.
Hvor: Kjøpt@Cardinal, Stavanger, Nydt@Bar tasting runde med Bryne
Medium: Flaske@500ml, Batch@643 ABV@8,5%, Når@30.12.2014
StilleStorm (1116) - Stavanger, NORWAY - NOV 9, 2014
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
DWFACDSJT; Bottle. Pours dark brown with a moderate creamy, lasting and lacing off-white to head. Nose is malt, booz, wood, dark fruit and spice. Taste is moderate to heavy sweet and moderate bitter with a lasting, boozed, spiced finish. Body is medium to full, texture is oily, carbonation is soft.
abemorsten (3265) - Mosterøy, NORWAY - NOV 9, 2014
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle at Cardinal during DSJT 2014. Hazy deep copper colored body with a small light brown head. Orange marmelade and dried tropical fruits on the nose. Pleasant and inviting. Sweet, Christmas spices, Full bodied. Long spicy finish.
gunnfryd (12614) - Kristiansand, NORWAY - JUN 21, 2014
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle at Sandar. Dark brown colour with a beige head. Aroma is oak, roasted malt, hop, spices, caramel. Flavour is oak, roasted malt, spices, caramel, coffee. Full bodied nice beer.