FlacoAlto (3838) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - MAY 3, 2009
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Sampled March 2009
A careful, but solid pour into my large Tripel Karmeliet tulip glass produces a frothy, half-finger thick, fairly quickly disappearing, lightly browned, dark tan colored head. The beer is quite dark, with a concentrated brown, approaching black color, when held up to the light beer shows some flashes of ruby, but is mostly opaque in its darkness. The aroma smells of spicy Bourbon, but has an earthy malt character to it that moves into a rich note in the finish that is a bit like prunes or perhaps even some sherry like notes. There is enough noticeable alcohol in the nose that it warms my nose upon a deep draught of the aroma. The malt character here is pretty complex, though in some ways subtle; toasted malt notes, spicy grain, a hint of salty smokiness, something a bit like carbonized fruit (though without the acrid notes, or even the burnt char character). There is some woody oak character here, as well as some spicy barrel character, soft vanillin notes and even a touch of toasted coconut; overall the barrel notes are pretty well integrated and don’t overwhelm the rest of the aromatic notes. I definitely don’t smell any cherry like notes here though.
This beer is lightly sweet, though it has more of a rich maltiness than actual sweetness. The beer finishes with a peat derived, salty, earthy smokiness that lingers on in the finish along with a sherry’d prune character (prune without much sweetness though). This is only lightly carbonated; it has just a prickle of carbonation as it rolls across the tongue. The beer isn’t overly viscous, though it certainly has some body to it, and it has a certain soft creamy texture to it. Behind the smokiness in the finish are some dark malt notes that suggest hints of tar, a bit of roasted coffee notes and a rich roasted caramel note (not burnt, but rich with lots of Maillard browning flavors). This definitely has a spiciness from the barrel aging process and the alcohol also provides a bit of heat. There is a touch of tartness to the finish; is this where the otherwise absent cherry character comes in?
I am not quite too sure about the cherry part of this beer, there is a general fruity richness, but certainly not anything I can identify as cherry specific. This could use a bit more texture and heft, a bit more residual malt character in the body would help to smooth out the warm / boozy alcohol and spicy barrel notes. Seems to lack a bit of finesse and the flavors / aromas are not quite as integrates as one might hope. Still this is certainly a tasty beer and I like how the background sherry notes add a lot of richness to this beer. The smoky peat character also adds a lot of background complexity to this beer.
douglas88 (7180) - Portland, Oregon, USA - MAY 2, 2009
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
12 oz bottle 2008 edition thanks to footbalm. I really anticipated this brew because the regular Adam is simply amazing. Pours a very dark brown color with a medium white and light pink head. The aroma is very complex; sweet nutty notes, fruit, woody bourbon, lots of wood and light cherries. The flavor is very interesting; bourbon, dark cherries, vanilla, the finish washes rich chocolate and caramel over your palate. Very distinct from Adam, but great in its own right. Nice and very complex.
beastiefan2k (2808) - Emerald City (formely NYC & KS), Washington, USA - MAY 1, 2009
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
A gift from Tim, thanks a lot. The pour makes the head just fuzzy, not real substance to it. As expected it fades quickly and leads to a halo lacing. The head is tan colored with a pink hue to it. Body is a dark cola brown color and also has a bit of a pink hue to it. It is too dark to see through. Aroma is very grainy, almost buckwheat-like (I like that), with plenty of alcohol to it and a cherry aspect. Flavor is more dominated by the cherry aspect and as a consequence makes the flavor seem thin. This is conjunction with the extended barrel aging which thins it out as well. And as expected the alcohol is there as well. The buckwheat aspect is last to come appear, which is a shame because that is my favorite part. Its a bit too light bodied for such a strong beer. I would like more heft to the body and less heat in general and I prefer the regular version so much more.
josephselander (42) - Salem, Oregon, USA - APR 30, 2009
4.5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Delirium Tremens Snifter.
Appearance - A semi-aggressive pour gives me close to no head, just a ring of large bubbles around the edge. This one is a very dark brown color. Has some lighter brownish red tinge around the top when viewed up against some light. Has some legs on it when swirled, very good looking brew.
Smell - Wow, you better be a cherry lover to like this smell. Right when I popped this one open I could smell the tart cherries creeping up into my nose. It smells awesome, much stronger than the Bells Cherry Stout I had last night. Smells like there might be some vanilla in there, is that bourbon? Some chocolate there as well. Wow, massive oaky smell after a swirl in the glass, very strong!
Taste - First sip is a good one. It is still too cold, so I will be letting this one sit for a little while, but first sip reveals a lot of the same in the smell. Very strong oak taste, cherries are a lot more subdued than I thought they would be (probably will be more pronounced after it warms up). I can definitely taste the smokiness of the original Adam in this one. The bourbon is starting to come out in full stride. This beer is almost stout-like in taste. Cherries actually become less and less noticeable as it warms up, a little disappointing for me.
Mouthfeel - Great thickness too it. This is not too thick nor is it too thin. A lot like normal Adam but this one feels like there is a little more there. I almost expected it to be thicker by the legs this beer has, but nevertheless not at all disappointing. Very coating and just beautiful feeling.
Drinkability - First couple sips are easy to go down. This becomes a little less drinkable as it warms up. The bourbon almost becomes a little overbearing, nothing like GIBCS though. Still a great beer and definitely will be enjoying these through the years. Can’t wait to see what it is like with some more years on it.
BMan1113VR (7902) - Los Angeles, California, USA - APR 30, 2009
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle. This one suffers as it followed Sam Adams Millennium. Pours with no head over a hazy brown body with a red tinge. Light legs. Aroma is raw almonds, yeast, light cherry, oak and raisins. Taste is dry wood, non-sweet cherry. Syrupy mouthfeel, albeit at the same time it feels a bit thin.
Lumpy (1802) - Carrollton, Texas, USA - APR 30, 2009
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Body-looks like red wine. Nose-soy, unami, medium CO2, light ashtray. Not bad. This beer suffers because it is following Sam Adams Millennium, but I won’t hold that against it. A well done beer.
juiceisloose (1063) - Windermere, Florida, USA - APR 26, 2009
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Courtesy mgumby10, thanks Mike. This one pours a deep black color with mahogany at the edges with a good sized, foamy tan head. The head slowly fades away leaving suds lace behind in its wake. The aroma is really nice and complex with dark chocolate, smoked malts, and some dark roast as the first wave. Oak, vanilla, and tart cherries round out the smells. The flavors are just as complex as dark chocolate and toasted caramel form the malt base. A lot of oak and vanilla show through with the roast and tart cherries adding a fruity character. The bourbon seems to tie everything together with great balance as it is not overdone at all. Full bodied mouthfeel that is thick and creamy with moderate carbonation leading to a lengthy chocolate cherry finish. This is a great beer, and one I hope to have again in a bigger sample.
Ratman197 (11097) - Arvada, Colorado, USA - APR 23, 2009
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle poured a clear deep dark brown with ruby highlights and a small lingering red brown head. Aromas of bourbon, vanilla, black cherry, oak, toffee, dates and sherry. Palate was full bodied and smooth with a dry lightly tart warming finish. Flavors of toffee, bourbon, oak, sherry, black cherry, plum and light earthiness with a smooth dry warming lingering fruity finish. Another amazing beer from HOTD!
MrBendo (1064) - Swedesboro, New Jersey, USA - APR 21, 2009
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Cap showed signs of being slightly loose, so I’m drinking this sooner rather than later. Dark brown/mahogany with a thin, wispy head. Aroma of dark malts, tart cherries, wood, bourbon, dark fruit and vanilla. The tart cherry flavor dominates the pallet at first, and then gives way to the sweeter Adam flavors, as well as the woody bourbon. Medium to heavy body. Sweet, rich bready finish. Big thanks to mj for the trade.
JK (4918) - St. Louis Park, Minnesota, USA - APR 19, 2009
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Still, with no carbonation. Lots of oak, and some cherry. I am happy there is no bourbon. It is quite sour, and the cherry flavor is of real fruit and not syrup or other adjuncts.