MrChopin (3220) - Baltimore, Maryland, USA - JUN 14, 2009
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle thanks to trevor211!
Murky brown, no head. Nose is very sweet, lots of apple and bourbon without the alcohol, also some plum and chocolate, faint leather. Not much smoke to speak of. Arguably complex, but the parts are by themselves, the integration being rather poor. Very thin body, more apple and chocolate, also some bourbon, and this time, the alcohol is definitely noticeable. Maple and burnt brown sugar in the finish. Overly sweet and syrupy, there is little nuance or delicacy. Another in a long line of boozy aged sugar bombs, saved only by the grace that HotD always brings.
boFNjackson (4098) - Portland, Oregon, USA - JUN 14, 2009
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: AUG 8, 2011 Bottle... Poured black with no head. Iím sure over time the bottle fermentation will naturally carbonate it better. Otherwise, the beer doesnít really need a whole lot of carbonation. Smelled of booze and smoked grains. Soft, low profile palate. Smokey and robust with a red meat character. Dark fruits and big cherry and caramel apple notes. Low bitterness but with noticeable alcohol flavors similar to port wine. Like a rich, dense cake thatís been soaking up Apple Brandy. Finished spicy with a smoked liqueur flavor.
GAManiac (1944) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - JUN 13, 2009
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
12oz bottle courtesy of some very generous Pac NW traders. Poured into a snifter.
Pours dark mahogany out of the bottle and settles in almost completely black in the glass with hints of amber showing through the edges. An aggressive pour produces a small bubbly head that forms a solid ring and leaves good lacing.
The aroma takes some time to open up as it warms. Itís generally sweet with the red apple peels being the dominant aroma initially but with some bourbon and vanilla as it warms. There is sweet caramel as well as hints of smoked malts and chocolate.
The taste is stunning. Itís got so much going on and yet everything comes together in a perfectly balanced package. There is the initial sweetness of the apple brandy which gives way to the caramel malts of the backbone. The finish has a touch of sweetness but with a wonderful boozy, smoky finish that just clings to the palate.
The mouthfeel is near perfect. Itís full bodied with minimal soft carbonation and just coats the palate completely. Absolutely decadent feel.
Well, when you take one of my favorite beers (Adam) and start playing around with it, you start to wonder if they should just not mess with a good thing. Well, in this case, the end product is a near-perfect beer that has a complexity that is unrivaled by almost anything else out there. World class.
masonjer (609) - Holt, Michigan, USA - JUN 11, 2009
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Huge thanks to Hoppymeal for giving me a chance to try this. In an unbelievable act of generosity. Poured opaque black with no head. Aroma was vanilla, chocolate smoke and a bit tart. Taste was so interesting, chocolate and roast, then a bit of apple, then some nice full smoke with a caramel apple finish. Nice lingering smoke on the end. Never quite had a beer like this one. Really creative. Thanks derek, thanks alan.
michael-pollack (4960) - King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, USA - JUN 7, 2009
4.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
12oz. Bottle: Thanks to glkaiser for this rare bottle! Complex aroma of wood, dark ripe fruits, cherries, slight funk, light bourbon, slight vanilla, slight chocolate, slight caramel, slight tobacco, and light dark malts. Poured dark brown in color with a tiny, light brown head that lasted around the edges. Cloudy. Not sparkling. Full of small particles throughout. Complex flavor is lightly sweet. Tastes of malts, wood, smoke, light tobacco, light smoked meat, light cherry, light bourbon, slight vanilla, slight tobacco, slight caramel, and a hint of red wine. Full body. Smooth, viscous texture turns slightly chalky. Soft carbonation. Woody, malty, slight bourbon, slight tobacco, slight smoke, slight smoked meat finish is slightly chalky. 11.5%ABV is totally hidden.
polomagnifico (1202) - Saginaw, Michigan, USA - JUN 7, 2009
4.4 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: SEP 21, 2009 Bottle. Aroma has notes of dark ripe fruits, smoke, molasses, oak, sherry, port, bourbon, and Belgian candy. Very complex nose, changes quite a bit as it warms, still donít think I got everything. Very dark brown hue that sits almost black in the glass. Small off white head that mostly diminished and left little lace. Flavor is sticky sweet, some alcohol and finishes with some bitterness. Again, quite complex flavor with smoke, oak, bourbon, sherry and port tones. Palate is very full bodied, and very soft. Very intense brew with a level of complexity thatís quite impressive. Very well done, too bad itís so rare and limited. A work of art, bravo!
BOLTZ7555 (2780) - Phoenix, Arizona, USA - JUN 3, 2009
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle shared by Sparky27 @ Hellbillyís Holiday Tasting...THANKS ERIC!!! Deep mahogany liquid pours out of the bottle. Just a few huge bubbles present themselves above the brew...little carbonation. Very complex and delicious!!! Tons of brown sugar, molasses, caramel, and candied sugar along with dark fruit. Quite sweet but the smoke and oak flavors cut though it a bit. Yum.
JJClark (551) - Roscoe, Illinois, USA - JUN 1, 2009
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
12 oz bottle from a trade with Brewdad. Thanks Mike!. Pours a mahogany color with almost no head at all. Aroma of smoke, bourbon, molasses and dark fermented fruit. Taste is semi sweet with hints of vanilla, bourbon, apple cider, roasted malts and slight bit of hops. Very complex and balanced. Excellent brew with a smooth lingering semi sweet finish.
tjthresh (1865) - Greenfield, Indiana, USA - MAY 31, 2009
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: JUN 1, 2009 12 ounce bottle in a snifter. Pour is dark opaque brown with zero head. The liquid is viscous enough to cling nicely to the sides of my glass though. The nose features quite a bit of smoke. In the background I can pick out some oak, tobacco, and a bit of the apple brandy. The flavor is pretty complex, and I can easily say that Iíve never tasted anything quite like it. You get plenty of smoke, smooth oaky vanilla, and wonderful apple brandy. The mouthfeel is full and viscus, but for the most part flat. Matt is great, but I really wish he was carbonated.
SuperDave (1932) - Beautiful Sunny Mesa, Arizona, USA - MAY 29, 2009
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottles shared by Sparky27 and rustychiles at hellbillyís holiday tasting. Pours a deep reddish brown with a small head. Roasted malt and ripe fruit in the aroma. Flavor is complex and delicious. Smoke, apple, chocolate, malt, dark fruit and alcohol are all in there. Really good stuff. Thanks guys!