scrizzz (2223) - Bothell, Washington, USA - JAN 7, 2011
4.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Oh goodness. Dark plum in the glass, fairly still and slick. Burnt sugar and syrupy plum and dried cherry nose. Amazing explosive flavors of dark rum, raisin, overripe plum and cherry bourbon. Superb right now, this has got to age like a champ also.
MarinaMarket (201) - POULSBO, Washington, USA - DEC 26, 2010
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Sweet, malty, and dark fruit nose. Little head, lightly carbonated and a very nice strong dark ale. I get a little bit of the sour associated with Belgian yeast, and a lot of residual sugar. Also some tobacco, cherries, and raisins. I wonder if this could have developed even more ABV? This ale actually reminds me of Raison DíExtra in flavor profle and alcohol notes. Sticky, dark reddish brown, and wonderful flavors. What can I say, I like íem dark, sweet, and strong! I would guess this is a great candidate for aging as well. If there ever was a beer on Planet Earth that deserved to be named "Brown Shugga", this is it! Tasted @ 66F.
riversideAK (5557) - Shoreline, Washington, USA - JAN 14, 2011
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Nose is wonderful, has tannic qualities, light barrel notes - not sure if this was barreled or not. Dark fruit, brown sugars, some roasty characteristics. Lots of sugars, but sweetness is balanced by the wine/bourbon like qualities apparent in the nose. Pours dark brown, red hues, nice beige head settles to a whispy ring. Flavors of dark pitted fruits, raisins, plums, some light tartness, brown sugars, brewing sugars sounds like it could be cloying, but its balanced. Alcohol is surprisingly not as noticeable as youíd expect from 13%. Lingering light tart/sweet sugar finish. Incredible really, and unexpected from Hales.
michaelinwa (534) - Bothell, Washington, USA - OCT 17, 2011
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: JUN 12, 2013 Pours a deep, dark, reddish brown color. Taste is complex. Sweet with raisin, plum, and figs. The trappist ale yeast shows itself strongly in this beer, but the experience is more robust than most trappist ales Iíve tried.The addition of the champaigne yeast is also evident, and works very well. I love this beer or itís big, unique, sweet, complex taste. Itís almost wine like. Iíll be stashing several bottles of this in my beer cellar. Great beer; donít miss it!! Update: 2 year old vintage bottle, this becomes a sour ale with complex flavor including notes of wine, citrus, soy, tobacco and more. Very interesting! The beer just transforms as it ages. Wonderful!
5000 (5606) - Hardened Liver, Washington, USA - FEB 12, 2011
4.1 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle: † Nearly black, not as yielding to light as other examples, whispy off-white head, few patches of lacing. † Lordy, that is one interesting nose. † Mulling spices, dates/figs, with raisin, cinnamon, nutmeg, and dark pitted fruit, bready, burnt brown sugar, and love. † One of the better smelling non-barrel aged beers I have had the pleasure of whafting. † Wow, spicy, fruity, and just plain old delicious. † Cinnamon sticks is very strong with this one. † Very bright on the tongue with dark pitted fruit and heavy cinnamon and nutmeg like spices. † A little too sweet, but not all that cloying as its not too heavy. † The 13% ABV is extremely well hidden. † I am impressed! † While it does not have that musty/floral aspect I would have thought for the style, it takes on its own unique signature that I really must commend Hales on. † Its a little more bready than most, but its also more spicy, albeit less musty and floral. † This one is just a dream to smell. † Full to moderate body and mouthfeel. † That aroma... its like candied raisins. † Sweet and fruity in that fig/date sense. † This stuff is much better than I expected. † I need a few more bottles of this for sure. † Well done Hales!
Caskalefan (136) - Bellingham, Washington, USA - APR 17, 2011
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
I would have rated this higher, except for the sweetness level which was excessive, even for the style.
Nice, complex fruitiness with mixed berries, dates, figs, kumquats, a hint of chocolate, rum, molasses, and vanilla.
Long, sweet finish, although the hints of barrel aging (which i understand that this brew has NOT undergone) dry it out a little bit.
Delicious as a slow sipper, although a bomber is a bit much to handle in one sitting.
almost no alcoholic heat, which is very impressive for a young 13% brew, and I find this beer to be a very pleasant surprise, coming from Hales.
bhensonb (9825) - Woodland, California, USA - JUL 4, 2011
4.1 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bomber from Malt & Vine. Pours really dark brown with a creamy/foamy 3 finger dark beige head. Aroma of darkish fruits. Med + body. Slightly sour, very dark fruity, fair amount of anise, dark malt. Coffee? I donít get that. Chocolate is possible. Complexity is enormous. My goodness gracious flavor intensity. Wow. Dark fruit seems a lot more raisin with time. Glad to see the anise get submerged. My mouth is getting sucked into a black hole of flavor. Not necessarily my ideal flavor profile, but it is intense.
AmEricanbrew (5200) - Belcher, Louisiana, USA - AUG 16, 2011
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Hazy brown color/ tan head. Nutty, woody, dark caramel, dark raison, spicy, brown sugar, mild booze aromas. Medium body. Light to medium sweet flavors of toffee. caramelized brown sugar, earthy molasses, rich dark raisons, spicy yeast--very nice belgian style
douglas88 (5131) - Portland, Oregon, USA - SEP 13, 2012
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 18/20
22 ounce bottle. Pours a dark reddish brown color with a medium tan head. A really nice rich nose of fruit and chocolate. A nice rich flavor of intense strawberries and mango, almost in a fruit beer realm, big raspberries. Some light chocolates and caramel. Interesting brew. Very big, leads to dangerous levels of mirth. Nice.
drfabulous (3378) - Lexington, Kentucky, USA - MAY 7, 2011
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
22 thanks to Andre. Sweet and sticky Quad with very deep fruit flavors. Plum and fig and raisin. Caramel. Slight tartness. Nice.