Ughsmash (6915) - Pewaukee, Wisconsin, USA - NOV 9, 2010
4.1 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Huge thanks to Brandon for this one!! Poured black as night with a near equally black head. The aroma picked up a warm blend of darker chocolates with accents of coconut, hazelnut, sweet whiskey, and vanilla.. not a whole lot of barrel presence, but what was there was entirely complementary.. like a decadent chocolate cake. The flavor opened with cherry-kissed chocolates and a little oaky edge.. the middle was syrupy and thick, but lacked some definition (lots of chocolate, though).. tart, near-metallic whiskey, black pepper, and oak surrounded.. finished with more tartness and chocolate, plus a little alcohol warmth. Heavier-bodied and viscous on the palate.. lots of roast (burnt at times).. low carbonation.. decent feel overall, but a little too much tartness, and the nose set up unrealistic expectations of "smooth".
riversideAK (5557) - Shoreline, Washington, USA - JUL 14, 2010
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Great varied nose of patent malt, roast, dark chocolate, rye whiskey, vanilla, dark fruit. Pours viscous black, oily, heavy legs, great beige head, wonderful lace. Roast, acrid patent malts balanced by dark chocolate and dark fruit, vanilla, sweet chocolate, light spicy rye notes, wood barrel. Damn, best hales beer ever? Yes. Balanced, creamy smooth body, dry roasty finish. Really drinkable. YES!
bvc (1123) - Kenmore, Washington, USA - JUL 14, 2010
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Growler that I had filled a couple of weeks ago. Pours a viscous super dark brownish black with tight dark tan head. The nose has slight oxidation, with good amount of deep dark chocolate, vanilla, raisins, tobacco, light spicy rye notes...smells really good! The body is surprisingly smoother than the pour suggests and the carbonation is perfect for the style. Patent malt, chocolate, blueberry, tobacco, subtle rye...but present, vanilla and light peat. Damn this is solid and the barrel is complementary to the base beer.