ThisWangsChung (826) - Leonardtown, Maryland, USA - JUN 30, 2013
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
9.3 oz bottle into a snifter, 2009 vintage. Bottle says 9%
A: Pours a pitch black color. The head is a one finger tan shade that fades away gracefully. A creamy ring of lace remains on the glass before that fades, as well.
S: Man, my fellow reviewers weren’t kidding when they said this had a sour edge. The aforementioned tartness has a wonderful cherry tone to it, as well. When given a chance to open up, it develops stronger notes of chocolate, molasses, soy, and smoke. In a nutshell, the aroma is basically chocolate-coated tart cherries. Epic.
T: The first sip bowls me over in terms of layered complexity. It’s also roastier than the aroma suggested. Because I had every expectation of this being sour, its opening presence doesn’t bother me. Flavors become roasty near the middle, and smoky on the back end. A distant aftertaste of earthy notes become prevalent, as well. It’s far more complex than I described, though - the more I sip, the more distinct flavors I pick up (dark fruits, licorice, caramel, tobacco, peat, and leather). The only real flaws I can find is that the depth of flavor isn’t perfectly cohesive, and the finish develops a bit too much char flavor at times. Otherwise, this is some stunningly contemplative stuff.
M: It’s creamy, but at the same time, airy and VERY dry. The feel gradually becomes ’wetter’ as more is sipped, giving it the proper decadence it deserves. As a nitpick, it could stand to be a bit beefier in its body - especially since this isn’t something that I’d call ’easy to drink’.
O: This ain’t for everyone. I like to think of this one as a rite of passage for most beer drinkers - many will hate it, but those that aren’t initially put off by its strange chocolate-meets-soy sauce-meets-char-meets-sour cherries approach to a RIS will be rewarded spectacularly. In a word, superb; how fitting something of this magnitude was my 500th review on BeerAdvocate.
olsvammel (3803) - Örebro, SWEDEN - MAR 9, 2015
4.1 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle at a big tasting (Nördprovning 2015). Roasted smell with dark chocolate. Very sweet taste with dark malts and raisins.
McNeillR (1568) - SCOTLAND - FEB 27, 2015
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Neat brown and ruby glint, filmy and dandy head. Lean roast and a firm saltiness. A slip of carbonation.
BenH (2819) - Edinburgh, SCOTLAND - FEB 27, 2015
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle. Near black with tan head. Slightly sour aroma, funky, woody, cherry, berries. Taste is roasty, chocolate, fruity, oak, berries. Slightly bitter finish.
AshtonMcCobb (3398) - Edinburgh, SCOTLAND - FEB 27, 2015
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle from Harvey’s online.
Appearance - dark brown to black with a nice fawn head.
Nose - tangy black fruits, maybe plum or blackberries. Meaty and sour.
Taste - sour toffee, dark fruits, complex.
Palate - medium bodied with a tangy texture and a dry tangy finish.
Overall - very interesting.
allmyvinyl (5171) - Edinburgh, SCOTLAND - FEB 27, 2015
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
UPDATED: FEB 28, 2015 Bottle at Ashton McCobb’s. Pours black with a thin tan head. Aromas of sour plums. Taste is light sour, chocolate. Sour, funky finish. Unusual.
Stuu666 (5347) - Edinburgh, SCOTLAND - FEB 2, 2015
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle at home. Pours black, nose is meaty, chocolate, roasted, taste is similar, dry and bitter.
Beergeek23322 (2589) - Chesapeake, Virginia, USA - NOV 16, 2014
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
9/4/2010. 2003 edition from bottle. Black with a tan head. Roasted malt, licorice, chocolate aromas with bitter hops. Long bitter finish with a bit of alcohol burn.
dandeman (598) - Gatineau, Quebec, CANADA - OCT 19, 2014
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Achetée au Vermont en Mai 2014.
Sweet stout with molasses, field berries and coffee flavors. Great complexity. Superb balance.
De superbes aromes de boisé, de chêne, combinée à l’alcool aux accents de rhum (est-elle vieillie en fût? je ne sais pas) Présence également de fruits sauvages, de café, de pruneaux et de dattes. Un olfactif complexe et évolutif, à forte dominance d’alcool.
Le visuel est noir, opaque, à mousse brune foncée, à grosses bulles et à texture crémeuse mélangée. Quelques traces survivent sur le verre.
L’attaque est sucrée, avec de grosses notes de mélasse, accompagnées de fruits des champs. Puis l’alcool entre en action pour offrir une finale chaude et amère. Les notes de sucre sont de mélasse, de crème brulée, de mures et de dattes. La torréfaction est assurée par le café et l’amertume des houblons est mi- terreuse, mi- conifère. Grande complexité. Superbe équilibre.
slowrunner77 (6336) - Reno, Nevada, USA - OCT 14, 2014
1.8 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 2/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 6/20
"pours an oily black with no head to speak of. i don’t mind the big abv sippers, but this one is a miss. something’s wrong here. smells had some pleasing port like qualities that didn’t quite add up. smelled a little smoke and tart/sour notes in there as well, which kept me from rating the aroma higher. mouthfeel is nice at first...it’s the type of beer that little or no carbonation can work well for, but it blends right into a flavor that is...just...not ...nice. previous raters used words like tar, musty, paint thinner, soy...too harsh. the otherwise smooth body goes right out the window when you actually taste it. gross finish. i know this isn’t supposed to be an everyday brew, but it’s a bad sipper as well. one reviewer says this is a cigar beer...i agree, to the extent that someone may have used the bottle as an ashtray before the beer was added, giving it it’s "unique" taste. We had a 2003, so maybe it was past it’s prime, but it’s what was on the shelf last month!"
MichaelAwesome (5006) - Wanne-Eickel, North Rhine-Westphalia, GERMANY - AUG 25, 2014
3.9 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Ein wuchtiges Bierchen, das wir uns auf der Cider Farm in Lewes geholt haben. Geröstete Malze, dazu ein harter Bumms an Kaffee und Schokolade. Stark und aromatisch mit viel, sehr viel Schokolade und ein klein wenig Säure zum Schluss. Feine Sache das.