ThisWangsChung (638) - 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 werenít 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. Itís also roastier than the aroma suggested. Because I had every expectation of this being sour, its opening presence doesnít bother me. Flavors become roasty near the middle, and smoky on the back end. A distant aftertaste of earthy notes become prevalent, as well. Itís 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 isnít perfectly cohesive, and the finish develops a bit too much char flavor at times. Otherwise, this is some stunningly contemplative stuff.
M: Itís creamy, but at the same time, airy and VERY dry. The feel gradually becomes íwetterí 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 isnít something that Iíd call íeasy to drinkí.
O: This ainít 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 arenít 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.
Iphonephan (2220) - McLean, Virginia, USA - OCT 28, 2013
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
From a bottle at Pizzeria Paradisio in Old Town VA. Pours a clear almost black with a thin bubbly tan head. Aroma of dark cherry and plums. Flavors of chocolate and licorice. A bit salty and with a slightly tart finish.
estover (42) - Valencia, Pennsylvania, USA - OCT 26, 2013
3.4 AROMA 3/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
WOW!!!! This is Stout on steroids!
Pours like a thick black overused motor oil. Very little head, light lacing.
There is a boatload of everything dark in this bottle, I swear that the night originated from the depth of this bottle. There is cocoa, but not just any cocoa but 95% stuff most people canít stand to eat, there is coffee but not just any coffee, like 3 day old expressesso left on the warmer. There is a burnt black cherry that turns sour\bitter during the finish morphing into a leather note. I am going to have to look into this A le Coq Imperial Stout style.
Cantabrian (674) - Christchurch, NEW ZEALAND - SEP 29, 2013
3.1 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 12/20
Not really the Estonian A le Coq Porter that I wanted to try. Black as oil with no mentionable or visible head. Pungent musky aroma of leather and ocelots (Leopardus pardalis). Strong flavours of coffee, with touches of tobacco, Seville orange and olives. Oily feel, but not something to be craving for a second.
Beese (674) - Watford, Hertfordshire, ENGLAND - SEP 16, 2013
3.3 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
Cask at Great British Beer Festival 2013. Poured a thick black colour with a thin head of light brown head. Aroma of roasted malt with soy sauce and marmite notes. Coffee flavours with dark chocolate and liquorice. Finishes with Oxo, black syrup and burnt toast. Pretty good, but a bit on the sweaty cask side. Definitely better in bottle.
blackflag321 (387) - Lansing, Michigan, USA - AUG 31, 2013
3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
2008 vintage. 9.3 oz bottle poured in snifter. Black/brown with small head. This has a very unique taste that put me off at first but I enjoyed it because it tasted so different. Sweet and sour, hint of soy, funky roasted malt.
RobertDale (2614) - Lansing, Kansas, USA - AUG 26, 2013
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
11.2 ounce, 2003 bottle. Pours black with a very small brown head. Aroma of malt, fruit, licorice, and alcohol. Taste is roasted malt, dark fruit, licorice, chocolate, caramel, and alcohol. Complex and interesting.
dnicolaescu (410) - Chișinău, MOLDOVA - AUG 25, 2013
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
GBBF 2013 backlog. CASK.
Head: coffee. Colour: black.
Aroma: complex, roasted, licorice, sourish, decomposing plants.
Taste: complex, salty 99% chocolate, semi-decomposed-plants bitterness.
Elwood (2909) - Leesburg, Virginia, USA - AUG 23, 2013
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Serving: Bottle from State Line Liquors. It pours black with a dense tan head. The nose is vinous at first with a little soy turning meaty as the brew warmed. Thick and rich on the tongue. Notes of aged red wine, port, leather, soy, and aged balsamic vinegar. A little dense on the tongue with an oily texture, but an interesting mix of flavors that evolve as it warms.
evergreen0199 (1642) - Northwood, Greater London, ENGLAND - AUG 20, 2013
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Cask at GBBF 2013, Olympia, London. A black coloured pour with a small beige head on top. Roasty, malty, soy sauce aroma. Tastes is similar, roasty, malty, soy, a little coffee and chocolate. Not bad but lacking in complexity.
EdKing (1556) - London, Greater London, ENGLAND - AUG 14, 2013
2.8 AROMA 3/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 10/20
Cask at GBBF 2013. Opaque black, off white to brown head, bubbly. Nose is sulphur, eggy, ash, soy sauce, roasted malt, cardboard. Taste is roasted malt, lots of golden syrup, slight tasty saltiness, finish is roasted malt black coffee bitter. Alcohol. Nose is a shocker and taste is a little sweeter and nicer.