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.
Leighton (14424) - London, Greater London, ENGLAND - AUG 27, 2015
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle at home in London - picked up at GBBF in 2011. So, I would assume the vintage on this is around 2011. Pours rich, oily red-black with a dense, creamy beige head. The aroma is crazy, with lots of dark malts, subtle funk, ripe and tangy berries, old leather, earth, soft cocoa. Medium to heavy sweet flavor, a little syrupy, with oily chocolate, more decadent, sugary ripe and lightly tart berries, raspberry, cherry, some musty leather, old bread, hoisin sauce, blackberry preserves. Full bodied, chewy, with light carbonation. Warming, sticky and oily on the finish, with gooey chocolate character, more jammy blackberry, other tart berries, some charred wood, moderate earthy bitterness, brownies. Lingering dark malts and leathery, tangy dark fruits in the aftertaste. An incredible beer. The layers of complexity are impressive. It probably isn’t the most drinkable beer around, but for its dynamic aspects it earns very high marks.
pintbypint (2977) - Edmonton, Alberta, CANADA - JUL 12, 2015
3.4 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
RBAG 2015. Sampeld from an 11.2 fl oz brown bottle. 1999 vintage, I think? Poured out deep brown and headless. Nose has almond, soy sauce, chocolate. Taste of soy, nutty undertones, faded roast. Medium bodied and oily in the mouth. Alcohol wasn’t really present. It was interesting to try, but didn’t really work for me.
dfearnley (1302) - Alberta, CANADA - JUL 11, 2015
3.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle to taster at RBAG 2015
Caramel, smoke, bacon, booze. Dark black, no head. Oil, tar, sour. Good.
Ferris (8124) - Burnaby, British Columbia, CANADA - JUL 11, 2015
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
Bottle - Soy sauce, light booze and dark chocolate. Jet black with no head. Minty and herbal notes with some soy and a long finish.
kbudd19 (899) - Edmonton, Alberta, CANADA - JUL 11, 2015
3.9 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle vintage 1999! Appearance is thick and black with no head. Aroma is soy sauce, anise, cherry, and molasses. Taste is soy sauce, light carb, light mint and bitter dark chocolate. Pretty fucking good for a beer 16 years old.
DIBBLE (102) - Worthing, West Sussex, ENGLAND - JUN 26, 2015
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Big sweet burnt caramel, toffee, dark berries aroma. Thick light brown head with lacing over black oily beer. Thick sweet mouthfeel. Big sweet and bitter dark roast malt flavours with licorice, toffee, coffee, brown sugar. Very satisfying warming and medicinal.
zimbo (766) - SCOTLAND - MAY 3, 2015
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Luxuriously beautiful stout which everyone forgets about. Beautiful rich slick light brown glossy head on top of a silk body. Huge depth of flavour which has great sap and a constant developing flavour profile and a beautifully appetizing sour cherry quality. Vinuous and complete.
Forget about the old withered cork bottles. The crown cap is absolutely majestic.
olsvammel (4237) - 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 (1778) - Edinburgh, 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 (3083) - 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.