Shag (2834) - Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA - OCT 24, 2003
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Appearance is very nice, dark with a long lasting beige head. Flavor is licorice, dark chocolate, raisins, and coffee with a mild sourness in the background. Very similar to a porter IMO. This is a nice beer even though I typically don't like Traditional Ales.
JPDIPSO (5569) - Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, USA - OCT 15, 2003
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Near black color with a tinge of rudy. A smaller tan head. Mocha and light lirorice in aroma. Roasted grains with a light fruity background. A somewhat fruity stout.
BBB63 (6557) - La Porte, Indiana, USA - OCT 6, 2003
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Very dark brown hue with frothy tan head head and very good lace. Aroma hints of berry, smoke, leather, licorice, and wood. Twangy fruit and smoky malt taste. A bit of alcohol appears also. The finish is espresso like, dry and mildly bitter. Undertone of tobacco and black currents included. Weird and complex, yet the palate was a bit off as I found the beer a bit thinner than expected. The alcohol detected on the nose is not present on the tongue. Overall a very interesting beer that I will try again.
JonR888710 (999) - Cochabamba, BOLIVIA - OCT 5, 2003
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Very interesting looking dark ale, looks more like a porter, 90% opaque. Thin head of off-white bubbles. Smells of sweet berries as the name suggests (blueberry and boysenberry), pipe tobacco and chocolate. Taste is bright, tart and strong. Flavors of chocolate, coffee, both sweet & tart berries, and alcohol. Aftertaste is chocolate, tart-coffee, and more alcohol. This is one of the most surprising, perplexing beers I’ve had in a long time. From the time I pulled the bottle from the fridge, poured it into my glass, and put the glass to my lips I had no clue what to expect. This is definately not a traditional ale. I really hope this review hasn’t ruined the shock for anyone. Sampled from a 12 oz bottle, purchased at Chevy Chase Wine & Liquors in Washington, DC.
herbjones (742) - Orange, California, USA - OCT 5, 2003
3.1 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 14/20
Pours black with a touch of red when held to the light. Nose is very port like. Slightly tart at the front with a medium full body. Finishes watery though. Reminds me of watered down wine.
bu11zeye (12684) - Frisco (Dallas), Texas, USA - OCT 2, 2003
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
(Bottle) This brewery makes excellent beers and this beer is no exception. The ale is black and creamy with the most intesting complexity. Your tongue will be jumping for joy!
WISEGUY572 (1377) - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - SEP 27, 2003
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Almost black with quickly vanishing dark coffee colored lacing; with a lot of tiny bubbles it looks almost like a Coke. Mouth is big and round and viscous and oily, almost like a porter. Taste of bitter coffee, sweet dark malt, burned caramel and ... something else ... elderberries? Complex, but light, not overwhelming. Easy drinking, hides the alcohol. Not great but pleasant for a night cap.
wnp22 (698) - Toronto (Roncesvalles Village), Ontario, CANADA - SEP 16, 2003
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Tasted in Toronto from LCBO. Aroma is sweet with a licorice, caramel and spicy hint. There is also a lingering alcohol scent. Appearance is dark brown/black and opaque.
Very slight head formation. Taste is burnt caramel and black licorice with come complex smoky undertones.
MartinT (9267) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - SEP 9, 2003
3.5 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
UPDATED: SEP 25, 2005 A porterish, roasted liveliness unexpectedly surveys a familiar territory...Elderberries (very similar to blackberries, it seems) waltz homogenously with the lactic creaminess which appears midway...Well-crafted, a little smoky, but relatively unthreatening dark ale...
ARMed (625) - Garnet Valley, Pennsylvania, USA - AUG 14, 2003
3.7 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Tastes like a mild porter, with a little oatmeal stout flavor, though a watered down version and much much weaker. Color is deep amber black. Head is minimal and not long lasting. Lacing is fair and bubbles are relatively small. Less carbonated than I would have thought, but I liked that aspect of the ale. The ale has a slight bitter burnt caramel taste. It is not as full-bodied as I was hoping. It is however very smooth and clean. Easy to drink and not a bad beer, but just not one that I would completely rave about. I really don't taste the fruity aspect of this ale at all, but it does have a good flavor, though a little weaker than I was hoping. Can't taste the 6.5% alcohol at all!