Ernest (6031) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - AUG 10, 2006
3.5 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 13/20
Head is initially average sized, frothy, off-white, mostly lasting.
Body is dark amber.
Aroma is lightly to moderately malty (toasted grain, cookie, caramel), moderately hoppy (resin, grapefruit), with notes of alcohol and fruitcake.
Flavor is heavily sweet, lightly to moderately acidic, lightly to moderately bitter.
Finish is moderately sweet, lightly to moderately acidic, moderately bitter.
Full body, creamy texture, lively carbonation, moderately alcoholic.
Itís actually pretty good for a "train wreck" type of beer. The aroma doesnít have much subtlety or complexity, but itís ok for this kind of thing. Luxurious thick mouthfeel, warming without being too hot. Itís far from a type of beer I enjoy, BUT for what it is (and considering how crappy the rest of the Hebrew line is), Iím surprised.
jigglyjock (161) - Seattle, Washington, USA - AUG 10, 2006
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Strong aroma of warming alcohol, dried dark fruits (dates, plums), hops (earth, pine, grapefruit). Pours a beautiful dark brown/orange color with an ever more captivating huge, fine bubbled off-white head. When I taste it, I first perceive the sweet, heavy malt, and then the balancing of strong sappy hops. Has a sticky mouth feel with very mellow carbonation. I can faintly tell there is rye in this beer. This beer would go excellently with a cheese, (bread) which has some sort of caraway seed influence. A Rueben on rye would be unbelievable accompanied by this brew!!
theshocker (329) - Marietta, Georgia, USA - AUG 9, 2006
3.6 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Dark red, crystal clear. Medium brown head that doesnít fade. Very inviting. I pick up next to no aroma. Iím not sure if old or Iím stuffed up. Maybe some sweet, sugary smells but the orange-citrus aroma one expects form an amarillo dry hop just isnít there. Full bodies, definately bitter. Spicey, earthy, grapefruity, caramel, brown sugar, old bay seasoning.
Cobra (1100) - Banned City, - AUG 8, 2006
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: OCT 25, 2006 22 oz. brown bomber bottle. No freshness date seen. Poured out a deep orangish amber color, with a thick tan colored head. Aromas are predominately hops. Grapefruit, pine tree, some citrus, and malts way off in the background. Flavors are of hops, alcohol, and malts. Some caramel notes, and a burnt sugar flavor as well. Mouthfeel is rich, thick body.
Finishes bitter, hoppy, and piney.
Unbalanced in my opinion. A few less aroma hops would have made this infinitely better.
fratmonkey (1) - Milton, Massachusetts, USA - AUG 7, 2006 does not count
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Not too much thatís sweet, but it sure is bitter. A whole lotta beer. The alcohol is somewhat overpowering, but the malt backbone ultimately offsets it. Make sure you set aside a short while to devote to drinking it, because this beer will not be rushed.
JoeMcPhee (8214) - Toronto, ON, Ontario, CANADA - AUG 7, 2006
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: JUL 28, 2007 22 oz bottle. Deep amber brown beer with rich ruddy highlights and a thick sticky head. Massive hop aroma, pine and heavy peppery spice. Lots of rye in the nose accentuating the spiciness of the hops in here. Light grapefruit and orange in addition to the heavy resiny hoppiness. There is a lot of malty sweetness up front, some medium crystal malt, toasted rye and soft graininess. Loads of hop flavour as well, although itís hard to pick out a lot of individual character. Lots of light piny resins on the back. Clean bitterness otherwise. Quite thick and creamy on the palate. Lingering pine and rye spiciness.
MullMan (1099) - New Jersey, USA - AUG 6, 2006
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
sampled at the final heavyweight open house, courtesy of Beastiefan2k. dark gold and orange color. aroma is sweet and floral hops. flavor is more bitter and hoppy. thanks Eugene!
Pailhead (4417) - Brownstown, Michigan, USA - AUG 6, 2006
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle: Aroma of grapefruit, caramel, orange, and a hint of pine. Pours a transparent bright reddish-orange with a small off-white head with fair retention. Starts with a big fruity and caramel sweetness that lasts from start to finish. Light rye in the background. Bitter finish with lots of grapefruit and pine that lingers for quite some time in the aftertaste. Alcohol is hidden very well. Light carbonation on the palate and feels syrupy at times. A solid offering but the fruity/caramel sweetness and light rye background donít completely mesh well for me.
SDbruboy (1864) - San Diego, California, USA - AUG 5, 2006
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
22 oz bottle, included in a nice box oí stuff from slob! This beer definitely lives up to the name of Bittersweet, as a nicely balanced Imperial RyePA. The pour was gorgeous, a deep clear copper with a large and creamy beige head that diminished at an eminently relaxed pace and left broad shouldered lace. This has a complex aroma of caramel, overripe peach, toasty notes, spice along with citrus and spruce. The flavor is indeed bittersweet, with huge amounts of sweet malted rye and barley, with the rye perhaps contributing to the interesting mellow earthiness and astringency. Lots of tart and bitter hoppiness with flavors of grapefruit, pine and orange peel, spice and pepper show up as well as juicy tangrine and noticible, but not overpowering alcohol in the finish. Full body and creamy smooth carbonation. Iím duly impressed by this offering from Mendocino, I have to say it was better than I expected. Thanks Bert!
CaptainCougar (7129) - Columbia, Maryland, USA - AUG 4, 2006
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Pours a transparent deep copper amber with a nicely-lacing frothy off-white head. Aroma has a nice sweet fresh piney resiny hoppiness along with some earthy caramel and complex butterscotch. First sip is of viscous sweet caramel quickly revealing a fresh, resinous bittering hoppiness and a sticky piney finish with some mildly warming alcohol. Pretty well balanced and enjoyable. I generally donít age IIPAs, but I think this would be a good IIPA to age.