phaleslu (6204) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - DEC 26, 2011
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
22 oz bottle from Randall’s. Pours a deep, dark, cloudy chestnut brown with a minimal tan head that dissipates quickly. Aroma of booze, figs, brown sugar, molasses, chocolate, toffee, and faint roast. Flavor of lots of sweet caramel and chocolate malts, toffee, toasted brown sugar, dark fruits, and booze. Medium-bodied, with modest carbonation and a sweet, boozy mouthfeel. Good. This brewery has stepped up its game.
Drake (8030) - Free Union, Virginia, USA - DEC 26, 2011
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Served on draft at Beer Run. Pours a dark reddish color with a medium creamy tan head. Decent head retention. Aroma of citrus, berries, toffee, brown sugar and bitter hops. The taste is toffee malts, berries, bitter hops, booze, brown sugar and maple. Full bodied.
SSSteve (3719) - - DEC 25, 2011
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
bottle. claims 10.9%. near black with a small tan head. there’s a little of everything in this, but the nose is mostly chocolate and dark malts, molasses with raisin and other sweet dark fruits. whoa....flavor is very sweet. lots of molasses, raisin, caramel, cocoa, licorice. tastes like a liquified medjool date. full body and goes down easy if you can handle the sweetness. huge stuff! i like sweet beer, but this is borderline too much. maybe it has something to do with the 10% version?
SDalkoholic (2124) - Linda Vista, California, USA - DEC 24, 2011
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: DEC 25, 2011 Bottle from South Bay Liquor: Poured a dark dense black liquid that crated a thick nitro like layer of foam and almost looked similar to a pint full of Guinness Draught. In the aroma, my nose picks up dark chocolate and fruit with an addition of mild roast malts that aren’t as apparent as in other He’Brew anniversary recipes. The flavor is intensely sweet and sugary and delivers a taste of raw cane sugar and brown sugar while a smooth backbone of dark roasted malts carries the drink through. This is unbelievably tame yet well rounded out for packing a high 15% ABV because the alcohol is completely masked and will sneak up on you.
jb (2145) - Rochester, New York, USA - DEC 24, 2011
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Fruity nose, with malty notes. Appearance is beautiful black with a tan head. Palate is sweet and sugary, massive amounts of chocolate malt. Needs a bit more hops. Alcohol well hidden.
milewide (1461) - Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA - DEC 24, 2011
3.8 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
Sweet roasted, molasses, aroma and taste. Mouth-filling body. ABV well hidden. No hop bitterness or aroma IMO. A fine ale, but 15% ABV is too much for me!!!
j12601 (6584) - Poughkeepsie, New York, USA - DEC 24, 2011
3.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
Bottle. Pours a deep black to brown with a thin beige head. Roast and chocolate, malt, toast, sweetness on the nose. Big and sweet, roast and chocolate. Lots of malt. Very sweet. Super sweet really. Sort of like a beer syrup at times. Malt, roast and chocolate. Too sweet to be enjoyable in servings larger than a few ounces.
jrallen34 (3478) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - DEC 23, 2011
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
bottle... dark brown with a light tan head... very malty aroma but I’m digging it... tastes really nice, lots of molasses a bit of vanilla, and caramel, sooo drinkable at 15% this is great
jstraw (1906) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - DEC 23, 2011
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Black with big, foamy, brown head / Sweet nose of figs, molasses, and coffee / Very full body, sweet, malty, and sticky, with some balance and long, bitter, finish. Alcohol well masked / Flavors of figs, dates, molasses, dark roast coffee, and grass / A style of beer that I would not choose to drink often, but very well done.
Honestbrewer2 (16) - Oakland, California, USA - DEC 23, 2011
3.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 10/20
The aroma of this beer reminds me of a barley wine, which is to be expected considering the high alcohol content and complexity of malt. It does have a considerable fruitiness to it as well. The taste is very sweet however and reminds me of a beer that just didn’t finish attenuating. I think overall it’s nice and malty with tremendous complexity, but definitely not balanced in terms of bitterness and malt. So overall although the complexity in aroma and the malt bill is very welcomed, the underlying sweetness from trying to ferment out such a high strength beer, and not succeeding, detracts from my palate and my overall score.