DuffMan (9541) - the land of bitumen, beef & beer, Alberta, CANADA - APR 16, 2011
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: APR 17, 2011 Bottle. Hearty, viscous, opaque walnut brown, thick, finely bubbled golden head. Every now and then an immediate association comes to mind with the aroma of a particular beer. There is no searching the memory, there is no need for swishing in the mouth and repeat sips and critical thought. It’s just BOOM, instant association. This brew struck exactly that chord for me: warm chocolate-chip banana bread. Other things rolled out after that immediate impression, but chocolate, caramalized banana, and sweet bready malt remained the foundation. added to the flavours were molasses, raisin pie, hoisin, vanilla, and cream. Heavy and creamy mouthfeel. warming finish, but not harsh or alcoholic at all. these guys are fucking geniuses! These anniversary brews keep getting bigger every ear, yet they manage to continue striking a perfect balance time after time. I could see this being too sweet for some people, but this just nailed it for me. Awesome!
nearbeer (4877) - Knoxville, Tennessee, USA - MAR 29, 2011
3.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Bomber. Nose of prunes, alcohol, cherry, licorice and chocolate. Flavor is the same but more alcohol than other flavors. Heavy body is sweet and sticky, with a big alcohol burn.
Strykzone (6720) - Wood River, Illinois, USA - MAR 28, 2011
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
A dark brown pour with a thick tan head that has strong retention. The aroma is rich malt and sweet citrus fruit. Alcohol is only marginally tasted but the warming is felt. Feel is substantial. Fruit, again, is a major theme here and there are some background hops that give this beer plenty of personality. It also has background sourness. But rich and sweet malt is the backbone here. While I wish the ABV were much lower, this is a very tasty beer and is in my wheelhouse.
italarican (1543) - Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA - MAR 20, 2011
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle generously shared at Max’s FF winnings tasting. Pours essentially jet black with an oily looking tan head. Aroma is massive of marshmallow and toffee with a yeast background. Flavor has bourbon at the forefront with notes of toasted coconut, marshmallow, and dark chocolate. The mouthfeel is awesome: like a pillow of chocolaty goodness. Once it hits your lips it’s so good!
Savvy1982 (1705) - Lethbridge, Alberta, CANADA - MAR 20, 2011
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle from the Vertical Jewbelation Pack. My last bottle from the pack, let’s see how the Big Papa is... Pours opaque, viscous black, as these things go up in alcohol, the more they pour out like dirty motor oil. I’m pretty sure I could turn the glass upside down and this stuff wouldn’t move. I won’t, because anything this dark and thick would be a BASTARD to get out of the carpet. Speaking of carpet... Where were we? Oh yes. Rating a beer - On with the show! The beer has a 1-finger thick tan head, which quickly dissipates, but the lacing hangs around quite well, where it does so at all, not really spotty lacing, let’s say patchy. Nose is Tootsie rolls, caramel-coated raisins, figs, smoke, tobacco, brandy. Oddly, this seems less boozy than some of the previous versions, specifically the Twelve. Again, light notes of dying hops, and an overall impression of weight. Flavours of toasty tobacco/rye/spice/toffee, really grooving on the spice/sweetness here. Alcohol is apparent (at 14% how could it not be) but it isn’t as offensive as I had feared. Long and weighty in the mouth, with lots of treacle and molasses and fudge characters. It’s no Vertical Jewbelation, which is the best of the lot, but considering this is 14% alcohol, I say it’s a masterfully well-done brew.
jtclockwork (14940) - , New Jersey, USA - MAR 19, 2011
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
Bottle at Max’s tasting. Pours black. Tan head. Nose of raisin, plum, brown sugar and toffee. Taste is thick sweet raisin puree, brown sugar and toffee. Almost sickeningly sweet at times. Good sipper.
deyholla (9997) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - MAR 9, 2011
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle. Pours a near black with a light brown head that dissipates to the edges. Aroma has a combination of roasted malts and bitter dark chocolate with a bit of backing hop bitterness. Flavor starts with roasted malts but quickly becomes bitter with dark chocolate and hops.
Priorat63 (10) - Redding, California, USA - MAR 6, 2011
4.8 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Appearance: Raisin brown color, rather full spongy creamy head (for 14%), good cap and lacing (does fade towards the end).
Nose: Black-strap molasses, freshly toasted raisin bread, "C" grade maple syrup, light notes of Colombian Supremo @ medium-dark roast.
Taste: Complex to say the least; very sweet malts, rosiny black-strap molasses, caramelly caffé macchiato, medjool dates, boozy west-indies dark Rhum (mon), dark English toffee, dark chocolate, slightly smoky violets & toasted-herbs on the light hop finish.
Mouthfeel: Extremely full-bodied, creamy-syrupy, light carbonation.
Drinkability/Overall: Absolutely complex, rich rich flavours. I could drink as much of this, as I could Aunt Jemimah’s & melted Coffee Haagen Daaz shakes!
unclemattie (4358) - Georgia, USA - MAR 3, 2011
2.7 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 14/20
22oz bottle. Black pour, brown foam. Aroma of malt syrup. Heavy sticky molasses smell. Some wooded hops, sugary malt flavor. IT IS ALL SUGAR. Some bitterness, some alcohol to help even out the malt. This beer needs lots of age to it, its just too sweet. Period.
dimenhetfield (2486) - , Florida, USA - FEB 27, 2011
3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 10/20
750ml bottle. Dark brown pour, thick and syrupy. Aroma and flavor are just too sweet to make this an enjoyable beer. With all the malts they used it’s no wonder this thing is super sweet. I’d like to see what some aging does to this beer.