ThisWangsChung (826) - Leonardtown, Maryland, USA - MAY 24, 2013
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Portion of a 22 oz bottle poured into a tulip glass.
A: Pours a very dark brown color - one would think it was an imperial stout given the look. The head is a one finger mocha shade. I’m really impressed how well it retains itself for 16%, too. Not much lacing, as expected.
S: There is a lot of chocolate, licorice, and plum qualities exhibited on the nose. In general it’s a fruity aroma, perhaps a bit weak (due to the fact I served it relatively cold) yet not remotely boozy.
T: The initial flavor is very plummy. Strong dark fruits and chocolate go into the midtaste, and it finishes with a bit of spicy hoppiness and booze. I’m amazed how boozy this isn’t - blindfold me and I’d swear it was around the 9-10% range. Rather, it’s the sweetness that becomes a problem. After 10 oz. this one got too cloying for me.
M: It isn’t as thick as one would expect, but it certainly lingers on the palate in sweet, syrupy fashion. While I can complain about all the sweetness, I can NOT complain about the prevalence of alcohol; the person I was drinking it with claimed he could honest-to-god chug it.
O: Sure, it gets too cloying after half a bottle. Sure, it’s devoid of sophistication, refinement, and elegance. But when you consider that this is an extreme beer that’s drinkable, non-boozy, AND inexpensive (for what it is), all those problems kind of fly out the window. I wouldn’t have regretted buying a second bottle of this to age for a year of two, either. This one is best shared with 2-3 people.
jandd1983 (2973) - Florissant, Missouri, USA - APR 13, 2015
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
It poured a dark brown color with a tan head. The aroma was of roasted malts, some dried fruits, alcohol, spices and caramel. The taste was similar to the aroma with chocolate, more alcohol, caramel and sweet fruits. Some alcohol burn on the finish. Different.
djd07 (5022) - Houston, Texas, USA - FEB 16, 2015
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle. Pours a dark brown with small beige head that diminishes quickly. Roast chocolate malt and smoke aroma. Thin mouthfeel with a sweet roast and rich chocolate with light dry finish. Good
superspak (3115) - Michigan, USA - FEB 15, 2015
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
22 ounce bottle into snifter, bottled in 9/2012. Pours dense pitch black color with a 2 finger dense dark tan head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass, with some light streaming carbonation. Aromas of big chocolate, cocoa, molasses, toast, toffee, dark bread, raisin, prune, leather, tobacco, herbal, and roast/toasted earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/roasted/bready malt, dark fruit, and earthy hop notes; with good strength. Taste of huge dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, molasses, toffee, toast, dark bread, raisin, prune, leather, tobacco, light char, herbal, and roast/toasted earthiness. Fair amount of roast/char/herbal bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, molasses, toffee, toast, dark bread, raisin, prune, leather, tobacco, light char, and roast/toasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Damn nice complexity and balance of dark/roasted/bready malt, dark fruit, and earthy hop flavors; with a nice roasted bitterness/sweetness balance and no cloying sweetness after the finish. Light-medium carbonation and very full bodied; with a very creamy, slick, and lightly syrupy/chalky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with only a moderate warming present after the finish. Overall this is an excellent strong ale. All around great complexity and balance of dark/roasted/bready malt, dark fruit, and earthy hop flavors; and smooth to sip on slowly for the huge ABV. A very enjoyable offering.
andrewturba (1145) - Alberta, CANADA - FEB 2, 2015
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Pours a very dark black with very little light coming through the edges. With a decent tan head that disappears quickly. Aroma is roasted malts, alcohol, chocolate, bourbon, vanilla, and licorice. Flavour is roasted malts, chocolate, chocolate syrup, alcohol, bourbon, lots of sweetness and a light dryness. For a 16 point beer this is well balanced and pretty easy to drink!
Reimer96 (1443) - Alberta, CANADA - FEB 2, 2015
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pours an opaque inky black with a foamy brown head that dissipates quickly. Aroma of roasted malts, bourbon, vanilla, booze, toffee, caramelized sugar and a nice tickling of the nose. Taste is roasted malts, bourbon, alcohol, caramelized sugar, vanilla and rich chocolate in the background. Big intense flavors, sweet boozy and an alcohol bite but all held in a pretty good balance. Nice winter sipper.
Ron (2848) - Rochester, New York, USA - JAN 16, 2015
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle after cellaring for 2 years. Opaque black/brown with a small tan head and very good lacing. Aroma of sweet roasted malt, caramel, raisins, a little molasses, alcohol and a touch of chocolate. Taste of sweet roasted malt, vanilla, toffee, raisins, molasses and a hint of coffee. The alcohol was partly hidden with the malt, but it was felt. Full body and medium carbonization.
SanfordBrewer (1392) - Sanford, Florida, USA - JAN 15, 2015
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Aged this in the basement for two years.
Opaque black with quickly dissipating brown head. Syrupy full body with high carbonation.
Aroma: heavy malt, silage, smooth alcohol, figs, molases, prunes, soy sauce.
Taste: sweet charred fruit cake, rum.
Cross between barleywine and imperial stout, with alcohol stregth of both. Not quite hot, but burns the throat. Would be nice if the bottle had more description beyond ABV and "16 malts and 16 hops".
jb (2398) - Rochester, New York, USA - JAN 14, 2015
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Thanks to Ron for stowing this away for a couple years then producing it to share today. It aged well. Malt forward, but plenty of hops to balance and provide relief from the assault of malt. Deep plum nose, and plenty of malty notes. Nice complexity. Syrupy mouthfeel. Much better as it warms. Some chocolate/stouty notes were coming through late. Nice.
DuffMan (7461) - the land of bitumen, beef & beer, Alberta, CANADA - DEC 10, 2014
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle, shared with Grippitis and Mike while watching Oregon destroy Arizona State. Viscous oily black pour, low but thick brown head. Intensely malty aroma, dark fruits and booze. Sweet, rich flavours of prunes, birch syrup, soy sauce, milk chocolate, figs, spicy rye, molasses bread. Warming but not harsh. Incredibly rich-- a sharing brew for sure. I’m so amazed that these guys can turn out a drinkable, complex 16% ABV beer! Wow.
bnokk (73) - Ohio, USA - NOV 27, 2014
4.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
APPEARANCE - super black with healthy brown head.
NOSE - barley wine style, a bit of alcohol scent.
FLAVOR - Rich and and complex, dark roasty flavors that blend together seamlessly. Would never be able to tell it’s 16%.
NOTES - Outstanding beer, with tremendous flavor depth.