Sammy (11251) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - MAR 27, 2008
3.4 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Pours a hazy yellow-orange with some significant white crown that laces. Musty basement smell. Taste of woodened and decent English IPA, I do not know the vintage. Dry and drying, with hops and cedar. Sour finish. The bottle said 5% next to Japanese symbol. Bits of wood sediment at the end of the glass.
theisti (3905) - Kansas, USA - MAR 24, 2008
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Magnum bottle shared by hogfodder with after4ever and myself on 3/20/08. This was the 2002 Vintage of the Classic Ale. According to the label, this was aged in an oak barrel, as opposed to Cedar cask for the usual Classic Ale. Pour is hazy basketball orange, with a fluffy white head. Aroma of sour, floral and some dirty cardboard. Taste is great out of the gate with big flowery hops, oak wood, and nice bright fruit sourness. The taste falls apart a bit mid palate, and then begins to show its age. I can imagine this was excellent fresh. Thanks for sharing this rarity Rick!
after4ever (7620) - Brier, Washington, USA - MAR 21, 2008
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
UPDATED: MAR 22, 2008 Pot-bellied magnum of the 2002 oak-aged version, corked and baled. Thanks, Hogfodder!
Cloudy dark brown, with a densely sudsy tan head. Mild lace. Big floral nose with funky cherries on there as well. Medium body, still plenty of carb. Funky fruit, some cardboard, and light oak on the mid-palate. Very light resin @ the end.
GG (2332) - NorCal, California, USA - MAR 18, 2008
2.1 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 6/20
Since this comes from Japan and Hitachino is probably one of the smaller breweries in Japan, this comes at no small price. And due to that high price, the beer is no where near what it should be which is a shame because a Japanese IPA is intriguing.
The beer pours out of the oddly shaped hour-glass style bottle with an solid amber colored head but the head just didnít hold up. An aroma of honey, stale orange juice and a bit floral. Average mouthfeel. Flavors had some sweet malt to it with an odd green wood character that just didnít do much for me. Pretty average stuff, and at nearly twice the price as other beers Iíll be sure to stay away from it in the future.
pintsize (1042) - Austin, Texas, USA - MAR 11, 2008
3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
3-2-08 bottle shared at tasting thanks to meeee!!
Light orange in color with little head. Smells just just apple juice. Has a stagnant and interesting mouthfeel. Flavor isnít too bold - but is slightly hopped (not as much as I had hoped for). Aftertaste is a bit rubbing alcohol. Pretty decent - not quite great though.
corby112 (2804) - philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - MAR 4, 2008
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
This review pertains to the aged 2002 version. Pours a cloudy orange color with a foamy cream color. Aroma of oak, apple and spice. Flavor is quite tart and is dominated by apple because of the aging in cider casks.
lb4lb (2587) - Austin, Texas, USA - MAR 4, 2008
3.5 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Pours a glowing orange pour with a moderate offwhite head. Smell is musty, woodsy, and perhaps a touch fruity.
Taste is dry, musty, and woodsy overall with a nice bitterness in the finish. Mild hop flavor overall for an IPA and it definitely has a unique woody flavor from the cedar cask aging. Interesting.
greenhorn1 (850) - Mission Viejo, California, USA - MAR 1, 2008
3.5 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
12 oz bottle from BottleTrek.com. Pours a murky straw color. The beer is very different, very strange. There was an overwhelming spice flavor and aroma, which I identified as peppery. It also tastes like gnawing on a piece of wood, but somehow it works. There is a sweet spicy bitter finish. This rating is a bit convoluted, but I am not sure how to rate this one. It was not my favorite, but I gave slightly higher points for the uniqueness.
smith4498 (3562) - Miami, Florida, USA - FEB 2, 2008
3.6 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Poured a hazy orange with an off white head that quicky disipated. Funky aroma. Peppery and ginger ale? I canít quite put my finer on it. Flavor was also peppery and woody with an earthy aftertaste. Not bad, but different. Worth a try.
wingman333 (333) - San Antonio, Texas, USA - FEB 2, 2008
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
I was encouraged to try this and was not disappointed. It is aged in cedar casks and you can really smell and taste the wood, leading to a nice bitterness, It has an amber-gold color, average carbonation, and spicy finish.