Pailhead (5398) - Plymouth, Michigan, USA - NOV 17, 2004
2.6 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 10/20
Bottle: Strong caramel aroma. Sweet and malty. Cloudy amber with a white head. Flavor is too sweet. Very sweet caramel with a little tartness in the finish. Honey and syruppy. Too sweet for me.
SledgeJr (3577) - Omaha, Nebraska, USA - NOV 4, 2004
4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: DEC 8, 2006 vintage 2004. cloudy amber pour with a thick, creamy, fluffy, beige head. looks like a rootbeer float, except not as dark. Graduations of big bubbles at the interface of the beer, going up to little teeny bubbles on top. Delicious scent - raisins, oranges, vanilla, holiday spices. sweet and tart at the same time. you can both smell and taste a high percentage of alcohol up front; high hops and an alcohol burn on the tongue; you can feel the heavy carbonation in your mouth. Medicine-like aftertaste. As close to a barleywine as Japanese beer gets. It belches chocolatey. Pepper flavor emerges midway through the beer, with a strong pepper finish. A beer to be consumed with some kind of food - it might be dangerous not to. A relentless oral pounding of Japanese delight - not what we call a balanced beer, and that is just fine. UPDATE 12/06: Vintage 2004 again. Aroma of a spicey indian curry. Lacks lace totally. Head is ridiculously foamy. Crazy beer.
willblake (2654) - Bel Air, Maryland, USA - NOV 1, 2004
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
10.31.04 330ml bottle. Dingy copper, cloudy pour. Wow! this is some sweet, sweet beer. So sweet my cheeks pucker. Cotton candy sweet. Blueberry syrup sweet. Japanese candy sweet. Oh. Fascinating stuff.
Pigfoot (2268) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - NOV 1, 2004
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Appearance: beautiful color, but tough to pin...a dusky tangerine, a brazen peach? One of the two, or both put together...and adorned with a tall, thick, fuzzy, lemon-tinged head.
Aroma: AH! Reminds me of Belgian ales right off, with a yeasty, citric, sour element immediately evident, very vivacious.
Taste: brilliant hoppiness, searing and delighting the tongue, then the further flavors beyond in the body of the brew are juicier with this rich, spicy, citric twang. Becomes hot on the tongue, too (maybe thatís the 9% ABV weíre dealing with), and that mingling with an additional spiciness tingling through the palate, and the combination of them all leaves an incredibly tasty and rewarding ale. As I continue in, I like it more and more. And the pepper continues, giving off hints of other spices as well, cinnamon, ginger, maybe?
This is quite a new kind of brew, full of happy surprises, and a downright nice way to welcome in 2004!
Is thing still on? Sorry, Iím still enjoying it, and I finally drain the last drops, Iíve melted into a soppy, insolvent mess that can only utter "yum, yummy, yummers"...
JonR888710 (999) - Cochabamba, BOLIVIA - OCT 23, 2004
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
Dirty brown, cloudy body, with some orange and lots of sediment. Head is frothy, like peach colored cotton balls. Nose is sour and citrusy with some mealy qualities. Taste is pure orange. Just imagine eating a slightly overrripe orange, sweet. Lactose souring. Good beer, especially for this style, but flavor is a little one dimensional
11026 (1772) - Alabama, USA - OCT 11, 2004
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle. Pours a deep amber color, perhaps a little hazy. Big, fat, long lingering head. Great lacing. Aroma is beyond me to describe. Spices and fruits seem to predominate. Flavor is well blended spice and malt. Sort of cloying on the palate. Wheat beer notes in taste are subtle. Really enjoyable.
TimE (3898) - Tokyo, JAPAN - OCT 6, 2004
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
I was fortunate enough to try straight from an oak cask. The body is a dark amber brownish color with absolutely no head. The first smell that hits your nose is strong vanilla beans then comes freshly brewed coffee, cherries and oranges. The mouth is syrupy rich with vanilla, chocolate and oranges. The finish dances with vanilla and chocolate, shit this stuff is goooooooooodddddddd!!!!
Crosling (1864) - Fort Collins, Colorado, USA - OCT 3, 2004
4.1 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pours a dusty deep orangish mahogany. The rocky and frothy head morphs into a huge tsunami wave and rushes to the shore. The lacing is thick and active, bubbling as it sticks.
The aroma is excellent. Cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, caramel apples, cherries, light sugar glazed coriander and fresh fruitcake in the nose. Quite the sniffer, in fact, this aroma deserves a 5!
Particles everywhere. The tidal waves subdues. Orange peel jumps out and hits me first. Spices, many spices from the hops and then loads of cinnamon come in. Loads of juicy fruits come in on the finish with vanilla and an alcohol kick. Finish lingers.
However, this beer suffers.
Overcarbonation plays an enormous role in this beer. The mouthfeel was "soda like" and the overcarbonation affected the flavor and the mouthfeel.
This still was a delightful experience.
Smell the empty bottle when you are done. It smells like fresh peaches.
arhythmt (69) - USA - SEP 24, 2004
4.8 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: SEP 27, 2004 I originally rated this beer much lower as I tried it on tap at the 2004 Seattle Beer Festival. However, since then I have tried it in the bottle and the difference is astonishing! This beer might require some slight aging to be at its best; on tap, it tasted too bitter, but in the bottle it is smooth and rich like an excellent port but with more spice. This beer tastes more like a flavored rum (with the orange peel and cinnamon especially) than anything else I've tried. Very rich, begins a bit hoppy but warms up and becomes malty in a good way. Excellent beer, well worth seeking out a bottle or two!
JCapriotti (1379) - Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA - SEP 21, 2004
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Lots and lots of head... off white and fully lasting. Very yeasty at bottom... nice dark red body... clear (yeast in bottle). Really interesting aroma of strawberries, some kind of spices, orange. Sweet spiced orange flavor. bitter wood. Dry bitter finish. A little too fizzy in the mouth, but full flavor. Really good stuff. Goes straight to the head to.... feels good, as I've been dry lately.