SledgeJr (3577) - Omaha, Nebraska, USA - MAY 15, 2008
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
In the bottle from Beertopia. Pours a dark bownish-purple with a medium but durable off white head. The aroma is very dark fruit consisting of wines and raisins and figs. This would be a clone of St. Bernardus Abt if you ignored the nutty sandalwood/cedar/crazywood flavor and the weirdness. A very thick beer that has all the abbey beer palate. Thereís lots going on here. I am very impressed.
BlackDonald (1126) - Gulf Shores, Alabama, USA - MAY 13, 2008
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
This was so delicious! I had never even thought about a beer aged in Sake casks, it really imparts a different flavor to the style. The nose has a lot of yeasty qualities, as well as dates and figs, and a hint of candi sugar. The mouthfeel is quite complex and delicious. Has an earth mineral quality to it and a bit of saltiness, but extremely assertive with the belgian qualities, some nice subtle spices with some herbal hoppiness in the finish. Very tasty and unique.
IMtheOptimator (1164) - Bethel, Connecticut, USA - MAY 10, 2008
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Poured a murky dark amber with a fizzy/frohty off-white head. Surprisingly strong aroma of wood, cherries, alcohol.. comes off as a bit unusual but not unpleasant. Taste is strong, unusual, refined. Notes of cherries, oak, dark malts, a bit of bitter grass, some light molasses. It at first seems as if it would be predominantly sweet, but tart flavors and an alcoholic, mildly metallic dryness show themselves through quickly in the sip. Body is extremely aggressive, with carbonation and alcohol burning all the way down my throat. This has the complexity of good beer and the refined dryness of the sake, making it overall a nice drink that could compliment a delicate yet well-layered meal. I think Hitachino could potentially make something momentous out of this with a bit more sugar, some stronger fermentation, and a bit more aging. A surprising amount of character for such an unassuming beer. Nice.
bhensonb (12744) - Woodland, California, USA - MAY 7, 2008
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle. Fruity almost vinous aroma with an undercurrent of funk. Quite Belgian. Near mahogany color with a decent beige head. Medium bodied with creamy, but coarse, carbonation. Itís got a touch of Brettness, unsweet fruit, some wood, and a hint of Sake. Whew. Finish is slightly tart, dry, and woody. All in all it is quite good, and something Iíd ascribe to Russian River on a blind tasting.
Crosling (1864) - Fort Collins, Colorado, USA - MAY 5, 2008
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Complex nose of sweet fruits and funk. Awfully aromatic. Dark orange color. Unique tartness with exotic fruits and interesting flavors. Really nice and delectable, bottle conditioned ale.
vyvvy (4777) - Florissant, Missouri, USA - MAY 3, 2008
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
12 oz. bottle. Pours hazy dark brown with a rich tan head. The aroma has toasted malt, lots of sourness, funky yeasty qualities, graininess, anise and other spices. The funk almost gives a Jolly Pumpkin type of hint to it. Medium slick body that has a multitude of micro-sized carbonation coating the tongue, but never intruding on the flavor. The flavor starts with all kinds of funkiness that seems like an enjoyable infection was going on here. There is also dark malt, anise, fitting mustiness and something I canít put my finger on (probably sake). The finish is sour with some burntness and a hint of elderberries. A great beer.
HogTownHarry (6322) - Toronto (Harbourfront), Ontario, CANADA - APR 26, 2008
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle (330ml). Near-murky brick red with a MASSIVE tan foamy-frothy lasting head. Aroma of dry/sour/funky yeast, floral hops and gin (or I guess sake). Taste - wow, dry and incredibly sour/tart, but mostly in a good way, a bit on the wild yeast side, white pepper and pungently floral, alcohol and sake riding along too. Average body, solid carbonation, quite acidic in the finish ---- sort of generic tart Belgian meets a different barrel along the way - worth trying for sure.
dm9831 (1512) - Monee, Illinois, USA - APR 25, 2008
3.1 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 14/20
pours an apricot color, slight bubbles on the top. this beer has aroma smells (i have no real idea what but i think i caught some wood). it is also taste flavored, with hints of musky spice, and a perfumey finish. i found this one alien to me, complex, but not unappealing overall.
gregc (3) - ny, New York, USA - APR 21, 2008 does not count
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Draft at spuyten duyvil...
A very nice cask aged beer....
Floral aroma, oak and sake
Flavor was citrus, lavender, hops with a slightly sour finish...a very unique flavor profile...
Brigadier (3290) - Clevelandish, Ohio, USA - APR 21, 2008
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
12 oz bottle
This has been sitting on deck for about a month now. It was worth every penny of the $3.99 I spent even though I probably wonít pick up another bottle due to limited cellar space. It makes me want to explore other Asian non pale lagers at some point to see what is going on in that region of the world. The hard part is going to be finding them in this part of the country.
Aroma / Appearance - A two finger off white head danced to the top of the glass suffocating the caramelly red body underneath. Rice, wood and malts blended with caramel and cherry wood shavings. The entire experience was sweet and pleasing to the nose.
Flavor / Palate - The mouthfeel was dense without being cloying. Rice, cherries and malt were the most obvious as they were in the nose. The moist fruity aftertaste was a nice touch as well. The hops then took over to provide a floral endnote not unlike rose petals. It was mellow and easy to drink which makes it worth trying. If you are hesitant split one with a friend first.