SQNfan (591) - Wheaton, Illinois, USA - JUN 7, 2008
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
This poured amber in color with a thick head. Aromas of sour red fruit with a touch of malt and funk. In the mouth it is medium-bodied with lots of carbonation and great balance. While quite crisp and refreshing there is nice concentration in the midpalate. Well done!
pnista (1007) - Bloomington, Indiana, USA - MAY 31, 2008
3.1 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 12/20
Hazy darker brownish red with a thinner tannish head. Sweeter foot-like woody smell. A bit of booze. A bit of vanilla. Creamy. Nice fullness, but perhaps too viscous. Sweet and creamy boozy caramel with vanilla. A bit of alcohol. Tannic fruity finish. Cloying, boozy.
holdenn (2100) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - MAY 28, 2008
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle from WLV Liquors. Pours a clear amber orange with a smooth beige head. Nose is surprisingly sour and slighlty fruity at first but that fades to reveal the Bazooka Joe bubble gum that surrounds this beer like an aura. Carbonation is spritzy. Fruity flavors. Some cherry, grapefruity, bubblegum and earthy notes with a touch of sourness. There is a distracting earthiness that comes from the yeast but my sample without the yeast remains fruity and smooth. I never noticed Bazooka Joe chalky bubblegum like this in any beer before. A strange one but enjoyable.
DMRz (230) - Durham, North Carolina, USA - MAY 28, 2008
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
This is one strange beer... Aromas of cherris, malt, and a bit ok funkiness (maybe brett?). Cherries are more pronounced in the flavor, with barnyard and a bready yeast finish. Very interesting; the oak age is evident but I do not pick up on any sake or shochu flavors or aromas. Worth a try.
RCL (2030) - Waltham, Massachusetts, USA - MAY 28, 2008
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
This beer is wild. Weird garbagey aroma blows off revealing a nice cedary slightly citric dry aroma. Fairly dry flavor. Very interesting.
beerguy101 (5340) - Newark, California, USA - MAY 27, 2008
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
This Belgian Ale pours a medium copper amber color from a 33cl bottle. Huge white foamy head with nice lacing. The aroma is fruity and sweet, with a touch of wood and some yeast. A medium bodied Belgian Ale. The malts are fruity and sweet, touch of vinous quality as well. The hops are citrusy. Interesting beer, kind of fruity and sweet, some wood, some yeast with a wine (sake?) like character. The flavors change with each sip. Subtle. Mouthfeel is full. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is slightly sweet.
birkhed (2) - Louisville, Kentucky, USA - MAY 21, 2008 does not count
4.6 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Aroma and finish that of flowers. Sake Barrel conditioning quite evident and welcome. Tastes fruity and floral. Tried on draft during Saturnalia at Rich-O’s Public House in New Albany, IN.
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. There’s 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.