Doppelganger (1387) - Dry County, Arkansas, USA - JUL 21, 2006
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle. Warm copper with a modest cap of light tan foam. Taught dried apricots, floral, a touch of yeasty bread. a seamless blend of leathery dried fruit and a slightly chewy breadiness. Dry initially--just a touch of lingering sweetness. To my tastes, this seems like a session strength version of a great English-style barleywine that embodies a lot of the interest of the stronger style, while remaining quite delicate and drinkable. Medium to light palate, but full of flavor and interest. The yeast character of this beer is really interesting. I’d love to try homebrewing with this strain. Having now tried Old Hookey cask and bottle, I like the bottle better. (Heresy, I know.)
highlandlad (1402) - Blue Mountains, AUSTRALIA - JUL 20, 2006
3.4 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
A sentimental favourite. Half a lifetime ago, this was my buddy’s regular pint when he and I worked just across the county border in Gloucestershire. We were inseparable for many years until jobs and broken relationships drove us to different parts of the globe. I drifted to Australia while he fell for another woman and destroyed his world for her - wife, kids, friends all gone... His parents didn’t talk to him for two years. Nothing was ever the same. I saw him a few years ago for the first time since his personal cataclysm and he carried heavy scars. The beer: bottled bitters are inevitably pale reflections of the cask versions, but this is better than most. It looks great - lucid copper with a tall wash of suds painting the glass. The aroma is corrupted by pasteurisation but retains some of the cask’s ripe fruitiness. Otherwise it shows boiled sweets, Ginger Nut biscuits and port. Nice soft mouthfeel, moderate carbonation. Lots of crystal malt toffee notes and nuts balanced by red apple esters and a long bitter finish. To Rossco, wherever you are, may your pint glass always be full, old friend. (500ml bottle from Purvis Cellars, Melbourne)
sayravai (4667) - Helsinki, FINLAND - JUL 3, 2006
3.1 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 12/20
(Bottled) Deep, dark reddish amber color with a smallish, tanned head. Mild, toffee-caramely aroma with berry and metal hints. Distinctively berryish, sweetish-caramely flavor with a lingering, smoothly bitter finish, and a hint of licorice and roasted malt. Medium-bodied, slicky and very smooth palate with soft carbonation. Very smooth and easily drinkable, even balanced and pleasant brew in its own ways - it’s just not interesting for someone looking for that something special. Perfect for a dark beer novice, looking for the next step after Kilkenny and Dark Velko.
TBone (11747) - Pori, FINLAND - JUL 2, 2006
3.1 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Clear amber color, small tan head. Minerally metallic aroma with some toffee in it. Malty, licorice flavors, salty-hoppy finish. Mouthfeel slightly thin for an ESB. A bit similar to some Fullers’ products.
bridge (659) - Sydney, AUSTRALIA - JUN 27, 2006
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
The commercial description pretty much reflects it all, except for the full bodied bit. The aroma has some ester fruitiness and toffee malt, and the hops are more evident on tasting. The flavour is quite well balanced making it a good candidate for a sessional beer. A little on the gassy side, but has a nice and reasonably long lasting aftertaste. Quite enjoyable.
bluevegie (3041) - Perth, AUSTRALIA - JUN 19, 2006
3.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Bright and clear amber brown body with a mainly lasting light tan head. Light caramel in the taste along with a good dose of raisins, easy drinking, light to medium body. Aroma alternates between dried fruit and caramel notes.
Jukkabro (3484) - Tampere, FINLAND - JUN 13, 2006
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Dark brown colored, little light brown head. Aroma has obvious black currant with licorice, sweetness and chocolate. Interesting and not very usual aroma for ESB. Medium bodied. Flavor is strongly fruity with licorice and some sourness, aftertaste lasts with fruits, currant and bitterness.
Lunkie (1362) - Glen Iris, AUSTRALIA - JUN 10, 2006
2.9 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 11/20
Sweet hop malt aroma. Clear red amber colour with great head and lacing. Bitter malt hop flavour. Smooth palate.
Choos (562) - Taylors Hill, AUSTRALIA - JUN 7, 2006
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Aroma: light fruity hop notes with a good balance of crystal malt. Apperance: clear amber with a lightly tan head made from large bubbles but quite stable. Flavour: immediatly bitter followed by a bit of passionfruit and malt. Palate: medium mouthfeel and lightly carbonated. Finishes with a lot of hop bitterness.
Joeh (2038) - Buckinghamshire, ENGLAND - MAY 25, 2006
2.2 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 3/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 9/20
500ml bottle. Pours a ruby red. Lifeless, oversweet caramely best bitter. Doesn’t feel at all fresh. Poor.