smhncabot (310) - Cabot, Arkansas, USA - MAY 6, 2007
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pours black with light tan head that dissispates quickly. Aroma is tropical fruit, oatmeal, and coffee. Taste starts citrus then fades into a smooth oily coffee with some toffee sweetness. finish is some coffee but mostly citrus bitterness. unique stuff and is pretty tasty.
jpm30 (1587) - East Central, Georgia, USA - MAY 5, 2007
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
From a 22 oz. bomber bottle with a blurb and info along the right side of label, no bottling/freshness date, purchased out of a cooler and kept refrigerated, sampled at a cool cellar temperature in a pint glass.
Poured a nice looking dark coffee brown with a small foamy, bubbly tan head, good retention, settled into a thin sudsy lacing.
Hoppy scents at first, followed by dark stout malts, green pine needles mostly with a light citric fruitiness, then roasted malts, grains and brown malts, chocolate and caramel.
Good moderate carbonation and a crisp, dry, velvety slick, creamy smooth, airy medium bodied mouthfeel, very nice.
Easily the best bottled black & tan I’ve ever had, a tasty and balanced mix of the Hoppin’ Frog’s IPA and Imperial stout, dangerously quaffable, pine resins and oily, sour citric bitterness, chocolate and earthy coffee malts, you get a good bitterness from the malts as well, the malt bitterness really kicks in at the end, a light amount of oatmeal sweetness, the alcohol provides a pleasant low grade warmth in the palate, and a dry sour citric, sweet malty finish, surprising the hops and malts both, in a very balanced way, linger in the aftertaste.
I met the owner/brewmaster Fred Karm at the Peoria International Beer Festival and I was very impressed with his enthusiasm for beer in general, and his passion for his own beers, which once you taste them, is completely understandable. Mr. Karm told me that if you ever see any of his brews being sold out warm on a shelve, to contact him, that’s not how he wants his beers sold, they should be kept refrigerated at all times.
jason (1703) - Easton, Pennsylvania, USA - MAY 5, 2007
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle. Thanks to moejuck for sending me this one. Poured a dark brown body with nice head. Aroma is overly hoppy, very grassy with a little malt detected. Flavor is very grassy/piney, a major hop profile, sweet and spicey and a small nice malty finish. Light chocolate tones but overall the hops dominate, but it does not take away that this is a pretty good brew.
shp555 (2024) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - MAY 4, 2007
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Pours an deep brown color with a tan head. Aroma is malty with lots of citrus, grassy hops. Flavor is roasted malts, with a bitter grassy hop finish.
Walt (2449) - Austin, Texas, USA - MAY 2, 2007
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Pour is dark brownish red with a thin dense tan head...smell is fruity with some apricot and grapefruit and light roasty coffee notes...taste is slightly sweet and roasty with chocolate and bread flavors with a bright citric hoppy blast coming in at the finish...has a metallic twinge to it...maybe some copper...
goldtwins (4320) - Nesconset, New York, USA - MAY 2, 2007
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Poured a clear ruby brown color with a small creamy tan head. Fruity and roasty with some light hops. The flavor is not as roasty as the aroma. More of a lightly sweet caramel with a hint of fruitiness. On second pass the is a good bit of milk chocolate. Medium bodied at most.
CaptainCougar (7133) - Columbia, Maryland, USA - MAY 2, 2007
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pours an nearly opaque black with a frothy, nicely-lacing dark tan head. Aroma boasts huge piny hops, lightly sweet caramel malt and dark chocolate. Body starts fairly full and dark caramely sweet with a drier, earthy flavor hop balance. Finishes drier and lingering bittersweet with some roasty notes and a touch of grapefruit.
ClarkVV (4003) - Allston, Massachusetts, USA - APR 30, 2007
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bomber from Black95tt shared with SuIIy on 4/22/07
I’m still convinced that these aren’t bottle conditioned, but despite that fact, they pour with a mountainous amount of beautiful, rather dense, grayish-tan head. Deeply-polished mahogany body has lighter hues of amber and caramel and a medium to medium-high clarity. Head shows very strong retention and moderate lacing.
Highly polished roast is very well-integrated with medium-sweet caramel and a strong undercurrent of creamy-sweet pale malts. Hops are moderately citric, very floral and quite heady, never becoming brash or overly aggressive. But they balance the sweet malts perfectly and their relative strength in the nose helps accentuate the other aspects of the aroma. A bit of dry, grassiness and leafiness, with crunchy, almost bready-like crystal maltiness gives an overall picture of earthiness and dry toffee, giving the beer an almost English feel. A very distinct chocolate-buttercream note sits on the finish, with milk chocolate and malted milk characteristics, further adding complexity. Sometimes black and tans just seem a battle of hop vs. medium/dark malt, with no one winning in the end, but not here. This is an aromatic delight and not overdone in the least. No alcohol or flaws apparent.
A slippery, almost chalky-like texture shows a moderate amount of fairly tight carbonation (especially for being force carbed) that accentuates the hard, almost brittle, chocolate-laced toffee and caramel notes. But vanilla-cream-like softness from the pale malts sweeps in and tickles the palate as fruity hops burst on the finish. Nectarines, peaches, golden raisins, oranges and lemons, they never get overly bitter or acidic and don’t dominate the flavor. Quite fresh and with a strong sense of leafy-grassy-earthy flavors as well, which help match the darker malts. Chewy-sweet buttercream and chocolate-covered caramel assert themselves on the finish, with a bit of ashy, old roast. That was the only part I didnt care for (the very dry, almost stale, roastiness). Other than that, it’s a remarkably drinkable, flawless beer that shows no signs of alcohol. Pretty highly filtered, I believe, but this bottle is 3 or 4 months old and shows no negative traits from the filtration. It gives it a more clean feel and a harder, more dry texture, but it works well with their beers, and their VERY ample maltiness seems to more than make up for it.
kenb (1102) - Oregon, USA - APR 29, 2007
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
22 oz bottle VIA cewldre at Mystery Swap 2.0 (thanks man!). This one pours a near black with a huge tan head. Nose is all about the hops and they are citrusy and piney. Taste is all about the hops as well, although the roasted malts, burnt black patent, and chocolate does come through, albeit quite late into the aftertaste. But it works quite well. Body is medium/full, carbonation is moderate/high. This is unique and absolutley a winner!
hopscotch (9962) - Vero Beach, Florida, USA - APR 26, 2007
4.4 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle... This beer rocks!... Pitch black ale with a mid-sized, creamy, khaki head. Pure chocolate-mocha bliss with all the trappings of a Heath Bar®... buttery toffee and milk chocolate flavor. Perfectly balanced caramel malts; tannic, burnt, heavily bitter hops and mild acidity. Full-bodied and silky with medium carbonation. Burnt, bitter, acrid finish. A big SHOUT goes out to shigadeyo for shipping this gem to me!