fredandboboflo (1570) - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA - JAN 7, 2009
4.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
Bottle. Aroma of roasted malt, cocoa powder, sweet chocolate, bitter chocolate, coffee, candi sugar, faint apple and pear, maybe some dark fruits, but mostly candi sugar as far as the non-malty notes go. Flavor a wonderful concoction of all the chocolaty notes and with a coffee twist on a bed of doughy, earthy Belgian yeast and very rich malty notes, especially with all the competing candi sugar. Finishes with a great combination of earthiness, light fruits, and above all gorgeous roasted chocolate. Simply a joy to drink, that’s all I need to know about the rich palate. Masterfully crafted, great beer, so much chocolate and roast that it makes many of the so-called Belgian Stouts and Belgian Chocolate Stouts look silly. Best of all worlds right here.
YodaB (10) - Massachusetts, USA - APR 3, 2008
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
On Tap in Iron Hill Newark Location: Very dark appearance. Excellent balance between the roasted maltiness and the fruity sweetness characteristic of Belgian ales. At 10% alcohol, this beer packs a punch, but it is smooth enough that the alcohol is noticeable but not overpowering. Very drinkable, but be careful
egajdzis (5497) - Pennsburg, Pennsylvania, USA - NOV 14, 2006
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Poured a hazy, mahogany color with a small, light tan head that left nice lacing on the glass. Aroma of cherries, cocoa, caramel malts, tropical fruits, peat smoke, with some light alcohol as well. Taste of more caramel, rum soaked raisins, plums, light citrus, vinous, with a dry, yeasty finish, with a touch of smoke, and a bit of alcohol as well.
DocLock (8311) - Lower Pottsgrove, Pennsylvania, USA - NOV 17, 2006
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Glad to have found this one for lunch today. The pour, in a goblet, was dark blackish with ruby hints and a khaki head. The aroma was very roasty malty, with some grapey fruit, hops, brown sugar, and almond. The palate was dense and complex, with well hidden alcohol, providing a base flavor of roasty malt, chocoff, cabernet, spice, brown sugar, and some rauchy notes. This one is stellar, and worth driving 3 hours for.
axilla (962) - New Providence, Pennsylvania, USA - NOV 17, 2006
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Had a huge mug of this stuff in Newark last night. Pour was dark red/brown with a small tan head. Very complex aroma. Lots of dark cherries, carmel, chocolate, sweet smoke, and mild alcohol. The flavor is extremely well balanced with a lot of nice flavors and a well hidden alcohol hint. I believe this is, by far, my favorite I.H. Belgian style beer.
weeare138 (936) - Collegeville, Pennsylvania, USA - NOV 20, 2006
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Thanks to egajdzis for splitting this growler with me...
Appears a hazy dark mahogany with a small light tan head. Spotty lacing is left all around the glass.
Smell is of candi sugar, toffee, grapes, brandy, light rauch, cocoa, caramel...very complex with a touch of smoked meat.
Taste is of the same aromas with a raisiny, rum cake, cocoa, liquid smoked flavor swirling about.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, slightly boozy, sweet, again with a meaty, sugary complexity that keeps you thinking about the hidden enigmas buried in this brew.
adrian910ss (2399) - philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - JUL 1, 2008
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
750 ml bottle. Pours a dark muddy brown with a medium sized beige head. Aroma of dark fruit, candied sugar and malts. Taste is pleasantly lightly sweet with hints of candied sugar, malts and dark fruit. Very nice.
JAXSON (533) - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - NOV 18, 2008
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: JUL 26, 2010 750ml bottle, brewed at Iron Hill North Wales. This is probably the most under-rated beer on this site from my experience. Pours a deep brown with some reddish edges, and a creamy beige head. Very rich, pleasant aroma of rum-soaked cake, dates, toffee, overripe bananas, and other very nice things. Hugely expressive flavor, just amazingly good. Rum sugars, figs, dates, vanilla, overripe bananas, wisps of dark berries, orange tea cake. This blows away so many of the best Belgian strong dark or quadruples. The only beer of this style which is really comparable to this is Westy 12, in its amazing craftsmanship and elegance. It’s thick an rich on the palate, not too boozy, just an incredible effort from what is becoming one of my favorite breweries. ***************EDIT Recent bottles of this have been a bit flat and have lost their majestic glow. I’m lowering the score slightly, but this still deserves a place among the best due to the number of wonderful bottles I’ve had.
kmweaver (3207) - Petaluma, California, USA - JAN 14, 2007
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Tap, Iron Hill Wilmington. Dark, cola-brown appearance with a slight reddish tint; off-white head with excellent retention. Cola and candy sugar aroma, with dried fruits. Full, chewy mouthfeel: good levels of carbonation, maple syrup and dried fruits, some belgian spice and yeast, floral hoppiness; complex, layered palette. Slightly dry, cola and candy sugar finish.
Crosling (1864) - Fort Collins, Colorado, USA - NOV 28, 2008
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Major gusher, but not sour. Very dark brown with a lasting foam. Nose is very nice, with brandy soaked dark fruits and Belgian yeast. Flavor is very dynamic, full, layered from start to finish, complex and it finishes well. Notes of plum, banana, caramel, brown sugar and burnt toffee. Well balanced, with a tremendous yeast character. Nice mouth feel. A delicious treat.