RoyceH (1197) - Hesperange, LUXEMBOURG - APR 23, 2007
3.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 12/20
Bottle. Dark ruby, thin tan head. Nose is malty, toasted, liquorice. Mouth is slightly fruity, toasted malt, treacle. Palate is a bit thin, really, more liquorice and treacle that lasts for a long time. Slightly sweet, some bitterness at the end.
dmradus (227) - Ithaca, New York, USA - JAN 27, 2007
2.8 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Half pint on cask at the Maltings, York. Basically pitch black with a brown head that doesnít last nearly through the first sip. Aroma is slightly roast malt but moreso a bit sour and sweet; a fruitiness develops that I wasnít at all expecting. Taste is slightly lactic and marginally acidic in other ways, with a pervasive roast character and again a sweet, fruity note as opposed to the chocolate or toasted aspect I wouldíve expected. Lacking in depth overall, the ale isnít full on the tongue but isnít necessarily slight either. Average in almost every respect.
MartinT (8396) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - JAN 10, 2007
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Any first impressions?
-A creamy sheet of foam tops the burgundy black dusk.
-Faint fruitiness and leafy hops devise a convivial yet unmemorable aroma.
-Black grape vinosity and dry roastiness first approach the tastebuds.
-Carbonationís very low, but the bodyís well fed so there is no problem with the mouthfeel.
What if you dig deeper?
-Some sourness accompanies the supporting wooden and leafy hoppiness.
-This sourness is worrisome, but somehow fits quite well with the fruity flavors.
-This dusty sourness, coupled with the engaging fruitiness, would make a worthy old ale; but Iím not sure this cask is in good condition.
On cask at Prince of Wales, Aberdeen.
Note: a bottled version tasted later revealed no sourness at all, but instead a roasty and lightly fruity svelte porter.
Maria (10187) - Thisted, DENMARK - JAN 3, 2007
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
This very dark brown beer has an OK head. The aroma has notes of licorice, and I find that in the taste too, together with coffee, honey and a bit of acidity. The oats gives a smooth and mild touch to the brew. The bitterness is moderate, but very becoming for this nice beer.
Reid (2051) - Salem, Oregon, USA - NOV 21, 2006
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Cask at The Muckle Cross, Elgin, Scotland.
Dark mahogany brown with a lovelly thick creamy light tan head.
Lightly toasted malts of course dominate the aroma, with stronger bitter black coffee notes.
The taste is of rich and bitter maltiness, slightly burnt aspects to it, some coffee and a slightly lactic finish.
The mouthfeel was very nice, velvety smooth cask-conditioned.
I found this a very nice porter probably improved by the cask, very drinkable.
macguy (146) - Tallahassee, Florida, USA - SEP 24, 2006
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Nice toasty nose. The head is tan and disappears quickly. There is some nice lacing. The initial taste is a little sharp changing quickly to bitter with a nice hint of smoke. The finish is very clean. This is a very nice porter. The smoke is very subtile and not, as other have said, anything like the beef jerkey smoke of a rauchbier.
I could drink this beer every day and have a smile on my face. Thanks to my partner in crime for lugging a bottle back in her suitcase from Skye.
DTB (51) - South Philly, Pennsylvania, USA - SEP 15, 2006
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Thanks to Bernie and Tim for hand-carrying this back from Scotland. Thanks Guys!
Looks black at a glance, but when held to the light a glowing dark burgundy is revealed. The head is nothing but thin wisps of pale tan film.
Smells like charcoal, but more closely, it reminds me of a peat fire, much like the smokiness found in Lagavulin Scotch Whiskey. <!-- verifying sip --> Oh yeah. Thatís peat. Hiding beneath the smoke, thereís a dark prune. Seriously, this is smoky as hell, but if you think Scotch, that becomes a very nice thing.
The base of this beer is an inconspicuous stout of sorts with some mild roasted barley with hints of dark fruit and chocolate but is immediately followed up and utterly dominated by that terrific peat.
The mouth feel is very light and smooth and it leaves my mouth exceptionally dry. This seems to work well with the smoky nature of this beer.
Honestly, on my first sip, I was a bit put off, but after I started to think of this beer as a sort of Scotch, I really started to like it. Iím also really enjoying the finish. With a Scotch, the smoke fades into the alcohol too much, but with the beer, itís just you and the peat for quite some time. This oneís original and down right amazing.
JorisPPattyn (8331) - Ursel, BELGIUM - AUG 26, 2006
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Dark brown beer, with a red/chestnut shine; small, yellowish to brownish head. EEH - turf (sorry, peat), moss and oh well, velvety black cardemoms. That last is not very Scottish, but very nice. Slight slivers of (peated) malt. Great. No doubt any longer. This is as smoked as an Islay malt. Different from a Rauchbier: not ham-salty, but seaweed-salty, rest is smoke-y and, of course, the turffire flavour. Dry. Roasted notes, but no sourness as often associated with either Porter or Stout. Light body, slight slickness. No new aftertaste, but long lingering flavours. Much better than a first try, years ago, on cask. Sheez, I always wanted to try the beers they have to brew before distilling the Uisce Beatha. This might be it. Big thanks, Dean!
johndoughty (4209) - cheslyn hay, West Midlands, ENGLAND - JUL 18, 2006
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle. Dark and slightly smoked with a surprising amount of bitterness at first that gradually dissapears.Some chocolate traces but all round an excellent drink.
Nekronos (3742) - Xalapa, MEXICO - JUN 11, 2006
3.1 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Very nice, very dark, and I would say it is a stout, but the foam is great. The aftertaste is awesome too.