soulgrowl (52) - Kitakyushu-shi, - JUN 1, 2008
3.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 9/20
Aroma: Woody pipe tobacco wreathed around a ripe, fruity essence: baked apples, pears, prunes, a touch of peach and some raisins, sweetened by a hint of maple syrup and dark rum, shine their way through a curtain of velvety, earthy, oaky, resiny notes from the hops and sherry casks. Alcohol comes through only slightly, mingling with the dry-yet-robust pome fruit scents to lend the impression of Calvados. (I wonder what the Calvados cask version smells like...)
Appearance: Deep, plummy chestnut brown with a bright ruby shine to it. Head is blanched almond-colored, smooth but volatile, and surprisingly large and stalwart - not huge, but big for the style and the ABV.
Flavor: Sweet as hell but full of fruity barleywine goodness and woody, nutty, resiny sherry flavor. Gushingly sweet flavors of white sugar, apple juice, honey, and sponge cake dominate, but the varnishy, walnutty tweak of sherry offers a pleasant distraction. This beer does not have what I would call depth or complexity, but it isn’t boring. I must say, though, it is too sweet.
Palate: Suitably thick, with subdued carbonation. And yet it’s also quite dry - the finish, though sweet, is surprisingly not syrupy.
Overall: I do like the sherry flavor, but unfortunately it doesn’t really do enough to buoy the leaden sugars that overwhelm this beer - nor is it interesting enough to warrant those sugars, or the big ABV, for that matter. I suppose this deserves some points for its totally undetectable alcohol, but then again, a little spicy heat might help to fence in its out-of-whack sweetness.
kerenmk (1869) - Tel Aviv, ISRAEL - MAR 1, 2014
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle sample at a tasting at Dancing Camel Florentin. Thanks zvikar. 2011 bottle. Hazy amber, white head. Malt, bread and date honey aroma, sweet, rich taste, a little medicinal. Smooth, no carbonation, cherry finish.
M82 (205) - Kansas, USA - FEB 20, 2014
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
A vibrant mahogany body glows with bright amber and fiery vermillion highlights
Rustic, yet creamy oak barrel, sweet red wine, cream and marshmallow fluff, fig, maple, accented with apple, and pear, the palate rendered less viscous than that of the base ale, while retaining it’s exceptionally silky nature finishing with a bright and juicy red wine note, hints of orange zest, a soft and dark grape skin dryness emerges followed by an echo of toasted marshmallow which flows through the residual revealing a bit of strawberry-rhubarb pie, cream, and light smokey roast… faint nutty caramel notes emerging late, cherry juice characteristics are conjured with further warmth
275ml capped bottle vintage 2006 consumed February 20, 2014 served at 65º into Orrefors Difference Porter snifter
tomer (1472) - Rishon Le Zion, ISRAEL - FEB 19, 2014
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
At a tasting, many thanks zvikar, quite clear orange to very light copper colour, aroma of brown sugar, figs and a strong sherry presence, flavour of raisins, dark honey, dried apricots and lots of sherry, light but noticble bitterness, strong bitterness that blends in and is not cloying, flavour is round and amazingly mellow. Very good sipping beer.
DSG (4918) - Tel Aviv, ISRAEL - FEB 9, 2014
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle sample at a tasting at Dancing Camel Florentin. Thanks zvikar. 2011 bottle. Slightly hazy amber. Aroma of sherry, lots of fruitiness, oak, malt and a bit of caramel. Sweet flavor, malty, with lots of sherry, cherries, plums, a touch of vanilla, a cookie note, a hint of alcohol and a slightly drier finish. Rounded mouthfeel. Very good.
BMMillsy (1092) - Florida, USA - JAN 31, 2014
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 14/20
2012 dated bottle from a trip to Hoboken. Pours a deep orange red hue with a tiny ring of white head that fizzes off very quickly. Aroma is big sweetness with lots of sherry, toffee, molasses, maple syrup, and a little hint of fruits. Flavor is surprisingly similar to the Calvados cask. A good bit of bitter hazelnut alongside leather, sweet caramel maple and brown sugar. Sweet but this had a nice balanced bitter and medium level sherry booze and the sherry really accents this nicely. Sweet heavy mouthfeel but with adequate carbonation to keep this from being syrupy. Overall a really nice treatment on this that makes for a beautiful after dinner drink with a nicely complex flavor profile.
olr1984 (835) - fort wayne, Indiana, USA - DEC 29, 2013
3.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 12/20
2010 11oz bottle pours a light caramel with lots of sediment. Big oak aroma. Taste is the same with a vanilla finish.
evapjep (5) - Castle Rock, Colorado, USA - DEC 22, 2013 does not count
4.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
sediment is high and takes from the color, 2008 batch, wonderful to sip on! Might get another.
dfearnley (723) - Alberta, CANADA - DEC 14, 2013
3.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
2006 bottle to IPA glass
Aroma of cherry, alcohol, cashew, and wood
Deep amber, tons of particulates, no head
Very cloying syrup to start, then smoky wood, then sherry. This is very interesting, but not great because of the sweetness.
Ferris (1865) - Burnaby, British Columbia, CANADA - DEC 14, 2013
3.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle - Vintage 2006 - Rum, raisin, barrel notes, booze, brown sugar and many vintage port notes. Murky brown with no head. Soured wood, nutty and brown sugar. The woody sour notes are overwhelming, this may be past it’s prime.
jeremyh70 (556) - Missouri, USA - NOV 21, 2013
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
2008 edition. Pours a very hazy dark orange color with little head or lacing. Aroma is sweet with toffee and overripe fruit, brown sugar and some mustiness. Taste is the same with big flavors of toffee and fruit with brown sugar sweetness and nuttiness. Also sherry and light alcohol. Mouthfeel is smooth with a medium full body and low carbonation. A big sweetness from the malt and fruit flavors but very smooth and rounded. Too sweet for my taste.