Stine (1644) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - JUL 6, 2008
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Vintage 2005. Chris! Another helpless thanks for this gorgeous rarity. Robust cherry wood pour appearing still. Bitter chocolate, sweet-spicy red bell pepper, some vinousness, and bittersweet caramel in an aroma framed in belgian candy sugars, banana and calm bitter nuttiness. The tannic presence is so firm and deep that the residing nuances seem to rest in wine rather than in beer, while the characters of the dubbel are amply present.
Wildflower honey and sweet red bell pepper in the flavor, with a heavy black cherry and chocolate-rubbed mango sweetness thatís as rich in sophistication as it is in decadence. Tannic oak barrel, meaty warmth, vanilla, and citrus juices; acidity is gorgeously polished and laid at ease, while the richness of the fruit qualities never seem too reticent. Itís amazing how the wine characteristics are so lush and frontal, full of smacking fruit and richness, while the doughy qualities of the belgian yeasts and deep malts lay firmly enough underneath to provide counterpoint to a conceptively dry tannic texture.
Full body is oily and mostly uncarbonated, which is suitable. Finishes warm on oak; alcohol astonishingly imperceivable. A wholly satisfying, contemplative campfire experience, in which better barrel aging could not be achieved. Beautiful.
hopdog (9537) - Lansdale, Pennsylvania, USA - MAY 17, 2008
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Thank you Styles for this bottle! Poured a medium reddish/brown color with a very small sized off white head. Aromas of oak, vinous, dark fruits (cherries), wood, caramel, and some vanilla. Nice. Tastes of wood, vanilla, lighter vinous quality, caramel, and some dark fruits. Light alcohol in the finish but overall well hidden.
egajdzis (5507) - Pennsburg, Pennsylvania, USA - MAY 15, 2008
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Poured a murky ruby brown color with a medium sized, light tan head that left nice lacing on the glass. Aroma of oak, light nuts, some caramel, vanilla, and winish notes. Taste of syrah, vanilla, oaky tannins, caramel, sherry, and light alcohol in the finish. Thanks Steve!
TomDecapolis (4604) - Milton, Delaware, USA - MAY 15, 2008
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Much thanks to hopdog for opening this one. Pours a deeper ruby amber with a small bubbly/creamy off white head. Aroma of tart cherries, dark fruits, woody, oak, some vanilla, caramel, light chocolate, wine-like and toffee. Flavor of red wine, tart cherries, toffee, caramel, light alcohol, dark fruits and plums.
badbeer (434) - Iowa, USA - MAY 1, 2008
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Reddish amber color, head quickly dissipates into nothingness. Grapes, tannins, caramel, oak, and maybe even some chocolate in the aroma. Dark fruit plays a major role in the taste, but itís also got oak, sweet malt flavors, and tannins in there too. Medium carbonation and light bodied. Thanks to pepsican for the sample.
Lothore (582) - California, USA - APR 20, 2008
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: APR 26, 2008 I rarely give shout outs to the people who send me beers because I am lazy but I have to give hoppymeal kudos for sending me this gem.
A- Pours a deep reddish brown with a thin, eggshell head. Cloudy, not a lot of carbonation visible.
S- Smell is absolutely amazing. Up front itís a lot like your average dubbel, raisins, figs, thick caramel however at the end there is a distinct syrah fruitiness.
T- Taste is pretty much what I pictured to start out with but extremely well balanced. The syrah flavor is very prevalent throughout, raisins, tart raspberry, a bit of a sour tinge at the end. Very sweet throughout, approaching cloying but complements itself well with a bitter hop and sour grape, extremely finish.
M- A bit low on the carbonation, a bit more viscous than your average dubbel.
D- I would be lying if I said this wasnít an absolute treat to drink. If you can get your hands on this, try it, you wonít be disappointed.
pepsican (1487) - @ $13.99, Iowa, USA - APR 18, 2008
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Thanks goes to hopscotch originally for this one. Huge hate to the mailman that decided shoving my box in into the mailbox would be a good idea. Styles ended up shipping me the wrong box but just letting me keep it, and this gem was inside. Anyways. Pours a great brownish color. Aroma had a very complex grape thing going on, loads of other fruit and some caramel notes. Flavor was very similar. More sour than I was thinking with all of the dark fruit. Man oh man. Tannins are going strong in this one. I had no idea this was 10.5%, very well hidden on the booziness. Slightly dry finish. Very nice!
auerbrau (3182) - Peace Dale, Rhode Island, USA - APR 6, 2008
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: DEC 15, 2008 12oz Bottle, thanks to Ryan for this! Aroma develops a warming, complex vinous caramel, strong nose. Dense, glowing and fruity. Very inviting. I could smell this for hours. Pours a round, reddish brown, no head. Flavor enters a dense, rich, and expansive elegant sweet, wine-like fruit. Caramel sugars, dripping and fresh meld with grapes and tannins. Lots of aged alcohol character, all clean and alive. Figs and more figs. Deep dark fruits live here. Complex and interesting. The malts of the beer blend really well with the wine character. Delicate and nuanced. Amazing stuff. A very well-done barrel beer.
wickedpete (634) - Lexington Park, Maryland, USA - APR 5, 2008
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
Thanks to Ryan for this one. Brown body with a slight frothy tan head. Very sweet aroma with syrupy caramel and brown sugar. Lightly sour with caramel, toffee, and some vinous flavors. Slight buttery finish.
ChainGangGuy (4486) - Marietta, Georgia, USA - MAR 29, 2008
4.1 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Appearance: Pours a dark brown body crowned with a thin ring of off-white bubbles.
Smell: Beyond the strong dark maltiness, thereís plenty of juicy red grapes, along with lesser notes of dark fruits, caramel, and a bit of oak.
Taste: Sweet dark malts battle it out with a tart, vinous wine flavor. Some dark caramel midway. Distinct tannin character throughout, especially on the dry, winey finish.
Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Mild carbonation.
Drinkability: Very nice! Seriously, itís a great Saturday night beer. Now, itís time to kick it old-school, rip it apart, and go out to banginí parties all night long!