MI2CA (1340) - Noblesville, Indiana, USA - APR 11, 2006
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: JAN 10, 2009 750ml - best before March 2004 - Aroma is sweet carmel and toffee with a touch of spice. Pours dark brown with a nice lasting medium head and great lacing. Flavor is a bit stale and metallic. The aftertaste matches aroma with some dark fruit thrown in. Palate is sticky. The thing about it is I havenít had a fresh one to tell if itís age or just the biere de garde funkiness. Even 2 years past the íbest by dateí it is drinkable and good, but not great. I may have to re-visit next Christmas.
Re-rate - had lots of caramel and some dark fruits. Much fresher this time and quite tasty.
Mungo (2472) - Southampton, Hampshire, ENGLAND - APR 1, 2006
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle (from Bitter Virtue, BBE April 07). An understated beer which on first drinking is only so-so, but once you get acclimatised is quite tasty. Malty with sweet toffee flavours, almost spicy but not quite with a slight vinous flavour. Quite drinkable with the earthy hops balancing the sweeter malts.
blankboy (5735) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - FEB 20, 2006
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle shared with HogTownHarry & tupalev -- courtesy of tupalev. The last beer of the night from a recent tasting with lots of strong beers -- letís see if I can decipher my notes. Pours a clear ruby with an average size white head. Simple but pleasant aroma of roasted malt, yeast, spices and some fruit. Flavour follows the aroma and finishes with a light bitterness. Medium to full bodied. Nothing Iíd go out of my way to get again but a decent enough beer and one of the better versions of this style that Iíve had.
HogTownHarry (5976) - Toronto (Harbourfront), Ontario, CANADA - FEB 18, 2006
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle (750ml). Shared with blankboy and tupalev - tupalevís bottle. Poured clear ruby with an average white head. Roasty-woody malt aroma, mild spices and yeast, some mushroomy bitterness. Taste of roasty malt, slightly sour grain, mild hops and lots of pungent spices and yeast. Thick, flat, astringent mouthfeel - this is pretty nice, sweet and roasty, a little less grain would suit me, let the yeast and spice carry it I say.
Gorbalev (2887) - Ontario, CANADA - FEB 17, 2006
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
My bottle, shared with Hogtown Harry and Blankboy to finish a really solid tasting session on a crappy windy February night. Nice dark amber, small white head. Interesting musty spice and malt aroma. Some yeast and roast as well. Nice malt and roast taste, lots of yeast. Certainly has that outdoor barnyard sort of feel that this style can give as well. Lingering earthy bitterness. Another solid offering from these guys, I think thatís 9 of theirs Iíve had!
luckygirl (1223) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - JAN 15, 2006
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 12/20
Had this at BJís Winter Ale Fest. Beer poured a clear, dark amber color wth an average, frothy, off-white, mostly diminishing head. The aroma was pretty plain jane: moderately malty with notes of roasted grain and caramel with light miscellaneous notes of clove, coriander, trace raisin. The flavor is moderately sweet and lightly bitter with an average-length finish that ends with an increasing amount of bitterness until it ends with a heavily bitter pop. There is an unfortunate unclean flavor here too. The body was medium-to-full, the texture was creamy, the carbonation was soft and there was a light alcoholic burn.
duff (5484) - Copenhagen, DENMARK - JAN 8, 2006
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle. Another nice one from this brewer. Nice savoury mouthfeel, touches of caramelly sweetness, with nice vinous character, some herbaceous hops in the finish. Very well balanced i thought, and would probably go really well with turkey at Christmas time. Lovely stuff.
Indra (2558) - Overland Park, Kansas, USA - JAN 2, 2006
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
750ml bottle, 2004 vintage. Intriguing aroma, exotic and fleeting with suggestions of dark candyish sweetness, faint orange peel, very lightly sour berryish fruitiness, old leaves, an herbal, tobaccoish character and a touch of cellar must. Lightly hazy medium-dark copper brown color with a fully lasting, creamy, off-white head and matching lace. Upfront sweet, malty flavor, abundant dark sugary malts, a short burst of hop bitterness and lightly tart, rich, tropical punch-like fruitiness then enters before the nicely balanced, lightly citric and lingering finish that features just a hint of warmth, some raisin and spice. Palate is smoothly effervescent, body is medium. May be a handful of months past its best by date, but it is a "BiŤre de Garde" after all, and certainly does not appear to be any worse for it.
npdempse (933) - St. Petersburg, Florida, USA - DEC 27, 2005
3.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 13/20
Red/brown with a good-sized white head. Sulphury, earthy nose with notes of caramel, strawberries, and prunes. Light flavor, musty, somewhat sweet, with some fruity (strawberry, cherry notes) overlaid by a musty bitterness.
Nuffield (3612) - Roseville, Minnesota, USA - DEC 10, 2005
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
I had two bottles of this, and I brought one of them to a Texas gathering about a year ago. I had a sample from that bottle but didnít rate it. It didnít go over very well, I recall. Well, I decided to have the second bottle tonight, sharing it with my wife, and while it is better than my recollection of the previous night, it isnít going to win accolades. A chestnut color with a decent cream-colored head, it starts off with a mustiness amid the caramel, nut, and vanilla aroma. There is perhaps some alcohol and a bit of sourness to it as well. In the flavor there is something like a very mild scotch, a bit peaty and earthy, along with caramel, raisins, and mustiness. It isnít exactly unique but there is something smooth here that closer than Iíve seen to my Laphroaig-sipping days a few years ago. Dusty and musty! The palate holds up well; at first carbonation supports it, but later it retains a combination of alcohol (just enought to give it some bite) and smoothness that the fading carbonation doesnít seem to matter. Still, overall, this isnít for everyone. Its Scotch-notes could easily be interpreted as moldy vegetables, like the potatoes you discover at the back of the kitchen cabinets underneath the sink. I think thereís something to appreciate here but I had to work at it.