CaptainCougar (7129) - Columbia, Maryland, USA - AUG 30, 2005
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
2003 Vintage sampled on 7/10/05: Pours a deep, clean, rich golden color with a very still, thick, viscous body with good legs. Musty, earthy, fleshy apple aroma has some sticky caramel and mild tartness. Full, sweet and incredibly smooth body carries a wealth of earthy, candy apple character and rich caramelized sugar. Hides its alcohol very well. I just wish this stuff wasn’t $45 CDN for a 375 ml bottle, cause I’d love to drink it on a daily basis.
BückDich (5464) - McCall, Idaho, USA - AUG 24, 2005
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle at the tasting room
Dark chestnut color, light green. Nose of cinnamon, cooking rice, free starches, glutinous escapade of fructose, glucose and maltose, not really, but it smells fresh, fruity yet musky. The flavor is so rich, sweet and balanced. Tart, oxidized or caramelized, I cannot say. Lightly tannic, overwhelming sweetness and deliciousness.
willblake (2626) - Bel Air, Maryland, USA - JUL 21, 2005
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
07.10.05 v2003, RBSG tour. Still, ice cider. Darkest of the three, brassy, tarnished. Musty, tanned hide, sharp across palate with an enveloping mineral and wood. Sweetest. Carnival candy apple. Savory spice. Wow.
Crockett (998) - Steelback County, Ontario, CANADA - JUL 18, 2005
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Stunning. While not actually part of the RBSG05, I had it paired with my dessert course on a Prix Fixe at Cube (Montreal). 2003 Vintage. Deep gold and syruppy. Lightly sparkling with a slightly rose hue. Lots of legs. Aroma of apples, peach, wood, alcohol. There was an odd but welcome truffle-like aroma that carried over to the flavour. Could have been from the wooden barrel. Excellent balance of sweet and tart. Lots of full apple flavour but deep with peach and stewed ripe fruit. Traces of vanilla bounce around. I don’t know much about ciders but this was fantastic.
Oakes (11031) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - JUL 18, 2005
4.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: JUN 3, 2012 Golden-brown colour with plenty of legs. Woodsy, earthy aroma with a mix of figgy dark fruits and apricotty bright ones...a little molasses in there as well. More complex aroma than the Neige but perhaps less enticing. The flavour on the other hand...oh shit...toasty, woodsy flavours with soft brown sugar, dashes of malic acid, rich clean fruit and the strong suggestion of nutmeg. Exquisite.
Recent vintages have a lot of lychee aroma.
SpringsLicker (2931) - Tennessee, USA - JUL 16, 2005
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
RBSG 2003 Vintage
Deep gold color with the same legs seen on all of this cideries creations.
Fruity aroma, complex. Cinnamon, spices, apples! Syrup is light on the tongue. Very tasty sipper.
argo0 (11077) - Washington DC, USA - JUL 14, 2005
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
(2003 Vintage, RBSG05) Crystal clear golden body with lovely legs. Aroma is medium sweet, apple, musty, some wood. Seems more complex along the lines of wine than cider. Taste is very sweet, concentrated apple, brown sugar, caramel. Smooth finish of mild alcohol. Still quite clean. Syrupy full body.
radiomgb (2143) - Peterborough, Ontario, CANADA - JUL 13, 2005
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle. Deep copper-yellow in colour. Alcohol legs down the side of the glass. Aroma was of intense apples (think apple orchard), vanilla, sugar, pie crust and perfume. The flavour was of very sweet red apple alcohol pies, vanilla, brown sugar and orange zest. Port like body. This finished with a lingering apple sweetness with some alcohol warmth. I need to hoard a whole bottle of this for myself.
muzzlehatch (4424) - Burlington, Vermont, USA - JUL 1, 2005
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Small sample from 375 ml bottle at the Mondial. Thick, oily legs ooze down the sides towards a burnished blindingly golden body...gorgeous deep perfumy nose, fresh apples, lavender and vanilla, with only the slightest hint of friendly warming alcohol...very sweet, lightly vinous (mix of sherry and gewurtztraminer) in texture, like a sweet white wine perhaps fortified with fruit sugars, just a touch of warming alcohol and luscious golden raisins and pure vanilla amidst the light buttery finish...wow. Perhaps my new favorite cider, easily on the level of Leo Boutin Pomelle at any rate but far more drinkable, dangerously so.
ClarkVV (3579) - Allston, Massachusetts, USA - JUN 13, 2005
4.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
2004 bottle sampled 6/4/2005 at Mondial. Stumbled upon this unknowingly and was left dumbfounded. All I scribbled down on my notes was the phrase, "just so complex!". You better believe I remember the rest, though.
A warm-toned honey and apricot colored cider, with some gleaming copper and brass, and darker caramel shades in the middle. Legs are left in response to swirling the thick, limpid, liquid. Aroma of cinnamon, cloves, sweet apple skins and pulp, rich butter pie-crust with freshly baked, warm apples and a glass of brandy. Vanilla and almonds in there as well. Flavor is explosive, complex and just stupefying. Rich cinnamon-flavored iced cream, with warm cointreau-soaked apples atop. Brandy, luscious caramel and full, sweet red apples, never syrupy or cloying. Powerful finish is warming, well-spiced of clove, allspice, oranges and vanilla. Body is gentle yet strong, very impressive and easy to sip. Finish does not "make you pay for it" by dousing you with alcohol. Tremendously balanced and just pure flavor from start to finish. As David says, this one is seemingly perfect in its own right, and takes the route of the wonderfully balanced, full bodied, strong and complex Belgian Strong Ale, whereas a perfect 5 in my book would also be an ultra funky farmhouse cider, for which I have more preference. This is incredible though. Glad we discovered it.