DarkElf (3050) - La Jolla, California, USA - JUN 7, 2006
3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
(12 oz bottle: Obtained 30-Nov-05 in trade with Larry Pitonka, thanks André!) Out of the bottle, this beer pours a ruddy brown color with a slight haze, and the small beige head settles to a wide ring within a few minutes. The initial aroma and flavor are piney, herbal and hoppy with a moderately roasty malt base. Fairly strong flavor, but quite enjoyable at first. But I have to wonder if there isn’t something with the hopping methods applied by LaConner these days because, again, I’m getting kind of a funky aroma and flavor that is bordering on rotten vegetables. It’s mild though, and wasn’t there when I first opened the beer, but the longer this beer is open, the harder it is to overlook this. Body is medium to full, the carbonation level is moderate, and the hops keeps the palate relatively crisp for this dark and heavy a beer. As a whole, I liked this beer okay, and it was definitely better when I first opened it up, but it really fell apart in the end.
omhper (21892) - Tyresö, SWEDEN - FEB 22, 2006
2.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 11/20
Draught at the brewpub (9%). Clear brownish amber. Fruity toffee aroma with some gingersnaps. Sweet with lots of caramel and molasses as well as dough and red berries. The hop rate is low. A warming beer with a lot going on, but also a bit too sweet and mushy.
OldMrCrow (2214) - Seattle, Washington, USA - DEC 25, 2005
2.7 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 10/20
From the bottle.
Pours dark with red hlighlighgts and a modest head. The aroma packs a serious punch of of big spruce hops and blast of well-roasted malt. The flavor is strong and sharp, with the too-common threefold aggression (hops, dark malts, alcohol) of the less impressive PacNW winter ales. No balance here, but rather a set of overly-strong flavors competing with one another and leaving the palate battlegroung as scorched-earth. Bitterness and aggressive malt and sticky-sweet oils all clash with one another.
This one features the worst characteristics of the LaConner brews (particularly, those medicinal hops) with little of the good.