shendrix (478) - Waukesha, Wisconsin, USA - AUG 26, 2007
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Lagunitas surprised me with this one. I’m not overly fond of hoppy brews, but this one is quite pleasing. The nose is strongly hoppy with a solid pine underlay. The hops did come through like gangbustes, but very well balanced with nice caramel and pleasing pine nuts, with a slight bit of ginger in the background. The strong alcohol content is well masked, making this beer as dangerous as it is drinkable.
NYHarvey (2153) - New York, New York, USA - AUG 25, 2007
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Big pine, citrus aroma with a decently big caramel malt base. Brutish, but with that comfortable California aroma I expect. The body is a lustrous amber-hued brown and holds a lasting, thin tan head. The first sip is mostly piney hops, but the malt comes through more than expected and is in fact quite warm and substantial like oven fresh bread dipped in honey-caramel-butter. The finish is full of resiny hops and what a dollop would taste like if you melded every sweet food you could serve in dollop form.
riversideAK (6140) - Shoreline, Washington, USA - AUG 23, 2007
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bitter citrus and pine aroma on top of a murky dark amber colored beer. A little bit of a sweet fruity candy aroma emerges as it warms as well. Strongly bitter with a little bit of sweetness that peaks through for balance. Thie bitterness of the hops really covers up alot of the alcohol as there is only a slightly warming finish. This one could be dangerous at 9.28% alcohol, as it is thirst quenching and quaffable.
VikingHammer (506) - Lynnfield, Massachusetts, USA - AUG 22, 2007
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Pours a golden amber with a small white head. Hops and fruit in the aroma. Sweetness is nicely balanced with a bitter and slightly alcohol finish. Nice velvet mouth feel. Very nice beer.
jmikolich (1477) - North Ridgeville, Ohio, USA - AUG 21, 2007
3.3 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
22oz bottle, smells like an IPA but tastes like an IPA which switches into something different a balance of maltiness and some other taste. this one could do with some aging i feel to mellow the hops, no detection of the 9.28% abv, seems like a supercharged ESB, but nothing too special
gws57 (1275) - Saint Charles, Illinois, USA - AUG 21, 2007
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Had this one on draught in Wheaton, Illinois. Hazy copper pour with a filmy, white head, very piney and rosey nose, hoppy as hell, finished very strong. Another excellent example of the style from a great craft brewer.
jeffc666 (1984) - Fairfax, Virginia, USA - AUG 20, 2007
2.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 1/5 OVERALL 9/20
(Sneak Release version not the 12th anniv. version)
Amber, leaning towards golden. Spotty white and bone head. The aroma is strong on citrus and pine, leaning a bit towards cleaning solution, but still this side of good. The flavor, unfortunately is more like cleaning solution then the aroma, i.e., it has leaned over to the dark side of things and is not so good. The palate just furthers the illusion of drinking cleaning fluid, thin and harsh. Alcohol is evident top to bottom. A huge disappointment from a typically fine brewer.
Dorwart (2535) - Robbinsville, New Jersey, USA - AUG 19, 2007
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: MAR 11, 2008 Decent sized dense and creamy head of fine bubbles. Light carbonation. Big hoppy aroma with lots of piney hops with a strong malt backbone. Some caramel and spices. Color is a rich orange amber. Lots of hops and bitterness in the flavor. Roasted malt backbone which offsets the strong hops presence. Noticable alcohol presence. Finishes bitter and sticky malts. I don’t know. Slowly I am being tuned away from these american strong ales. Guess my tastes are changing. This is still a very good example of the style though.
elnadeau (786) - Laguna Niguel, California, USA - AUG 19, 2007
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle, "Sneak Release". Nice copper pour with an off-white head, sweet malty, hoppy nose. Big caramel malt flavors, thick with bread and bisquit.. and bitter, yes sir... just the way I like it, with good balance. Not the most complex of the style, but very enjoyable.
jasonp (1573) - Ashburn, Virginia, USA - AUG 17, 2007
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle, 9.28% abv. Pours an attractive dark copper with a medium but tight off-white head. Nice piney, citrusy hop nose of medium intesity with light touch of toffee. Very bold and flavorful. Big bready caramel toastiness to start followed by a rush of piney/sappy grapefruit-laden PacNW hop goodness. Ends with a touch of pepper. Pleasant moderate malt sweetness lies beneath the prominent yet very very smooth bitterness. Alcohol content extremely well-hidden - dangerously drinkable. Full, round and oily on the palate with perfect medium carbonation. Very good stuff - get ya some.