Serve in Snifter, Tulip


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RATINGS: 41   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.72/5   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 360   ABV: 12%
Bottled in April 2011, this ’once a year beer’ is a slowly fermented single-batch brew made during 2010 spring sugaring season. It quietly rested for a year in a single oak barrel from Saxtons River Distillery that previously held Sapling maple liquor. Our recipe has no water added, and uses only barley, hops, yeast and concentrated maple sap from our friend Paul Marble of Fayston, VT. This ale is bottle-conditioned and will age elegantly for many years.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
brystmar (1314) - Dallas, Texas, USA - AUG 16, 2013
2013 release at the farmer's market last weekend. Brown-copper body retains handsome, sticky lace. Body is similarly sticky and quite viscous.

Caramelized booze, maple, brown sugar, mildly singed cane sugar, an hints of Belgian yeast populate the nose. Taste is sweet start to finish, yet not cloyingly so. Oaky with noticeable traces of the old maple liquor. The maple character is unsurpassed by any other brew I've had. Boozy and delicious. Did I mention there's maple?

This is equal parts unique and excellent, and I'm gonna sit on my other bottles for awhile. Bravo, Sean!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Nocturne (1594) - Cheshire, ENGLAND - AUG 8, 2013
Bottle #348. I certainly feel lucky to be trying this. Pours out a burnt copper shade with a head that vanishes almost immediately. Aroma is pure maple. It barely even smells recognisable as a beer. There’s a sort of buttery caramel, citrus and berry fruit element to the taste but it’s almost as maple-heavy here. Slick and sticky mouthfeel. Some alcohol burn on the back end but apart from that it goes down pretty easily. This is a really unique creation, not perfect by any means but very interesting and tasty.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
DrSilverworm (9672) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - AUG 7, 2013
16.9oz bottle, shared by jmborggren. Bottle 89 of 750. Mostly hazy, darker orange color. Thin bit of off-white head, couple bits of lace. Awesome nose. Nice maple, oaky, caramel nose. Some orange zest. Moderate sweet taste. Some alcohol warmth in the finish. Big body. Light carbonation. Lightly sticky finish. Tasty stuff. Love the maple. A bit sweet and boozy, though.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
phaleslu (8969) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - AUG 4, 2013
16.9 oz. bottle shared by jmborggren- thanks again, Jeremy! Bottle 89/750 (looks like 150, though). Pours a hazed orange-gold with minimal head. Aroma of maple syrup, brown sugar, dried apricot, golden raisins, caramel, and vanilla- sweet and bourbony. Flavor of bourbon, sweet malts, maple, apple, raisin, wood, brown sugar, and vanilla. Light-medium bodied, with low carbonation and a flat, warming mouthfeel. Could stand some carbonation for a better mouthfeel but otherwise a pretty nice, interesting beer.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
b3shine (7653) - Indiana, USA - AUG 2, 2013
16.9 oz bottle to snifter (shared by jmborggren). Looks good; a slightly cloudy deep orange with razor-thin off-white lacing. Smells solid; sweet and boozy with notes of maple syrup and oak. Tastes like it smells with a nice, smooth mouthfeel. Good beer.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
Sarlacc83 (1682) - Portland, Oregon, USA - JUL 27, 2013
375mL courtesy of an in-person trade. Thanks! #63 of 750. A: Pours a murky headless brown. Looks almost flat except for some bubbles. Would be a bit nicer in the presentation if it had some foam. N: Maple syrup, brown sugar, honey, and heavy biscuit. Caramel and vanilla - very similar to bourbon. Mango, papaya, and candied pineapple. T: Very palatable. Quite sweet but not cloying. A slight bitterness here to balance and some moderate saltiness. Very much like a barleywine. M: Lots of alcohol. Very sticky, and could use some carbonation. You’re going to feel the alcohol on this. Body can be dry and choppy. O: Reminiscent of bourbon Fred/Maple bourbon Fred. Missing a few components to take it over the edge for me - namely some better carbonation and a touch more smoothness. Still worth trying.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Lukaduke (2908) - Gray, Maine, USA - JAN 7, 2013
Pours a almost still copper color with subtle aromas of maple and vanilla. The palate is pretty sweet but not in an artificial way... real maple sap flavors are soft and round and the flavors open nicely as it warms up and my mouth grows accustom to its velvety smooth mouthfeel. Touches of spice, vanilla, woodsy notes and even a trace of dates. Pretty good no trace of alcohol coming through fr a 12%... lingering maple flavors.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
boFNjackson (4198) - Portland, Oregon, USA - JAN 5, 2013
Bottle shared on New Years Eve... Holy cow! What a treat! Enjoyed in the last few minutes of 2012 and easily became one of the top beers I had enjoyed in 2012. Poured golden-amberish/brownish with a thin, almost non-existent head. Nose was completely maple. Thick mouthfeel, quite boozy which all the maple sweetness accentuated quite a bit. If you don’t care for maple stay away from this one. Super sweet, but the maple gives the sweetness so much flavor rather than just being cloying. Borderlines a barleywine base of a beer with so much going one.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 12/20
AdamChandler (4187) - Enfield, New Hampshire, USA - DEC 18, 2012
Bottled in May of 2012. One of many of these in my cellar. It’s the first time I’ve had this fresh so figured I’d open a bottle now and then again in a year, etc. Poured into a wine goblet at the recommended temperature of 50 Degrees F. Shared with 5 great friends! Bottle #99.

A - The cork and cap was insanely hard to take off. My hands are in pain now. Guess you should NOT have this fresh? Absolutely no head at all. Slight alcohol legs on the swirl but really it’s not very carbonated. LOOKS and POURS just like maple syrup. Dark golen brown appearance, not many bubbles. Zero haze or clouds.

S - This beer is ALL maple There’s this cane syrup smell to it and molasses and wood scents. It’s very complex though with some earthtones that carry through to the back of your throat long after the scent has faded.

T - Up front, there’s this bitter sweetness that was very unexpected. Way more bitter than I expected. It’s a big punch in the mouth with maple sweetness and bitterness. The bitterness tastes like rusty nails and burnt cedar. Not all that pleasant. Once that fades, there’s this excellent maple syrup finish that makes me thirsty for more.

M - 60% carbonation on the mouth swish. Medium body (lighter after the swish). Finish is ultra-sweet maple syrup with thyme and chives. Sort of this herbal maybe even basil leaf finish.

O - So, the question. $30? Is it worth $30 a bottle? Is it worth the 2 hour drive to Waitsfield VT and standing in line for 30 minutes? That’s the question. I believe, this beer is completely time & materials. Sean Lawson collected enough sap to fill nearly 400 bottles of beer and then brewed it up and placed that beer in barrels for a full 12 months before bottling by hand and trucking it to a farmer’s market for us to buy by the bottle. I believe THIS is worth $30 and I’ll buy more bottles to support Sean and his craft. However, the final product, it’s taste and overall rating is worth $15 to me. This is my opinion. I love maple syrup, I’m a New Englander and I’ll buy more but, this is $15 worth of beer, not $30.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
GT2 (9411) - Oceanside, California, USA - DEC 14, 2012
500mL #116 of 750 thanks to yourefragile! BA version talking about maple liquor barrel aging on the label. My first Canadian Strong Ale rating! Pours a clear, deep red amber. Weaker but present yellow foam. Nose is barleywine, caraway seed, fennel pollen, and what I guess is maple liquor. Moving to straight up Grand Marnier, orange cognac. Taste is first is the closest I’ve seen to straight up maple syrup, good syrup too, none of the BS corn syrup stuff. But it moves to orange peel, cognac, Grand Marnier, I’m really liking this one. Very much a winter sipper. Palate is thick, spicy, drinkable. Not even too cloying. A treat! 8/3/8/4/16=3.9

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