FatPhil (8349) - Tallinn, ESTONIA - MAR 13, 2013
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
355ml bottle (ALEhouse, Riga)
Rich roasty aroma, slightly dry, earthy and savoury rather than sweet. A little Chocolate orange as it opens, perhaps? Pours basically black, with just a ruby glint, and with a tight but brief beige head that settles to a ring. Full in the mouth, pleasant carbonation. Lovely roasty retronasals. Slightly more burnt taste, but not astringent. Something odd - a bit of plasticine, off in a way, a little dirty definitely. On swallowing, the palate feels like it was almost a little thin and watery. The finish is dry and burnt, and with just a gentle dry barky and almost smoky bitterness. No chili, but I had a home-made curry for supper, and I like to make bottom-burners. (6:4:7:4:13=3.4) Ruined by the plate of beer snacks I just gave myself, alas - they make it even thinner, and really not so good at all (6:4:6:3:12=3.1)
daknole (8331) - Scottsdale, Arizona, USA - NOV 10, 2011
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle at Papago. Dark brown, tan head. Aroma is sweet molasses up front, followed by a nice spicy pepper note. Flavor is a nice mix of smoke, peat, pepper and toasty goodness.
MoritzF (8247) - Bochum, GERMANY - APR 30, 2012
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
(bottle) Clear, dark brown colour with a beige mid-sized foamy head. Moderately roasted malty aroma with notes of chocolate, leather and peppery spice. Sweet and mildly roasty bitter flavour, medium to full bodied with a soft carbonation. Roast-malty base with notes of chocolate and a whiff of smoke; hearty peppery/chilli spices show up from the middle part, lingering into the mildly roasty bitter finish. 13.IV.12
NielsenRatings (8096) - Fort Collins, Colorado, USA - OCT 26, 2011
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle @ home. Deep brown appearance with a light brown head. Somewhat roasty, delicious cocoa, mild espresso, light pepper aroma. Mild pepper, slightly spicy, milk chocolate, light smoke, roasty malty flavor. Very tasty and easy drinking though the pepper is pretty mild.
Sammy (8027) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - DEC 4, 2011
3.7 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
On tap at Barcade Jrsey City. Clear winner of the what I tried tonight. Three-eighths of a n inc of head. on a black bodied. Thick lace. Chile spicey aroma and some stout and licorice. Tasty, it grows on me and I finished my pint.
Drake (7846) - Free Union, Virginia, USA - OCT 27, 2011
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Served on draft at Beer Run. Pours a dark brown color with ruby highlights. Large creamy tan head. Good head retention and lacing. Aroma of roasted malts, smoke, citrus and pepper. The taste is sweet malts, nuts, smoke, roasty notes and a peppery finish. Smooth, creamy, medium-full bodied. The spice of the pepper does get tiresome after a while, but overall a very nice beer.
JorisPPattyn (7681) - Antwerpen, BELGIUM - AUG 2, 2012
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Very small beige-ochre head, fast gone over deep-brown beer. Chocolate, point of mocha, burnt and noisette or straciatella . caramelly peanut-filling for chocolate bars, and something artificial-aromatic, as fuel. Bitterish-sweet, with a very nice point of acidity. Finish is hot/alcoholic - roasted and fades away very slowly. Warming up, it gets hot finally revealing the pepper. Very heated (why isn’t the ABV on the label? How to expect the US finally adopting an adult attitude towards alcohol if the breweries themselves grovel and bow?). Slick, but rather undercarbonated. Long hot peppery aftertaste. Serious beverage, rather like it. For a pepper beer, very restrained.
MartinT (7482) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - APR 11, 2012
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
My Bottom Line:
Caramel and chocolate malts benefit from fruity angles before pepper balances out the second half and lingers thoroughly on the palate.
Further Personal Perceptions:
-A slice of foam tops the dark brown-edged blackness.
-This is nicely drinkable despite the plump residual sugars.
-Carbonation is soft, helping drinkability.
-Malt structure is relatively simple but effective.
-This is an obvious pairing with steaks of all kinds.
DocLock (7437) - Lower Pottsgrove, Pennsylvania, USA - APR 12, 2012
3.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Bottles from Capone’s and Blue Dog. Pours onyx with little to no light through and a half a finger of tan head. Nose is very Celebratory...like liquid Wheaties and not much else, perhaps a bit of blackstrap molasses. Tastes like Wheaties, with a medium palate heft and complexity. Initially, I didn’t really get any tobacco or peppers or even hops in this. As it warms, the peppery flavor (black) emerges, as do some hops, but it becomes a little too late for a rating pop. This one ultimately is a minor let down.
Dogbrick (7113) - Columbus, Ohio, USA - JAN 9, 2013
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Dark brown pour with a medium beige head that diminishes steadily. Stringy lacing on the glass. Aroma of roast malt, chocolate and a touch of pepper. Medium body with a roasty character and flavors of smoked malt , chocolate and again just a hint of pepper. The finish is sweet with a roast malt aftertaste. Decent overall.