Dashimus (219) - London, Greater London, - FEB 9, 2013
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Pours burgundy red but is generally translucent with a small tan head that dissipates quickly. Aroma is rum, spice, licorice, hint of chocolate and wood. Whisky notes throughout. Gentle smoke but quite subtle. Flavour is a lovely gentle alcohol warmth, malt, smoke, roasted coffee. Slightly dry finish. Low to medium carbonation.
Gurthnar (1654) - Bratislava, SLOVAK REPUBLIC - AUG 24, 2014
3.4 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle from M&S. Aroma sweet, chocolate, toffee. Clear brown colour, short lasting off-white head. Taste initially sweet, chocolate, caramel. Then roasted, moderate bitterness. Plain, but nicely drinkable. Good beer.
Finn (4157) - Tromsø, NORWAY - FEB 16, 2014
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
Flaske 0,75l. Påspandert og delt med flere under seanse på Tårnrommet 16 Apr 13. Ultradypbrun. Høyt kremaktig skum. Tett høyt skum. Teppelacing. Aroma av lakris & torv. Smaken det samme. Myk munnfølelse. Flott integrasjon av whisky & røstet malt.
Garrold (1236) - Sheffield, South Yorkshire, ENGLAND - NOV 23, 2013
2.8 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 10/20
From Sheffield Fargate branch. Half price! Dark, clear, reddy brown. Off white head. The Islay lends a medicinal, antiseptic quality (is that what makes it a hospital porter?!) that I really don’t care for. Glad I didn’t pay top dollar for it.
berkshirejohn (4462) - Bracknell, Berkshire, ENGLAND - OCT 16, 2013
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
750ml bottle from M&S (of course) as part of their "Dine In" offer. An opaque mahogany pour with a attractive ruby red glint and a tightly packed beige head; the whisky and peat are evident on the aroma - Islay is one of my favourite drams, and this does it justice; the taste is rich and complex - there’s some treacle toffee and chocolate malts, as well as the smoky, peaty, notes from the whisky barrel - it’s also increadibly smooth and silky in the mouth; the finish is dry with some warmth, and a lingering oaky peatiness. I’m really impressed by this, as about half the other raters seem to be - I guess you either love it or hate it.
Osprey87 (1605) - WALES - SEP 13, 2013
2.5 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 3/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 11/20
Corked bottle, no BB that I can see. Pours a dark brown/red to form an almost black beer with a foamy head. Smells of yeast, some caramel. Body is thin to medium and a little foamy. Taste is weird - watery caramel, coffee, liquorice, coins. I’m not getting any barrel flavours. Some good qualities, but the aftertaste is mostly coins. Not overly impressed by this. The overall impression is pretty bad. For all I know, it could be past its best - I bought it a month or so ago.
BlackHaddock (3645) - Shropshire, ENGLAND - SEP 2, 2013
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Boxed, cork and caged 0.75 litre bottle, given to me by a workmate on my early retirement in Sep 2012: breached on 30 Aug 2013 a day before it’s BBD.
Looked good in three Belgian chalices: deep ruby red to a rich mahogany brown colour, the heads tanned, deep and even.
The aroma had plenty of whisky notes from those Oak Islay barrels, woody hints too, all within the peat bog infused maltiness, with a nice ground coffee added late on.
The taste also a malt driven mixture of whisky, wood and coffee flavours.
Complex and I thought interesting: I’m not a huge fan of beers flavoured with spirits, but this had enough other flavours to carry it off nicely.
Brigadier (2930) - Clevelandish, Ohio, USA - SEP 1, 2013
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
750 ml bottle
I should have gotten a couple more Marks and Spencers beers to try but this was the only one I managed to tick off. I am sure the others will still be around. However with so many alternatives I suspect the rest will remain unrated unless I really begin to need to scrape the bottom of the barrel for new rates.
Aroma / Appearance - A brownish black base builds underneath a sandy head. The dusty color gives it a slightly mysterious texture but generally speaking it is average for the style. Peat and whiskey aromas create the British equivalent of a bourbon bomb but with scotch instead. Coffee, cola, and malts try to balance it out but do not quite work.
Flavor / Palate - A cocktail of middle of the road scotch and spicy cola tastes more like a mixed drink than a beer. Licorice, peat, and coffee transition to a fluid finish. Something throws a promising beer our of whack and creates something that is tough to take seriously after about a half pint. Fortunately it is not completely awful. At the same time I would pick something else from the line if I had to do it all over again.
Niall73 (1685) - Greater London, ENGLAND - JUN 28, 2013
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Dark reddy black. Foamy head. Good aroma, a solid medicinal thing next to the coffee choc. Licorice, choc, coffee and very well balanced. Its subtly sweet with no bitterness but its decent.
Martin243 (759) - Tyne & Wear, ENGLAND - JUN 23, 2013
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
750ml Bottle from M&S Newcastle. Served cool in a small wide-mouthed chalice for topping up. Beautiful deep ruby red brown with a beige head. Licquorice toffee aroma. Smokey at first, then mocha an licquorice flavour.Some sweetness, but not cloying. Full bodied, slick, with enough carbonation to produce a pleasant re-tasting burp. Saw me satisfyingly through veg prep for dinner. Cost £6.99 with £3 off - not sure I would want to pay £9.99 for the experience, but economics aside a very tasty beer.
tfredvik (1102) - Oslo, NORWAY - MAY 5, 2013
3.4 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Yay, I love bottles that come in a tube! It pours a crystal clear, very deep coca cola brown body, with a large, creamy and dense, very light-brown head that settles as a fully lasting layer, excellent lacing. The aroma is moderate to strong and a bit 1 dimensional: there are very little other things going on here than mild smoke and gentle peat, apart from some slightly unclean and dry yeasty notes. The taste is light sweet and moderate bitter. I find the flavours more complex than the aroma, although the peaty whisky and smoke play the lead role here as well. Also roasted notes, some unnecessary yeasty notes, some faint fruits and coffee. A bit light body, rather dry texture and soft to moderate carbonation. A good peaty porter where the peat partially drowns the porter, the highlight was definitely the tube.
[75 cl bottle, gift from my lovely wife, enjoyed 3 months before BB date (talking about the beer now, not the missus), from M & S Marble Arch, London, UK