TheBeerLover (1026) - DC Metro Area, USA - JAN 28, 2006
4.8 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
This beer is what I like to call a hop cocktail. It is the kind of beer that is just perfect to relax and unwind with, and makes for an excellent aperitif beer. X Anniversary comes in at a mighty 10% abv, so you will have to be careful if you want to consume more than one 22oz bomber, or a few pints of this one.
X Anniversary Ale pours to a beautiful, bright, deep golden to light amber color with a thick and creamy white head, and a moderate amount of carbonation. The nose on this beer is the first thing that grabs your attention. Very fragrant spicy/citrus hop aromas paired with some earthy yeast aroma, and hints of peppery alcohol flood the nose. The palate on this beer is very firm, with good flavors of pale and biscuit malt along with some citrus hop flavor. X Anniversary Ale finishes with good pale and biscuit malt flavor up front, then ends with a very bitter/spicy hop tang that lingers on the tongue.
This is a very well done Imperial IPA with lots of great hop character. This beer is really a bigger, brawnier version of their outstanding IPA, ImPaled Ale. Every thing you expect in an Impy IPA is in this beer and then some. X Anniversary has much more hop character and alcohol, but is as dangerously drinkable as Impaled Ale. Retailing for $4-$5 a 220z bottle, this beer is very well priced, and a beer you should look for if you find yourself in Syracuse, or a market where Middle Ages beers are sold. You would never believe this beer is 10% abv, so be careful with this one. I would not pair this one with food, rather enjoy it as an aperitif, or a beer to sip and savor after a long, hard day at work.
DocLock (9675) - Lower Pottsgrove, Pennsylvania, USA - MAY 18, 2006
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle from Beer Yard. Pours hazy deep copper with 1-finger off-white head, and great concentric lace rings all the way down the glass. The aroma is heavy tropical fruit and citrusy hops, with a solid caramel malt backbone. It tastes caramel malty up front, giving up the huge tangerine, honeydew, canteloupe, and piney hops at mid-palate. The palate is velvety and very smooth, complex, and well balanced. If you canít enjoy this one, then your limey ass deserves to be keelhailed, ye wimpy assgrabber!
cb (810) - Roeland Park, Kansas, USA - AUG 4, 2005
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
This was so freaking amazing. Gorgeous lasting glaze of foam gave way to an aroma of buttery herbal cream with a very controlled, soft ringwood yeast prickle. Lovely floral bitterness with almost indescribable complexity. Almonds and honey throughout. Lasting piney hop finish. Canít wait to have more at the GABF...hopefully Middle Ages will bring some.
doubleipa (224) - Georgia, USA - OCT 24, 2005
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: SEP 22, 2006 WOW. On my weekly visit to Marcy Discount beverage to pick up some bombers to take back to Atlanta, I picked up a few of these. I honestly didnít know this was a double IPA until the guy at the checkout told me.
Oh, that smell!! Iíve never smelled hops like that before. Seemed very peachy to me. Definitely not your normal double IPA. I never wouldíve guessed that this is 10% abv. At least not until I felt the first glass hit me. Almost no alcohol taste or burning.
xproudfoot (750) - Paleolithic, Pennsylvania, USA - FEB 21, 2006
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
On Cask at Maharís (anyone jealous?)... aroma: splendid hoppy mix with a farm kinda earthy, swarthy feel to the nose. bitter, smooth, and funky in the mouth somehow in a transformation on the tongue over time. Hop sweet chocolate in a light amber colored ale? Quite complex and fulfilling. Has a nice eggshell head with long retention (like the Germans, I appreciate me some good head. well, not that much head). So many flavors roll through consciousness: vanilla, caramel, citrus, and numerous shades of each and amazing combinations and complexity of flavor. Feel priveliged to have had this on cask, betting the bottles are pretty damn good, but this was a special experience and a great first beer to have as my reintroduction to Maharís.
DTB (51) - South Philly, Pennsylvania, USA - SEP 15, 2006
4.4 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
I found this one on cask at Monkís. Holy hops Batman!
This beer came a light copper orange with little head.
Smelled of just pineapple and nectarine at first, but as it warmed, there came some birch bark, spruce, and roses. Outstanding! Just a fantastic blend of hops.
The flavor was a pure hop cocktail with little or no detectable malt. Just huge pines and bitter fruity citrus flavors combining to make the most enjoyable 2IPA IĎve ever had. 10% ABV? Not detected at all.
The mouth feel was slightly viscous with little carbonation that gives the palate a very upfront experience with the beer.
This is an amazing beer and a hop loverís dream come true.
markgugs (86) - Wood Ridge, New Jersey, USA - JAN 29, 2007
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
A: Pours a very nice orangish-tinted copper with a nice, foamy, white head. The lacing is robust and evident right off the bat.
S: Another wonderfully hopped scent, this DIPA gives off the aroma of some solid fruity notes and is backed up by a nice, refreshing piney and citrusy flavors.
T: No surprises here, this one comes at you full force with massive hops in your face. This is a well-crafted DIPA, complex with flavors of grapefruit, pine needles, citrus and even some well-balanced sweet breaded malts. But the best part is the bitter, bitter finish, that lingering hoppy goodness we all love so much. A superbly crafted beer.
M: Much like all else with this beer, the mouthfeel is well-balanced. The perfect amount of carbonation (read: not too much) and that classic oily, slick, hoppy residue hopheads tend to dig. It will make you want to keep drinking it.
D: The high ABV will prevent excessive abuse of this beer, but itís still damned easy to drink. If you like DIPAs, this will NOT disappoint. If you donít, try this one anyway. Itís good. Darned good.
jcwattsrugger (12113) - Florida and, New Jersey, USA - NOV 13, 2007
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
@ Brazen Head on cask-pours a tan head that bubbles and hazy gold color. Aroma is grapefruit/lemon. Taste is grapefruit/lemon/pine hops, secondary medium malt, slightly thick mouthfeel, some woody. OK/mild carbonation.
williamherbert (1477) - Syracuse, New York, USA - SEP 2, 2009
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Thick and hazy like a dense fog. Large puffy head. Bright but awfully murky dark orange. The ideal, iconic look for an IPA.
Aroma is a perfect floral hop; butter but with a spicy sweetness. A magnificently citrusy hop scent. Stronger and more bitter as it warms.
The taste is a strong hop flavor with a spicy citrus. Grassy, floral undertone. Very bitter aftertaste. A spicy, citrusy double IPA with notes of pine. Slight hint of Belgian ale spice.
Feels fizzier than I expected; dances on the tongue. Somewheat thick, but thirst quenching. For 10%, awfully easy to drink. Lots of character, not overhopped.
TAR (2650) - Marshall (Asheville area), North Carolina, USA - JUN 25, 2005
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Glassy apricot. Puffy foam slowly condenses into a rocky, sticky film. Luxurious nose of peaches, rose petals, dried apples, and bushy hops. Delicate touch of herbal-accented buttery yeast and plantain. Scarcely a whiff of alcohol. Tight but expansive carbonation. Soft body. Frontal surge of needle-sharp hop pricks and a breath of remarkably clean alcohol that wipes the palate clean. Alcohol is not a factor, otherwise. Colossal bitterness steadily heightens as a brash suction of earthy bitterness latches onto the palate and bolsters the deceptive level of dryness. Hops become more multilayered with diacetyl and lemon rind-accented earthiness as they push forward. Resinous whispers awaken midway to lend an everlasting sustenance to the leafy-dry hop aspects. Fruity esters and bubblegum yeast notes persist, but, appropriately so, only act as a complement to the hop dominance. Tongue-coating onset of toasted malt, dried apples, and butter toffee yeast notes gracefully caress the hoppy inte, while continually underlying the slick, jellied fruitiness in the finish. Shows just as much restraint as it does force. Hopefully Middle Ages will continue to inspire and educate others on the endless wonders of Ringwood yeast. Because this is dazzling. Thx, IPFreely.