KariCupcake (214) - Lenox, Massachusetts, USA - NOV 13, 2006
2.5 AROMA 3/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 10/20
Shared a sampler that had this in it. The color was dark brown. The aroma was a sharp whiff of hard alcohol (yow!). I don’t much care for whiskey to begin with, so this one was kind of lost on me.
Volgon (2763) - Manchester, New Hampshire, USA - SEP 16, 2006
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
On tap at Millys: dark brown with an off-white head, sweet malts, chocolate and spicy woods, medium bodied with light carbonation, starts and ends sweet with a long woddy finish.
ClarkVV (3892) - Allston, Massachusetts, USA - JUL 31, 2006
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Draught samples at EBF 2006.
Murky coal black/brown body shows almost no clarity. Wispy beige-tan head sits atop lightly, receding to cover, with some sudsy lacing.
Shocking clarity in the nose of Belgian yeast (brett), yet is so seemlessly woven in with the American aspects of the beer (roast, chocolate, bourbon) that you’d think Mike had been perfecting this porter for years. Not overwhelmed by any one aspect, but with noticeable esters and light vanilla hints. The wood is soft, wise and reserved in the nose, leading to a light dusty, earthy, musty note that further deepens the complexity. Bourbon is faint and done as it should be, adding only a touch of liquorous magic to this already enchanting brett-spiked aroma. Certainly the fresh, unpasteurized nature of the beer does not hurt things either, as the grainy barley, soft chocolate and full malt sweetness soothes the nose.
The flavor has somewhat more in the bourbon department, though the wood dryness and light vanilla is more apparent. But choco-caramel sweetness, flecks of tar and ash and a dignified, raisin/prune-like old ale quality all calm things down as the beer nestles in to the palate. Warming shows more vinous qualities, and some stronger, slightly out-of-place brett bi-products, but it is still a terifically complex beer which is anything but your typical "porter". Dry, ashen-smokiness curls the tongue on the end, as tart fruits combine to leave a pleasing dryness. The soft, wonderfully extracted malt body, however, keeps the texture supportive. Carbonation is low, as expected. No alcohol is apparent.
What a masterpiece! Hopefully we see this again (and with the same restraint on the barrel character!).
DarkMagus (472) - San Diego, California, USA - JUL 21, 2006
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
[cask at brewpub] Malty, sweet, slightly fruity aroma...some smoky and woody overtones. Hazy dark chocolate-brown color Thin tan head, light lacing on the glass. Smooth mouthfeel, very light (almost non-existent) carbonation. Flavors of malt, dark roasted grains, slight hint of raisin/fruit, slight hint of cocoa and coffee...also very slightly woody and smoky. A very complex brew with a huge range of flavors, but still very easy to drink. Really interesting, really great brew.
LyndaNova (532) - Manchester, New Hampshire, USA - JUL 14, 2006
1.3 AROMA 2/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 2/10 PALATE 1/5 OVERALL 4/20
May 2006 - I sampled this during a tasting at Milly’s Tavern with Volgon, EricNixon, DirtyMike, and Hophead75. It looked good in color; a few shades lighter than black cherry. The aroma and taste were overpowering to me - the whiskey/oak scent & flavor. This porter is definitely not my style. The rest of the crew seemed to really enjoy it, though. Cheers! Pass me the Saison.
BitchesBrew (714) - Fort Collins, Colorado, USA - JUN 10, 2006
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: JUL 21, 2006 [cask @ Milly’s] Pours a dark brownish/red color. Aroma is musty, dark malts and slight fruityness. Flavors are amazingly complex- dark roasted malts, dark coffee, some dried fruit sweetness. The whiskey barrel, brettanomyces, and the cask conditioning make this a complex and highly drinkable brew. Finishes dry and slightly bitter.
hophead75 (2008) - Largo, Florida, USA - MAY 22, 2006
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
sampled at Milly’s with brewer dirtymike and some others. Dark brown with ruby highlights. Aroma is of whiskey, funky oak barrell, and some light roast and chocolate. Taste is burnt/roasted malt, dark fruit, pulled together with a farmhouse funkiness (brett). Finish tart, and slightly bitter from hops and roast. Nice!!!!
ericnixon (740) - Portland, Oregon, USA - MAY 21, 2006
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
On tap at Milly’s Tavern. Dark color, but somwhat clear with a huge whiskey aroma. The flavor was a big smashing of whiskey with a smoothness to it. Neat stuff.
Rastacouere (6129) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - FEB 23, 2006
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Good looking beer, greeting us with its black glow and lasting off-white ring. Cohesively developed brettanomyces character doesn’t interfere with the roastiness, surprising me pleasantly. It rather adds a funky floral character that in a way is a nice change of pace to overhopped stout. Limited, but present acetic character is kept fitting thanks to a woody/roasty combo. Tart, vinous, grapey, blackberries, malt seeming almost toastier than it is roasty in mouth. Hard to describe, easy to drink. Light bodied, good medium-high carbonation. A great one Mike!
muzzlehatch (4424) - Burlington, Vermont, USA - FEB 18, 2006
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Sample at EBF 2006. Deep reddish-purple-black body with smallish brown head....aroma of oaky barrel, cherry and burnt caramel malt, the first thing that came to mind was "Rodenbach" so I was happy....lots of roastiness in the body but plenty of fruity sweetness as well, rather light-bodied, smooth but heavily carbonated, chocolaty throughout but touched by odd funkiness....Belgian porter? Interesting, and I suspect, like Martin, that it would be neat to be able to try it at intervals over the next couple of years.