JK (4230) - St. Louis Park, Minnesota, USA - MAR 6, 2012
3.5 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
a pretty good brown. sold as Boatswain Heavy Lift Vessel. dark amber color. dry malt aroma, but the flavor has lots of sweet malt, caramel, and brown sugar with a fair amount of dry hops. thick palate. this is one of the better browns on the market.
unclemattie (3992) - Georgia, USA - FEB 26, 2012
2.9 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Rhinelander Boatswain HLV Ale, Heavy Lift Vessel. 22oz bottle, Trader Joe’s, Roswell. Dark brown color, long legs, thin head. Aroma of dark malts, highly fermented, smells like a malta. Sweet malt flavor, dark malt syrup, perfume hops. Easy to drink, a nice strong dark lager. Well worth the money.
GT2 (7691) - Carlsbad, California, USA - FEB 25, 2012
1.3 AROMA 3/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 2/10 PALATE 1/5 OVERALL 4/20
651mL thanks to Alex. Pours deep maroon looking black in the glass with a larger, tan head. Not bad retention wise. Suddy looking lace. Nose is sweet raisin, slight brown sugar, moderate old stickiness. Lots of oxidized red apple and old cidery character. Leave this out just for a minute or so and it gains tremendous acetaldehyde and old apple slices. Taste is ultra metallic with cloying old sweetness. Astringent bitterness in the background with old apple juice overlaid. Really, very impressive to make such a complexly terrible beer. Nice job.
Dragonfly1 (453) - Colorado, USA - FEB 25, 2012
2.3 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 9/20
Bottle, Trader Joe’s. Label is Boatswain Heavy Lift Vessel. Pours dark ruby red with a nutty sweet aroma. Taste is INCREDIBLY sweet. There are hints of chocolate, mocha, almonds, but holy cow is this sugary sweet. Dial down the sugar and this would be a winner given the other flavors, but can’t get past the cloying taste here. Like drinking a smoky sweet tea with a few extra packets of Equal thrown in. I need a nap...
tomhenderson (166) - Charlotte, North Carolina, USA - FEB 24, 2012
2.5 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 6/20
Bomber of Trader Joe’s labeled as Boatswain HLV. My scores are based on this being called a(n American) Brown. Pours a beautiful dark brown with ruby highlights, very clear, thin tan head persists. Aroma has lots of sweet dark fruits like prunes and raisins, with a moderate amount of alcohol wisps. Taste is similar and with dark crystal and roast malts. Thankfully there’s enough bittering hops to offset what would otherwise be cloyingly sweet malt, but otherwise hop presence takes a back seat to the malt show. Alcohol borders on being boozy and hot. Solidly medium body appropriate for style. This isn’t a bad beer, but for me, it’s time to look for something else if I had been expecting an American Brown.
backdaft (180) - Menasha Red Light District, Wisconsin, USA - FEB 19, 2012
1.7 AROMA 3/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 3/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 6/20
UPDATED: FEB 23, 2012 Bomber. Pours a deep dark brown body with a good beige head. Sweet roasted chocolate malts with faint earthy hops. Mild carbonation with a pronounced alcoholic finish. Not very smooth for what it wants to be.
FunkyBrewster (1517) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - FEB 15, 2012
2.1 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 8/20
Bottle . Pouts deep amber. Smells sweet and candy. Tastes lightly fruity with more sweet bread and caramel note, boozy as well. Medium body and soft carbonation. Bad beer
heemer77 (5075) - Urbandale, Iowa, USA - FEB 13, 2012
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Rating as Boatswain HLV from Trader Joe’s. A deep garnet colored brew with some brown when not held to light. A boozy nose with some caramel and almonds. There is also some peaches and cocoa. This big boy tastes of peaches and cocoa. There is also some light tobacco in the finish along with some booze. A thick body and a long lasting cocoa aftertaste. Decent, but definitely a sipper.
seymour (1306) - Maplewood, Missouri, USA - FEB 10, 2012
2.9 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 11/20
Sold at Trader Joe’s as Boatswain H.L.V. Ale. Tasted from 1pt 9oz bottle into a nucleated pint glass. Poured an opaque, dark brown color with creamy tan head, not long-lasting but a little lace left behind. Very roasty aroma, almost like a porter, with hints of caramel, toffee, molasses, burnt toast, faint fruity hops and ale yeast esters, hot alcohol. Flavor was malty, tart, toasty, roasty, mild chocolate and coffee, still not a lot of hops. Medium body, low carbonation, thin and watery mouthfeel, a fairly unpleasant boozy aftertaste. Reminded me a little of Turbodog or Smithwicks, but not nearly as smooth and complex, and not really any hoppier, either. The bottle states 80 IBU which is totally ridiculous. Significantly hoppier than say, Stone IPA or Lagunitas Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’? Stuff and nonsense.
dougdecinces (116) - Indianapolis, Indiana, USA - FEB 7, 2012
2.8 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 11/20
Bottle from TJ’s. I got it more for the price than anything. Pours a cola-brown, with a small head that dissipated rather quickly.Smells mostly of toffee and bittersweet chocolate. Candied sugar on the aftertaste. Also slightly toasty and roasty. It tastes sweet with some chocolate and roastiness and resiny hops stickiness on the aftertaste.
Having slowly drank this beer for about 20 minutes now, I remember the problem I have with Black IPA’s and Imperial Browns. They lack the drinkability of an IPA and the complexity and nuance of an Imperial Stout or Barleywine. Instead my palate is getting exhausted with not too much to gain from it.