seymour (1258) - 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 (113) - 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.
DrnkMcDermott (2717) - Downers Grove, Illinois, USA - JAN 25, 2012
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
22 oz. bottle for $1.99 at Trader Joe’s, named Rhinelander Boatswain Heavy Lift Vessel Ale. The lure is just too great: a $2 beer at 7% abv that’s not a malt liquor. Blackish-brown pour. I used a straighter-sided St. Pauli Girl dimpled mug, so it kicked up a lot of tan foam. Smell tends more toward a chocolate malt porter, and it’s pretty appealing. Now I do suggest there’s a bit of corn here, but it doesn’t add that solventy malt liquor taste. First thing I get is a bit of English hop spice. Taste is actually dry at first, then warms up and sweetens. Slightly grainy background makes this interesting. But too strong to be calling itself a brown ale.
ChainGangGuy (4231) - Marietta, Georgia, USA - JAN 25, 2012
2.6 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 9/20
22 ounce bottle - $2.29 at Trader Joe’s in Roswell, Georgia.
Appearance: Pours a dark brown body, yielding hints of garnet against the light, underneath a tall, sudsy, beige head.
Smell: Roasty, chocolaty malts, though they’re not at all effusive, nor is the scent particularly inviting. Slight dark fruitiness alongside a sting of wafting alcoholic fumes.
Taste: Roasted malt, some light, lackluster bittersweet chocolate. Lowly sweet. Scant fruitiness. Not too terribly much hop flavor, though the bitterness is there. A bit of a flat taste with a singe of alcohol from the first sip onward. Dry, malty, warm finish. Lingering nuttiness and spirits in the aftertaste.
Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.
Overall: I’ve appreciated the Trader Joe brews (Mission Street series and the yearly Vintage Ale) for being fairly decent and always getting a decent bang for your buck, but this one wasn’t particularly enjoyable at all. It didn’t satisfying in the malt or hop department, delivering instead a cutting alcohol presence.
mike67 (692) - , New Jersey, USA - JAN 20, 2012
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle from Trader Joe’s. Pours brown with a beige, thick head. Aroma is of toasted, bready malt, dark fruit and grassy hops. Full, oily, crisp body. Taste is of toasted malt, brown sugar, roasted grain, dark fruit and earthy hops. Finish is long and bitter. Nice brew.
radagast83 (3752) - Fairfax, Virginia, USA - JAN 2, 2012
2.5 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 10/20
22 oz. from Trader Joes as "Boatswain Heavy Lift Vessel." Yikes. Well, the price point makes it worth my initial purchase, but it’s no where close to being as good as any of the other Trader Joes brews that are available for purchase. Brown pour, malty aroma, no where close to as hoppy as I expected (based on what the IBU is here) and alcohol is a bit noticeable.
mjg74 (2428) - La Mesa, California, USA - DEC 29, 2011
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Bomber. Deep ruby in color. Somewhat sweet in flavor with some decent roastiness. Pretty drinkable. Hard to pin down the style.
tdavie (15) - Winnipeg, Manitoba, CANADA - DEC 21, 2011
1 AROMA 1/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 2/10 PALATE 1/5 OVERALL 1/20
Good Lord; what did they make this beer from? I bought it because of the direct comparison with the Imperial Jack Double IPA. This is worse, fat so. Overly sweet. Tastes far too much like corn.
MaBeer1972 (1218) - Taunton, Massachusetts, USA - DEC 20, 2011
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
22 oz. bottle from Trader Joes - labelled as "Boatswain Heavy Lift Vessel" A very good looking brown ale. Mild malty aromas. Flavor is sweet and nutty but with good balance. Deduct for slight metallic tinge. Heavy body after a few sips. Long finish with coffee-plum notes. Not bad. -Especially for $2.49 a bottle!
matthewjk (803) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - DEC 19, 2011
3.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 13/20
Purchased from Trader Joes & sold under the name "Heavy Lift Vessel." Okay...it actually has a pleasant nose and enticing ruby appearance, but then you take a sip and it is all jet fuel with not the worst assortment of hops and malt in the background. Not terrible for a $2 / 22ounce bomber, but there is a reason it is value priced as well.