DarkElf (2961) - La Jolla, California, USA - DEC 10, 2011
1.7 AROMA 3/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 3/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 5/20
10-Dec-11 (500-ml flip-top bottle, Best By 30-Dec-12: Purchased 07-Dec-11 for $2.99 at Trader Joe’s in San Diego/Pacific Beach, CA)
Might as well not beat around the bush: this is a huge diacetyl bomb! Medium-sweet, caramely malt and mildly bitter, grassy hops are strongly overshadowed by cardboard and a powerful buttery characteristic that simply cannot be ignored for even one sip, and I consider myself to be less sensitive to diacetyl than most people. The nose is stale butter, skunky grassy hops, wet cardboard, and sweet caramel candy. The mouthfeel is very oily and slick, carbonation is medium, and weight is medium. Fully clear and amber in color, and capped by half an inch of fine-bubbled, light-tan head, at least this is an attractive beer in the glass. The head settles fairly quickly to a partial sheen and thin ring. Overall, yeah, just not a good beer to put it nicely. Clean up the diacetyl and the beer would probably be simple and mindlessly quaffable, but at least drinkable and pleasant. Unfortunately, this is a drain pour for me.
Mikljon (3) - San Mateo, California, USA - DEC 7, 2011 does not count
2.4 AROMA 3/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 8/20
500ml flip top bottle from Trader Joe’s, Milbrae, CA. Pours clear orange with modest off-white head. Nose is musty and skunky with a bit of cardboard. It is hard to pick up the malts and hops. I sense some cherry, stone fruit. As it warmed I picked up biscuity malt. Taste is pretty sweet and fruity with slight sour candy-like finish. Some bitterness and tannin in the aftertaste. Not sure I taste hops. Palate is medium body, oily feel, and average carbonation.
rayOfBeer (545) - El Cerrito, California, USA - DEC 2, 2011
3.1 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Fliptop: Pours clear red amber with large foamy head. Aroma is mostly sweet malt with some apple cider notes. Flavor is sweet malt, dough, and red apple with a hint of honey. Palate starts thick with light sweetness and good carb bite but finishes with a slick filmy tongue coating. Overall ok, not flawed but I just wasn’t into it.
marcus (5004) - Sacramento, California, USA - DEC 2, 2011
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle from Trader Joe’s Sacramento. Pours reddish copper witih a thick beige head and a sour fruity aroma. There is a thin caramel malt flavor with a slightly sour cherry taste. It’s tastes pretty good although it is a bit watery.
bhensonb (8985) - Woodland, California, USA - DEC 1, 2011
3.4 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
500 ml swingtop. Opens with a pop! Pours copper with a 3 finger foamy beige head. Aroma of mild roast malt and nuts. Med body. Foamy carb. Flavor is nutty, roasted malt, and something a little like noble hop. It’s pretty balanced, and it drinks very pleasantly.