phaleslu (6281) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - NOV 12, 2011
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Draft at PW Pizza, served in a pint glass. Pours a deep, dark brown-amber color that is actually clear when held up to light but doesn’t look like it at first. Almost no head. Aroma of rich chocolate and caramel malts, earthy hops, orange citrus, holly and winter spices. Flavor follows suit faithfully, with some citrusy and bitter hops underneath chocolate, toasted, and caramel malts, rounded out by some molasses and mild spice. Light-medium bodied, with modest carbonation and a smooth palate. Nice winter black IPA.
TURDFERGUSON (3945) - Durham, North Carolina, USA - NOV 11, 2011
2.7 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 11/20
Dark brown with a sudsy sticky tan head that dissipates. Nose is fairly muted; some watery hops, light roasted malt like character. Flavor is more pronounced but not in a favorable way. Bitter at first with a messy sweet, rotten fruit middle and a fairly dry finish. Weird and not really what I expected.
Jabic (406) - Brigantine, New Jersey, USA - NOV 11, 2011
3.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Ar: Very hoppy - piney and woody, a touch of roast.
Ap: Deep brown, almost opaque - medium tan head with good retention and really nice lacing.
T: Somewhat toasty, with piney and woody hop flavor - medium bitterness - finish is very short with hop flavor and some molasses.
P: Medium body with medium carbonation - finish is fairly dry.
O: Aroma and appearance were really nice, but the flavor just did not deliver as promised by the nose - still, a fairly good winter brew.
ChainGangGuy (4351) - Marietta, Georgia, USA - NOV 11, 2011
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
12 ounce bottle - $1.69 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia. Best Before: Feb 19, 2012.
Appearance: Pours a very dark brown body, but it’s clear, yielding a bit of ruby at the edges when held aloft towards the light. Medium-sized, off-white head with a few flecks of lace on the descent.
Smell: Light notes of pale malts, with chocolate and roast, but those remain light notes as well, not particular effusive, only giving you a quick sense before the slow-moving, but slightly more potent scents of lemon and pine take over.
Taste: Pale malts, then some roast, but a very gentle roastiness, with only small hints of unsweetened cocoa and tangy wheat. Low sweetness. The opening malts quickly die down, then, the taste proceeds to turn hoppy, with a flavor of citrus mainly, but also some light floral aspects and some lowly resinous elements. Medium bitterness. A bit of sweetness answers back on the back half. Drying finish with light hints of the roast and resin riding into the aftertaste.
Mouthfeel: Medium-light body. Medium carbonation.
Overall: Gee, it looks like everyone’s having trouble categorizing this one. I’m seeing suggestions of Black IPA, Dunkel, Winter Warmer, and even Dark Wheat. Me, I’d lean more towards Black IPA, though, even in that category, it’s not as hard-hitting as others in that grouping, but it’d be one of the more easy-drinking.
Cybercat (3223) - Georgia, USA - NOV 11, 2011
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Happy Remembrance Day! Thank you, veterans!
Pours an opaque dark-chocolate brown with a fairly thick and persistent light tan head that leaves some good lacing. Malty aroma has sweet chocolate and subtle spicy notes, just a hint of molasses. Flavor has a malty core with woody, semi-sweet chocolate, caramel and molasses notes. Smooth texture is just a teensy thin but still good, and quite tingly. Finish is woody and malty with a hint of caramel.
FlacoAlto (3759) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - NOV 11, 2011
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
This is quite a bit darker than I was expecting; a steady, vigorous pour into my New Belgium Globe glass produces a fat-two-finger thick, lightly browned, dark tan colored head. The beer is a dark, concentrated brown / amber color that shows a brilliantly clear, burnt ruby hue when held up directly to the light. The aroma smells of tangelo zest, lychee, bright ruby red grapefruit, lighter aromatic notes of pine and a touch of herbal notes sum up most of the bright hop components. The malt plays a prominent role in the nose too, though it is secondary to the hops, but notes of toasted, slightly roasted brown bread crust, maybe a hint of pale coffee, spicy brown grain notes, toasted caramelized malt notes, ample brown bread chewy malt aromas and some sweet tea like crystal malt notes. I really like how the malt notes mix with the hop character, even though I wasn’t really expecting the beer to be quite so roast influenced.
The beer has a spicy, bitter, herbal hop note to it; these hop notes are more noticeable in the flavor, as compared to the hoppy fruit notes, mainly because this beer is fairly dry. The body is actually fairly light too, this is definitely a beer meant for quaffing. The spiciness is played up by a solid roasted note in the finish as well as a lingering toasted grain character. The fruity notes from the hops contribute notes of tangelo zest, some light lychee and a bright Curacao orange zest, though these are quite a bit reduced due to the dryness of this beer; still there is enough touches of malt sweetness to allow some of the hop fruit notes to come through. Much of the perceived dryness in this beer is accentuated by the roasted, slightly burnt grain notes. This beer has quite a bit of bite to the finish; both an ample hop bitterness and some spice and burnt bite from the roast malt.
This beer is a bit stronger than I expected, because it drinks so light and quaffable. It reminds me of a little, black IPA, so really a black Pale Ale , though really it reminds me of a hoppy Porter; it sort of reminds me of Avery New World Porter, though this isn’t quite as roasted as that beer. The burnt note that this beer has seems quite distinct compared to what is usually found in a roasted beer and it has me wondering if the distinctness is because this beer’s roast character comes from the roasted Midnight wheat. Not a bad beer, I think I prefer 2° Below Winter Ale quite a bit more than this one though; Snow day has the roast and hop character clashing enough in the finish to add a touch of harshness (and this is accentuated a bit by some warmth from the alcohol.
Westmeister (1699) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - NOV 10, 2011
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle. Black IPA, huh? Really was trying to think of what this beer was when I was drinking and this makes as much sense as any. Pours a dark mahogany but translucent with off white head. Smell is mild pine/resinous hops, dark roast and a bit earthy. Taste is a little spicy, some wandering hops, dark caramel roast. I actually quite enjoyed this one and have never had two below.
killjoy966 (677) - Washington, USA - NOV 10, 2011
3.1 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Nothing special. Tastes like any number of dark ales. Not as good as the two below.
Thinker (62) - Littleton, Colorado, USA - NOV 10, 2011
4 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Nice dark color with a thick slightly brown head, there is a mild initial taste that ends with a nice hoppy bitter flavor. Great winter time beer.
trevor211 (1298) - Seattle, Washington, USA - NOV 10, 2011
3.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Pours a very deep transparent red-brown, with a smallish tan head. Smells like a pale ale that’s had fruit subbed in for the caramel malts. There’s quite a hop contingent, countered by pomegranate, some cherry, and dark-roasted rye. The hops are definitely more of the bittering variety, as the aftertaste on this one is very dry and acerbic. The flavor is on the dilute side, and it’s leaving a somewhat skunky bitterness in my mouth that I’m not liking. Meh.