Guerde (1074) - St. Paul, Minnesota, USA - NOV 4, 2011
3.1 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 11/20
(bottle) Pours dark brown/black with ruby highlights when held up to a light, with a medium tan head. Aroma smells like convenience store coconut Hostess Donettes at first, but then gets more piney and resiny. Further warming veers this thing into vegetal territory, with plenty of canned green beans joining the party. Flavor is more malt-forward than the aroma indicated, with plenty of chocolate, roasted malt, coffee, and a fair amount of bitter hops on the finish that are slightly piney. Gets more astringent as it warms. Has this spicy quality to it towards the finish that is kind of nice and unexpected. Overall this beer is ok, but the off flavors and aromas were a bit too much.
robgibbens (340) - Gaithersburg, Maryland, USA - NOV 4, 2011
3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 11/20
Extremely dark amber color with some lacing. The aroma is like fresh hops and pine needles. The taste has a slight bitterness to it but backed by a maltiness. The brew is medium to light-bodied and goes down easily leaving a dry finish.
rangerred (660) - Johnson City, Tennessee, USA - NOV 4, 2011
3.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 14/20
Poured out of a bottle.
Appearance is dark brown with a slight reddish tint. Decent head with good lacing.
Smell is of piny/citrusy hops with some roasted malt.
Taste is very hop forward with the citrus and pine dominating at first but then giving way to a pleasant roastiness. Finished fairly clean with a lingering hop bitterness.
I feel like this is a pretty average black ipa but I can see myself revisiting it many times.
Beardface (1509) - Eugene, Oregon, USA - NOV 3, 2011
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle from Bier Stein. Mahogany pour with a touch of red and a light tan head. Aroma is a nice mix of caramel and chocolate malts plus a totally unexpected blast of citrus and pine hops. Tastes much the same, very much hoppier than I was anticipating, nice surprise for a NB seasonal.
CharmCityCrab (110) - Pennsylvania, USA - NOV 3, 2011
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Aroma is mostly hops with just the smallest hint of porter/stout malt. Appearance is light black with that slightly darker white head that one associates with stouts and porters. Taste is similar to an IPA with piney cascade notes and some milder hops similar to what one might find in a Vienna lager mixed in, plus slight notes of chocolate and roastedness from the malt. Word is they used a wheat malt in this beer that’s relatively new to market- it tastes good, but more like traditional barley malt than a wheat malt, which is a good thing in a beer like this, in my opinion. Overall, a strong seasonal outing from New Belgium. A nice hearty beer to ward off the winter chill. Refreshing, but with a complex enough taste profile to keep anyone from getting bored. I’d give it the edge over the Sam Adams Winter Lager and the Sierra Nevada Celebration in a big craft brewers flagship winter seasonal show down, if there was such a thing. ;) Introductory price in this market a little higher than SA and SN, though, which may keep me from buying this as often as I’d like- I assume competition will bring that down eventually.
TheGB (422) - Charlottesville, Virginia, USA - NOV 2, 2011
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Pouts a nice dark brown with a thin, but pretty dense head. Enticing chocolate aroma with a hint of hops to balance it. Taste is smooth with a nice balance and a significant acidic kick at the end. Would be great on a snow day.
kidmartinek (2452) - austin, Texas, USA - NOV 2, 2011
4.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Root beer brown. A tan head that wont quit. Aroma that conveys the.perfect balance of malt and hops, 40/60 that is. Smooth start developing in a pleasurable bite and a refractive finish, all good things. Flavors of brown malt, hop dominated malt and awesomeness.
This beer. No, THIs beer.
hellbilly (3249) - scottsdale über alles, Arizona, USA - NOV 1, 2011
3.1 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
10/27/11 snowday at paps.
woody brown... black ipa-ish with a creamy dense tan head.
a+f are pine, dusty hops, some spice... resin, citrus pith.... meh, needs more hops to be a bipa
crisp yet a little creamy.
BMan1113VR (7379) - Los Angeles, California, USA - NOV 1, 2011
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
I kind of miss 2* Below. On tap at GABF and the brewery. Pours with a hazed deep brown body with a tan head. Aromas are roasty, black malt, wheat, spicy and fruity. Light citrus hops. Flavors are fruity, hay, a bit of burnt roast, caramel, grainy, spicy hops. Dry, medium bitter. Okay.
tfratzke (14) - St. Paul, Minnesota, USA - NOV 1, 2011
2.8 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 7/20
UPDATED: NOV 2, 2011 Pours a dark opaque brown. Team head with good lacing. Smells of bread dough and a hint of chocolate. Good carbonation on the palate. Taste is where it loses me. Shoe leather, leaves, earthy. Some strange herbs that I’m not sure how to describe. Not very hoppy for a black IPA.