1FastSTi (3336) - Glendale, Wisconsin, USA - FEB 24, 2006
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: MAR 3, 2012 2006 vintage. Pours to a deep brown color with lots of red hues when held to the light. Itís a transparent beer with a dense tan head. The aroma is winey. Almost portish. I also get some licorice, light chocolate, and barrel aging. The flavor is sweet cherries, tart ground cherries, and has hints of chocolate, heavy mineral water, wood. An ever morphing flavor profile. I like it for the cherries and then it switches into a metallic stout. The palate is a touch too metallic at times. Almost pervades between the flavor and palate. Good, but I donít know if itís "that" good. 2010 vintage seems to be just as good.8, 4, 8, 3, 16 = 3.9.
The 2012 vintage is phenomenal. Super juicy (likely Door County) cherries meets chocolate stout. Either the cherries are just that much better this year, or the quantity is higher than I remember. Delicious sweet and tart Montmorency cherries. Wow, is this beer easy drinking.
JPDIPSO (4956) - Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, USA - FEB 23, 2006
4.1 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Dark brown in color, but you can see a hint of red as it poured. A smaller tan head that settles to a thin lid leaving a sheet of lace. Again, some hues of pink in the head noticed. A rich zinfandel, mixed with port. Dark cherries, candied cherries, oak, pipe tobacco, dark chocolate, hints of corn bread and sorghum all are players in the aroma which carries itself well and does not repent. Light sweet cherries start and lead to a slight metallic feel. The front is all fruit with prunes and cherries, raspberries and a hint of apple. Actually quite sweet, but it works for this style. The last half touches on the malt. With Dark chocolate, mild oak, rye and a very light scotch. This is a great brew for an ofter dinner treat or night cap. I could se this on drying out over the next year and continuing to get more complex. The Belgian Red with some dark malt, a really nice change of pace.
StewardofGondor (1934) - Washington Heights - Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA - FEB 23, 2006
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Somewhat thinning pour, settling in with a deep, translucent ruby color and darkening midnight brown tints for dimension. What once fizzled on the surface for the head has abandoned the beer entirely, and now has an ink pool stretching across the top. Aroma is abrupt and challenging - licorice root, rye, tarred shingles, burnt bourbon oak, black cherry cordials, vanilla beans and Swedish chocolate. Quite a cacophony. Later aromatic signals rouse up thoughts of cherry cola syrup. Flavor? Goodnight. Sticky, slippery, tart injustice (but lovingly so.) Cherry power chimes in early, not cresting too dramatically, as itís countered with singed oak and stark black licorice. All of this amidst rye. Sooty remnants ashen on dark chocolate squares, transforming to a whiskey and rye one-two punch to juxtapose the tart like tugs delivered by said cherries. Syrupy, viscous and a damn commanding palate presence. Balance is remarkably well-composed. Sticky, yet unprecocious and theoretically impossible to refine to one corner of the mouth. Finish resounds with the more assertive elements of the beer, drawing from black licorice root tea, lactic dark chocolate melted over bing and black cherries, and ash trays with a few sprinkles of brownie mix. Saddle up for a long, thoughtful experience with this one.
malachi (62) - Seattle, Washington, USA - FEB 19, 2006
4.1 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Drank this right after the Kuhnhenn Raspberry Eisbock, which was unfortunate because itís wonderful. The first thing the nose reminded me of was my great uncleís old, sweet, musty books, which was joined by a vanilla-esque, sour cherry, sweet barnyard aroma. There was an initial, metallic flavor up front which disappeared on the next sip. Fruity body was consistent throughout and a light finish made this beer an easier than usual stout to drink. This beer is the perfect blend between the Belgian Red and the Raspberry Tart since it has the sweetness of the Belgian and the tart of the Raspberry. This is barely a stout and borders on a Fruit Beer. Definitely will purchase a four pack to hold onto for awhile. Much thanks to hezron for getting this from the brewery today.
Brigadier (2975) - Clevelandish, Ohio, USA - FEB 18, 2006
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: MAR 17, 2006 Smells like a used bookstore, when you are browsing the aisles of vintage books. Also cherries and mangos (tropical fruitiness). Deep brown, almost black with a thin creamy lacing.
Tastes like cherry soda with a chocolate aftertaste. Light, dry finish that is smooth and easy to drink. On second pass, I get malt, barley, earthiness and a slight bitterness. An excellent addition to the Unplugged line. Snap it up while you can.
TheEnemy (562) - Chicago, USA - FEB 18, 2006
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Pours a dark red-brown-black that proves to be surprisingly clear when held up to direct light. Produces little head save a ring of bubbles around the rim that leaves small spots of lace here and there. Aroma is earthy, oak-piney, tart cherries, surprising amount of cinnamon, and pie crust -- basically an oven full of various holiday pies in a glass. Flavor is dominated by tart cherries as though this were their Belgian Red ale cut with their Road Slush Stout and a random holiday spice ale, with some roast grain bitterness providing balance, but with remarkably little dry-grain flavor for a stout. This is a fruit beer first and foremost; stout characteristics ride in the back seat. Playfully tingly but otherwise average palate with long tart/sweet cherry & cinnamon-spicy aftertaste. Very intriguing and extremely unique. The Unplugged series has been hit-or-miss for me; this one is an unqualified hit.
hezron (610) - Viroqua, Wisconsin, USA - FEB 18, 2006
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle, picked up at the brewery. Poured into my snifter. Tons of cherry aroma with a complex, cherry pie sourness and an underlying chocolate malt note. It is like sour cherry pie with chocolate malt balls mixed in. Very nice as the sourness really stands out and it isnít mushy at all. Color is dark, dark ruby-brown with an inch tall, off-white head. Time for a sip. Wow, initially a tart cherry sourness that is very bright. Then it quickly to a strange sweetness that has some mineral character that slowly changes to a dry, roasted malt flavor that again morphs into a softer chocolate before finally coming full circle and back to the cherries. That was all in the first two drinks! The dry, grainy, roasted malt stands out way more than the chocolaty flavors the more I drink. The wild, sour character is suprisingly strong. Medium body with a slightly oily-creamy texture that is crisp in the finish. This one isnít flabby.The only complaints I have are the mineral flavors associated with the sourness and that the flavors donít blend as well as I can imagine them blending. Though the more I drink the more the sour flavor grows on me. I like it a little better than the Belgian Red because it adds the dark malt roast complexity to an already great beer.