awaller05 (304) - Sharon, Wisconsin, USA - AUG 29, 2004
3.4 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Interesting concept, a beer based on 3.14159265358 Pours a nice red auburn color with minimal head. smells sweet but you can tell it has a small bire to itehrn you smell. First taste has a molasses and sugar taste to it, almost to sweet. Then it bitters up and leaves you puckered. Over all it is a good beer but Iím not sure I can say this one is a great one.
Dogbrick (6058) - Columbus, Ohio, USA - AUG 29, 2004
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pours a dark brown color with a slight reddish tint. Medium beige head and thin lacing. The aroma is malty and chocolaty. Medium-bodied and very smooth and toasty throughout. The flavor is sort of a hybrid Doppelbock and Porter. Coffee, malt, caramel and chocolate are all present. The finish is lightly bitter roasted coffee and sweet malt. All in all a well-balanced and easily drinkable beer from New Holland.
Metalhead (613) - Lake Zurich, Illinois, USA - AUG 28, 2004
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
FWIW-It is estimated that there are probably only 100 cases of this stuff in any state that gets it. I drank this at about 60 degrees.Poured a deep brown but had blood red hues when held to a light. thin beigey head.
Iím also not sure where to classify this but would have to lean with a strong porter. Mild malt,toffee,earthy,toasty and slightly bitter. Like Hopsrus I thought I could detect spice in the flavor. Slightly sticky lips halfway thru the bottle. Fairly complex and as with all of New Hollands Special beers,this one should probably sit awhile longer.Glad I bought 1/2 a case to age
Silphium (2972) - East Lansing, Michigan, USA - AUG 27, 2004
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: JUL 20, 2005 Looks like itís Michiganís turn to figure out if this beer is divine or not. Phi pours a deep red-brown (almost like a dark red wine), topped by a medium light tan head. Aroma is toasty with toffee and a touch of cheerios and earthy hops. There seems to be a bit of discussion as to how to classify this beer, so Iíll add my take. Phi seems to fit somewhere between an Old Ale and English Strong Ale...of course, it is apparently a lager. That said, this is a very ale-like lager, with toast and toffee balancing the sweet caramel/fruit flavors of the Munich malts, finishing with a nice, earthy, toasty bitterness. Most strong lagers have a syrupy, bulky mouthfeel, but Phi is lighter on the tongue and is crisply carbonated. Alcohol is well-hidden but makes itself known on the tongue after a few sips. Reminds me a bit of another beer in the "High Gravity" series, Dragonís Milk. Worth the wait.
2005 edition.This yearís recipe appears to be different, and thatís not a good thing. The body is much lighter (hazy light orange with a thin cream-colored head). Aroma of fermented fruit (peach, white grape, apricot) and wet hay. The flavor is a rather nightmarish concoction of reeking fermented fruits (same as above, with some apple notes too), caramel, and toast, combining to form a medicinal, syrupy morass from which little redemption can be pulled. Finishes sickeningly sweet and a touch leathery. Underfermented and highly disappointing. The 2005 version may warrant a separate listing.
JCW (1273) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - AUG 27, 2004
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
New beer here. Looks like a robust porter, dark brown, pours with moderate brown head. Aroma is rich, with toffeeish and carmel flavors dominating, with some molasses flavors in the background. As previously stated the flavor is confusing, I thought it might be a barleywine, while the other person I tasted with was correct in stating porter. Alcohol does slightly show its self, and on the finish I kept thinking that I could tast a spice like ginger. Nice effort on New Hollands part and I will anguishly await the next 3 in the High Gravity Quartet.
tomxcs (318) - Berkeley, California, USA - AUG 25, 2004
4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
This really confused me. The first I thought it was a barleywine. The second for some reason tasted completely different and was more like a barleywine/stout/porter mix. Anyway, this is good stuff. Aroma is dark fruits, brown sugar, toffee, and roasted malts. Dark brown, almost blackish, with a reddish tint. Small, dense head. Seemed a little harsh at first but still good. Very sweet and vey smooth -- turning bitter with coffee and chocolate flavors. Fairly dry in the back. Vinous and somewhat astringent, with almost a red wine aftertaste and continuing hop and chocolate bitterness.
Jokes (1453) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - AUG 23, 2004
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 15/20
Dark red and brown with a thick, fluffy tan head. Big malty nose with light hints of hops. Sweet chocolate, sticky caramel, dark fruit, warm alcohol, lightly toasted bread and light pine. The body is full, creamy and ever so enjoyable. The flavor is elegantly sweet with bits of lightly toasted malt and balancing lightly bitter hops. The finish is mildly warm with decent length. A good with nice flavors and excellent drinkability.
JPDIPSO (4956) - Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, USA - AUG 20, 2004
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Chestnut color with a small dense glassy tan head. Mild aromas of sweet toasted malt, dark cocoa, brown sugar and light grass hops. Thicker feel with a smooth touch of light oil. Rather smooth and balance , I must admit. Very drinkable. Flavors lean to the malty side , with toasted malt, Light fruit (raisins and figs come to mind), dry chocolate and a hint of mild coffee. Mild acidic finish with long linger of dark roasted malt. To me this seems like a strong alt. I did not notice any alcohol along the way, which is rather remarkable considering the strength. Do not expect anything over the top with this brew, rather a balanced malty brew. Divine may be a stretch, but really quite relaxing and pleasant.