willblake (2626) - Bel Air, Maryland, USA - AUG 27, 2006
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
24.07.06 750ml bottle at BCTC, again at NYRBG, Belgian Room, and another waiting in the wings. I keep trying this stuff and for some reason am expecting much more out of it than I’m getting. Cursory notes here, more to follow as I explore this beer with an entire 750ml bottle. Sweet, spicy, and ester-rich, this teak colored beer invites another sip with each swallow. Somehow I was hoping that there would be greater complexity, but this beer seems to be relying mostly on its yeasts for flavor and aroma. Quite drinkable with nicely hidden alcohol.
WeeHeavySD (3356) - San Diego (Hillcrest), Oregon, USA - AUG 26, 2006
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
UPDATED: FEB 27, 2008 Bottle on 8/26/06 purchased at Bev Mo in Mission Valley San Diego. Pours a rich deep dark slightly cloudy amber. With a large head that dissipates to a thin layer. The aroma is sweet and malty. The taste is also sweet and very tasty, with hints of fruit and a lingering sweetness in the aftertaste. As a fan of Monk and North Coast I’m happy to rate this wonderful Belgian styled ale as delicious.
holdenn (2060) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - AUG 25, 2006
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
On tap @ Maproom: Pours a rasin amber color with a thin off white head. Red grapes dominate the aroma with raisins, plums, and some belgian spices. The flavors follow suit of the aromas with some a little bit of cherries and vanilla. Overall a pretty good beer, but not quite great.
Palidor19 (2841) - Brandon, Florida, USA - AUG 24, 2006
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
I did enjoy this one very much, but it fails at at a certian level that gives a great "WOW" factor. still its got an intial taste of cherries and raision with a storng Alcohol punch. Make sure you give this one a try
joshwilfong (1200) - Cleveland, Ohio, USA - AUG 24, 2006
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
very nice red mohaghany appearance, scent of figs, nice sweet malty taste. very good double.
hopscotch (8367) - Vero Beach, Florida, USA - AUG 24, 2006
3.6 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle... Clear, very dark ruby ale with a small, fizzy, beige head. Raisin, banana, clove and bubblegum esters and phenols escape the glass and find shelter in the happy confines of my nose. Well balanced flavor with lots of sweet chocolate/tobacco maltiness up front followed by just enough hop and alcohol bitterness to level the playing field. Full-bodied and oily with lively carbonation. Finishes bittersweet. Too good to put the glass down… which is unfortunate since I ended up falling asleep on the couch while holding it. Woke up soaked. Battle scars all over the couch and my clothes. Nothing new here.
lagermonkey (725) - Marietta, Georgia, USA - AUG 23, 2006
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 14/20
Pours a deep reddish brown with a 1/4 inch tan head. Head dissipates to a wisp and leaves no lacing on the goblet. Cherry and rich malty aromatics eminate from the glass. Hints of oaky vanilla.
Taste is the same rich tones as the smell. Hint of alcohol, a bit of port. Lots of sour cherry and rich malt. A bit less body than you would expect. More medium bodied than heavy. The flavors don’t quite mesh. Maybe with age? Mixed feelings on this one but not a bad Belgian-style American ale.
TerryR (383) - Oswego, Illinois, USA - AUG 22, 2006
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Deep amber with a tan head that quickly disappears. Aroma of dark fruit, candy sugar, spice and alcohol. Flavor follows the aromas as spiciness is more noticeable followed by a fairly alcoholic finish. A very nice beer, but it did not meet my expectations from a brewery that produces some great beers.
FlacoAlto (3676) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - AUG 20, 2006
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Sampled August 2006
As I pours this brew it shows a brilliantly clear, brown amber color, as it sits in my glass though it is a dark, opaque, reddish tinged deep brown color. The head is frothy and the color of creamed / frothed maple syrup, that is to say it is a amberish, dark tan color. The aroma is quite fruit focused up front; notes of raisins, figs, and concord grapes mix together to form a rich, concentrated fruitiness. The fruit is just slightly balanced by a hint of spicy clove, and a maltiness towards the finish that is a blend of toasted grain, and caramelized malt. This finishes with just a touch of alcohol; the combination of fruit and alcohol makes me think of rum, or perhaps a cherry liquor, or better yet a sweet plum wine.
Sweet up front, with an initial light chocolate note that quickly gives way to an intense concentrated fruit note. Notes of prunes are prominent, but right underneath this is a large amount of more traditional malt flavors. Notes of caramelized raisins intermingle with a touch of toasted grain and, of course, that note of lightly bittered chocolate. This beer has some definite fermentation character as well. Of course there is the amped up fruit notes, but there is also quite a bit of clove here, as well as an earthy spiciness. The clove is quite prevalent, yet because of the sweetness & fruitiness of this beer it only plays a supporting role. Other spice notes seem to be a mix of allspice, a touch of ginger, something a bit like coriander, and even a hint of cola-like cardamom. As this beer warms up a bit the earthy, coriander-like note becomes a bit more noticeable. It helps to add some balance to the dominant sweet fruitiness, but that is still "dominant".
This is quite an interesting take on this Belgian inspired brew. Quite a bit sweeter than many, though in truth I have had quite a few increasingly sweet examples from Belgium, so perhaps I should say it is sweeter than my favorite examples. This does strike a nice richness to it, and is quite an appropriate way to end off an evening of culinary indulgence. This beer hides its strength fairly well. Also it is fairly light despite the sweet fruit character. Certainly an enjoyable tipple and I think I might just need to stash a few of these away to see how they age over time.
<font size=-4>Purchased: <a href=http://www.ratebeer.com/Places/ShowPlace.asp? Liquors, Tucson, AZ<font size=-1>
rajendra82 (911) - Alpharetta, Georgia, USA - AUG 18, 2006
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Out of the 750 ml. bomber, and into the St. Bernardus chalice, this Belgian style Abbey Ale poured out deep red. The head however was quite small, and not anything like the overflowing glass that Mr. Thelonious Monk is shown holding on the label. The aroma was a mix of floral and sweet smells, with a hint of spice. It smelled quite strong at first, but after starting the sipping, it became less aromatic. The taste was quite a bit tamer than the real Abbey Ales. I could detect some brow sugar, raisins, and chocolate, but everything was marred by the thin body, and the ever present alcohol. This beer was quite a bit less filling than I was hoping for, and lacked the complexity that the best Belgian style beers exhibit. On the plus side, it was quite easy to drink. In the end this felt like a sweet and alcoholic ale, with little else to remember it by.