Caskalefan (136) - Bellingham, Washington, USA - MAR 16, 2008
4.9 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
This rating applies to the 2003 vintage which I was fortunate enough to taste yesterday at the Brewery.
I had tried Spotted Owl many times over the past six years, and it was always tasty, mellow and warming, if a bit on the sweet side for my palate, and I preferred the more assertive Hair of the Frog. However, something nearly miraculous has occurred after five years of aging this beauty. It has retained the fig/date/raisin profile, but the Chinook hops (which despite their high alpha profile, Iíve never found to be very evident in Spotted Owl) have blossomed into real prominence, and yet, at this point, they are more aromatic than harshly bitter, and give the ale an amazing depth of flavors such as dry sherry, and kumquat, as well as others I couldnít quite pin down.
At this point, I am reminded very strongly of a bottle of eight year old J.W. Leeís Harvest Ale if it were skillfullyblended with their Calvados-aged version, except the fruitiness is a wonderful addition in the this brew that the Leeís seems to lack.
Many thanks,to Eric, for a truly delightful interlude!
riversideAK (5557) - Shoreline, Washington, USA - AUG 3, 2009
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Lots of malt in the nose, hugely sweet notes of raisins, plums, dates, pears, caramel, toffee, earthy notes, and just a hint of butter that actually works very well with this. Really nice aroma actually. Nice amber pour, bright with a fizzy white head. Straight up sweet malty in the English Style - lots of caramel and toffee, tons of fruits - dates, sweet plums, raisins. Lots going on here including a decent bitterness that takes away from the high booze that was expected with this one being 12%. Smooth full bodied beer with soft carbonation. A real treat, I enjoyed this quite a bit actually.
Desalt (1) - Ontario, CANADA - FEB 22, 2013 does not count
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
PIcked this up on my way back from Mt Baker last week; I stopped for directions and walked out with 2 bottles $20 each. Despite the reviews; I was surprises on how good this beer was.
It tastes like it was aged in bourbon barrels. Iíll wait for a couple years to break into the next 2012 Spotten Owl.
BeerPrince (1701) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - JAN 22, 2006
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Amber colour with an orange tinge, looks similar to a very old tawny port. Aroma is sweet, some cherry and caramel with no real hops. Smooth for the high abv, lots of fruits, prune and cherry with a nice caramel balance.
Oakes (11031) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - MAY 22, 2005
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
1 1/2 years old. Very dark amber colour. The aroma is malty, showing brown sugar, cherry and hints of toffee. Soft body. Chewy, richly fruity and malty flavour (toffee, demerara, cherry, burnt plum). Just a hint of alcohol in the finish provides nice balance. A quaffable BW.
CampesinoTino (686) - Seattle, Washington, USA - SEP 8, 2013
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
750 ml Bottle w/ brew date of 3-11-2011. Mahogany colored in appearance with a circle of tan foam and bubbles. Strong notes of dark fruits, caramel, butterscotch and sherry dominate the aroma. The taste opens up with a moderate dose of brown sugar, date and currant flavors along with some toffee, yeast and black cherry around the edges. Medium-bodied with soft carbonation and more dark fruits and sugars in the finish. Relatively mellow and balanced in spite of the high ABV.
drismyhero (815) - Tacoma, Washington, USA - JAN 23, 2003
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
The little brother of the Hair of the Frog. This too was intensely packed with sweet sweet malt, so much in fact everything else seemed to melt into sweet nothingness. The only problem with this though was the fact that there wasn't too much else beyond the candy malt, but that alone is enough to give this beer a special place in your heart, very tasty and smooth for the style.
OldGrowth (2342) - North Carolina, USA - NOV 13, 2005
3.6 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Tap @ Redbones. Ok nose, sweet. Fruity sugary. Raisin/plum, vanilla, sugar, little medicy at first. Fruit came out as it warmed up. Clean orangy brown color, small to no head. Light at bar wasnít the best for judging. Sweet bitter flavors, like aromas. Vanilla, dried fruit thing going on. Thick body, oily creamy mouthfeel, dry finish that is a tad harsh with the ABV level. Nice barley wine, oh so familiar, like Iíve had it before. Was part of Redbones Northwest fest beer.
ClarkVV (3579) - Allston, Massachusetts, USA - NOV 21, 2005
3.5 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
2005 draught pint at Red Bones on 11/12/05. Dark copper amber with a thin beige head, well-retained. Smells like cherries and cranberries. Thatís about it. Some sweetness to the cherries, but little in the way of thick malts and certainly no hops apparency. Just lightly dry toffee at best. At first sip, the amount of fruity yeast apparency is quite surprising. All kinds of fruity esters apparent, cherries, plums, cranberries, apples, blackberries. Sweeter than expected malt interacts with the yeast to produce what I would describe most closely as candied apples and caramel-covered apples. Syrupy texture is soft (very low carbonation) and soothing, while the medium-full body is predominantly sweet. No hop apparency. Alcohol dries the flavor out to add balance, without any harsh fusel notes. Tone down Avery Samaels intense, near-cloying sweetness, subtract the oak, add back the mouthfeel that was removed from filtration and it comes out similar to this.
AmEricanbrew (5200) - Belcher, Louisiana, USA - FEB 13, 2008
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
At Hard Liver 2006. í05 vintage.Clear amber color. Big malty sweet nose . Thick body. Nice medium strong sweet flavors of caramel figs dates. Another good one at the fest.