arjoseph (634) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - JAN 19, 2005
4.5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: AUG 23, 2005 GABF 2004. This was a highlight of the festival for me. One of the freshest tasting beers I had; consistently surprising, even with multiple glasses. The texture was what made it; silky, buttery and creamy. The hops were fruity, but I wished they were a bit stronger. The flavor is slow burning, and intensifies as you swill, but it never reaches the pitch I would have hoped. Still, great beer.
OldGrowth (2350) - North Carolina, USA - DEC 23, 2004
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle, from trade with JCW. Great nose, pine,citrus,floral carmel. Very nice orangy brownish red color. No head. Bittersweet flavors. Burnt, grapefruit, little metallic, carmel. pellet signature. Medium bodied, smooth oily creamy mouthfeel, Biting bitterness on finish. Very nice brew. Nose has something familiar about it. 9% is hidden well. Thanks JCW for a rare treat.
Kasteelfreak (341) - Fallbrook, California, USA - DEC 21, 2004
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: SEP 12, 2005 Had my fill of this at the Strong Ale Festival. Almost seemed cask conditioned (but it wasnít) because there were chunks of hop floating around in it. Double IPA like with a strong malt backbone. I didnít take notes on it but it was probably my favorite of the festival. Rerate 081905: The wife and kids are out of town and Iím home alone with a growler I donít remember it being so dark. Itís a translucent dark red/rust/brown. I kind of like how the color changes from the bottom to top of my Fin du Monde glass. It almost appears black at the widest section. The nose is very rich and thick. It almost makes me bloated just smelling it. It is incredibily complex. Iím picking out caramelized bananas, orange, bakers chocolate, purple grape juice, and toast with butter and sugar. That last observation reminds me of HOTD Doggie Claws. The alcohol warms the nose ever so gently. The head in my medium wide tulip glass started off very thick with enough size in the bubble that forshadowed its decline. A creamy ring and some lace remained as a reminder of its initial glory. Initial mouthfeel isnít quite as thick as expected. The taste brings up memories of HOTD Doggie Claws, Reaper Sleighor, and Sierra Nevada Bigfoot. Sweet, caramelized barley with some vanilla, and dark chocolate hits first then it fades to to the back of the tongue with itís bitter attack. Piney hops hit along with a roasted taste that makes it more than a hop juice. Itís attached to my togue like itís going to dissolve it. It numbs the tongue a little bit like nutmeg would. Pretty special beer. Increased aroma 1 point. 5 minutes later: Jeff has done an incredible job to keep this from being too syrupy. It is very big, malty and rich, yet so drinkable. It has a great oily feeling. That along with the hops creates a spicy feeling in my mouth. Almost like I just had somes salsa. Very interesting.
JCW (1274) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - DEC 20, 2004
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Thanks Santa! The beer is a rich reddish brown, translucent a pours with a thick tan head. Lots and lot of C hops here very piney with a slight touch of citrus. Bitterness is only moderate which is a tribute to the thick malty body. Mouth feel is creamy, very reminiscent of the first time I had Dreadnaught on tap. Finish starts out with a little sweetness, but in the end its all hops.
wunderbier (1434) - Tampere, FINLAND - DEC 13, 2004
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Lots of cascades and west coast hops. Very fresh aroma. Caramel is the overriding malt theme. Dark brown, creamy head. Moderately sweet, lightly acidic, moderately bitter flavor becomes a moderately sweet, heavily bitter finish. Medium-heavy body, creamy texture, lively carbonation. The bottom line is: Iíve been whomped?
hopdog (8254) - Lansdale, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 7, 2004
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
On tap @ the San Diego Strong Ale Fest Day 2. I tried to order this on Day 1 and it wasnít there. I was worried I would miss my 1 chance of sampling this beer. Luckily, I was able to attend Day 2 for a short period of time and this was 1st on my list. Poured a dark and hazy amber color with an averaged sized white head. Stronger piney aroma with some floral touches. Hops and more hops (which is not a bad thing for me!). Even with the all the hops, there is a nice malt balance present. Very good!
beerguy101 (5244) - Newark, California, USA - DEC 6, 2004
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Dark to medium amber color. Small white foamy head. Aroma is floral hops and a touch of malts. A medium to full-bodied Imperial IPA. Malts are fruity and fairly sweet. Hops are grapefruity and piney. Nice hop signature. Nicely balanced by a fairly substantial malt backbone. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and dry. Aftertaste is slightly bitter. NICE beer.
Sham (1845) - Seattle, Washington, USA - DEC 2, 2004
4.6 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Same GROWLer as the BŁckster sampled from brought to us by the generosity of THE Gorlock
This one poured a very pretty mahogany with a tannish, creamy head. Lacing is ranging from spotty to sheet to even webbed. Then it disappeared. Iím not sure. Whatever. As Jordo stated it looked fresh poured from draught. Nice. Wow. The aroma is an excellent balance between the malts, which are of caramel and slight roast. The hops are where the Whomping begins! A floral bouquet of wonder is accompanied by a citrus bitterness so well done. Piney as well as hints of alcohol. Very fresh hops. The bitterness rolls over the tongue and leaves a trail of sweet caramel malts. Hints of roast and brown sugar. Citrus and bittering hops make one think of a bitter orange or maybe grapefruit. There is a hint of alcohol as I asked what percentage the Whompster was. Jordan calmly stated nein... I mean nine. Surprising how smooth the 9% goes down. The tail of this beer is filled with a creamy, malt richness that acquiesces into a hoppy bitterness. Beautiful. Thank you Sean for this wonderful, wonderful treat.
BŁckDich (5464) - McCall, Idaho, USA - DEC 2, 2004
4.4 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
íGrowleredí sample from Sean "DrunkAsASkunk" Gorlock
He picked it up on a Monday and shipped it the same day; here am I on a Thursday, 15 minutes after receiving the package drinking it with my home boy Mike "The Shamster". Still cold from its journey through the "arctic temperatures" of Boise.
Good head retention with very good carbonation, almost like it was freshly poured. Off-white, almost tan head with sheets full of lacing. Orange and dark ruby red with lights and a mahogany cherry color without. Very cloudy and unfiltered looking. Nose of very fresh hops and malts. Almost pre-boil hop aroma when youíre smelling your bags of hops. Iím getting grapefruit and pine. Hmmm....Simcoe and Cascade? Rich maltyness in the nose along with the hops but just hardcore hoppyness in the nose. Damn, 10 minutes in and I havenít even tasted it yet! OK, here goes....the bitterness rises up, and then fades to a porous caramel taste then mellow to a roast and finally a chocolaty tail. Never too sweet, bitter, hoppy or malty. Firmly balanced. The mouthfeel is very creamy and sticky. Lingers with a spicy alcohol note and plenty oí hops. After the first couple drinks your tongue has given up trying to taste the hops and just enjoys the ride. Not too much subtleties but the overall experience with Hop Whompus was a glorious one that just writes hop poetry all the way down your esophagus. Thanks Sean!
Sickboy282 (1115) - San Diego, California, USA - NOV 28, 2004
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Pours a brownish hue with a small off-white head. Aromas of grapefruit and flavors of the same. Very similar to yule smith in that is hoppy yet the malt balance is head on.