Pigfoot (2268) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - SEP 5, 2004
4.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Appearance: dark plum to eggplant in color, with visible "floaties" swimming about, a bit lighter near the bottom and around the sides, so far a very good approximation of the trappist abbey dubbel look, with a small, dunnish head, settling swiftly into a negligible collar.
Aroma: sheer intoxication, the first sniff brings such myriad complex flavors that I have to reel back from it...rustic, raisins, cured meats?, dark spices and fruits, soft leather, moss...deep, dank, and transendently indulgent..oh, goodness, oh, WOW!...so much going on here, that’s it’s extraordinarily difficult to pretend to be detached or objective, this beer unfolds and envelops me, it knows it has me where I want to be had!
..now, how about a taste of it? Simply amazing! A sweet, treacly dose of fruit (grapes, plums, cherries) welcome hops, and a thick, powerful malt backbone, pulling it all together.
Can’t quite taste the "dried apricot in the nose" and "pear on the palate" as noted on the label, at least I can’t claim to have discovered it on my own.
I now relax, sit back, sip, savor...full-bodied as can be, long, rich, residing finish...no, "finish" is incorrect, for it never leaves the mouth, and I would never wish it to!
A beer so powerful and seductive it consumes every sensory receptor, every inch of the head, all across the brain, down the fingers and toes...I nearly want to "cut & paste" my review of Westveleteren or St. Bernardus, for this experience so closely resembled that which I had with those fine Trappist ales.
zach8270 (4022) - Henrietta, New York, USA - SEP 5, 2004
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: DEC 7, 2008 [12 oz. bottle] Hazy reddish/orange color with a thin tan head. Slightly musty aroma of cherries, alcohol and toffee. Smooth flavor of cherries, caramel and other sweet malts. The finish is very sweet and reminiscent of cherries and the sweet malts. Very creamy mouthfeel and easy to drink.
IndianaRed (3430) - Boise, Idaho, USA - SEP 4, 2004
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
750mlBottle Pours a hazy dark redish brown with a very nice creamy light tan persistant head. Aroma is old oak, musty, slight cherry and alcohol. Flavors are of caramel, oak and the cherries are just lurking in the background. A bit dry, and the feel is a nice, lively sensation. The aftertaste is of old wood barrels. Very interesting.
ElGaucho (2371) - Minnetonka, Minnesota, USA - SEP 3, 2004
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
High alcohol, Belgian aroma that is sweet and fresh. Dark, red nectar appearance. The deep cloudy red must come from the cherries. Very cloudy and muddy with a small, light tan head. Excellent lace. Mouthfeel is highly carbonated with a high alcohol presence. Cherries are evident yet masterful in their subtlety and offering a very nice finish. Some caramel notes. Warming. Overall, a little too much caramel, but a quality, enjoyable brew.
boto (2041) - Granby, Connecticut, USA - SEP 1, 2004
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
750ml bottle (2003 vintage): The beer pours a dark ruby tinged brown color. There was quite a bit of an off-white, but it subsided quickly. Big nose full of different fruits, with mainly cherries coming through. Also a yeasty breadiness to the nose. Some sweet caramel in there also. The initial taste is tart cherries, with a hint of sweetness also. There is a somewhat chocolate aftertaste that finishes a touch dry. Some spiciness comes through also. Definitely full bodied. A very good beer!
0o9i (439) - Reno, Nevada, USA - AUG 29, 2004
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottled 2004. Deep, orange touched red, cloudy, sparkling body topped by a huge orange-hued cream head, fluffy and leaving thick lacing. Strong aroma of fruits, clove, cherries, prune, raw yeast, oats, caramel, honey...almost chocolatey hints. Smells very nice, like a rich dopple or even reminiscent of a dopple//oat stout mix. Body is full and dry with lots of velvety, foamy carbonation. Flavor is richly malt-laden, caramel, prunes, cherries with a fairly harsh bitter, acidic, alcoholic middle that finishes with roasted oatmeal, clove, hints of milk chocolate and vanilla. Nice finish. Aging this will fix the middle, which is related to the carbonation which is related to all of the unreacted yeast...give it a year or three! Very nice beer, fairly drinkable, although powerful...complex, enjoyable. Will rerate at a much later date.
footbalm (1219) - Western Minneapolis Suburbs, Minnesota, USA - AUG 28, 2004
3.8 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
This beer has a nice rich Ice Tea appearence.Slightly cloudy with little head and a few fizzies.the aroma of this was not very detectable,slight at best.Some malts and sweetness.The flavor is much stronger than the aroma.Full flavors of fruits amd malts blending together nicely.Cliche’ or not,it has that nice Belgian flavor.Nice enough finish.
Nate (3994) - Indiana, Pennsylvania, USA - AUG 28, 2004
2.9 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Sweet aroma, light cherry, malty. Pretty weak, though. Cloudy brown with big yeasty chunks floatig around. Thin off-white head. Medium-heavy watery body with medium-high carbonation. Weak flavor. Cherry wood notes, OK malts, light dryness. Bit of alcohol in the after. OK, but no match for a Belgian abt.
drismyhero (815) - Tacoma, Washington, USA - AUG 25, 2004
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
I’m not sure how many people are familiar with Sheesha, but it is a tobacco product that is infused with molasses and heavily flavored/scented with fragrant fruit or flower. The aroma from this beer is only comparable to this: thick sweltering perfumey fragrance with sweet tobacco overtones. For once I’ve found a Belgian that really has something backing up that strong yeast. What color here as well, the ruby color is very unusual for a Belgian beer, and the dark head only adds to the appeal. Like many others however, this had a tad too much carbonation, although I admit I allowed this one to age for a while. Full flavor, a tad too thin on the palate, but over-all, very inventive for the style and a very good beer.
jcc83 (137) - Athens, Georgia, USA - AUG 22, 2004
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Attractive pour featuring a red-brown thick body, with a lacy white head and a good bit of carbonation. The fruity, complex aroma of cherry, alcohol, and sweet malts prepared me for an equally rich and complex set of flavors. Good thick mouthfeel, and a really well-balanced set of flavors for something so complex. Very Good.