squidknuckle (17) - New Haven, Connecticut, USA - JAN 19, 2013
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Just as the previous review, a blue wrapped one liter bottle dated 2008. Hangin’ right in there. Really, better than my memory of the last time I had it, which was a bottle from the very same case about three years ago. Pours dark, of course, with a thin, soft, beige lacing that quickly spreads to the edges. Subtle, enticing aromas of wet, dark, caffeinated earth. Wonderful unctuous, yet refreshing texture. Soft, roasted, dry malts and slightly bitter chocolate with a beautiful sweet/sour balancing all through the mid-palate. This was our last bottle, maybe at its apex, hmmm?
stakem (2) - Pennsylvania, USA - AUG 15, 2012 does not count
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
1-liter swingtop into a snifter. This is the 2008 blue wrapped top, not to be confused with the yellow tape version that is sour. Poured in a snifter, it appears black in color with a fine line of clarity and brown around the edges. A finger of brown head slowly dissolves and is brought back to the surface with a light swirl.
The nose on this is holding up well. Even though the bright espresso character has dissolved into the rest of the aromatics, it is enjoyable in a different way. Chocolate and vanilla are upfront with a sweet scent that strikes forth thoughts of cocoa batter. A whiskey infused alcohol note is present taking the sweet scent of this brew in a new direction. Raisins, molasses, plums, figs, dates...all those dark fruity aspects are there in full force. As it warms up, some earthy tobacco notes come forward.
The taste is earthy and dry with a modest bitterness of herbal hops mixed with the bitterness imparted by the roasted quality of the grain. The espresso flavor is still there but blended in with tobacco, earth, cocoa, vanilla, licorice, molasses and mild oak. The alcohol is evident, exaggerate by a mild whiskey tang. All the flavors of this brew are well integrated and melded together. As the brew gets warmer, the focus changes to more of dark fruit flavors like raisin, plum, figs, dates, etc but than vanilla flavor is there with almost a resinous character that lasts long into the aftertaste.
This is a medium bodied brew with a moderate amount of carbonation. The alcohol is masterfully hidden and drinks so easy. I know the abv is 10% but it really feels like it is more in the 6% realm. An enormous amount of thanks go out to my boy Stormking for busting this out and sharing a large portion of this with me because he knew how much I liked this beer while it was still being brewed. It is a sad day to see this part of my beer history come to a close but at the same time, its fun to reminess of the days when we drank the hell out of this at Als of hampden. It was seemingly always on tap and the price was about the same for a 2-liter growler fill as it cost for a 1-liter brewery sealed bottle. Tell me again...how the hell did a brewery go out of business when we drank the shit out of this beer?!?!? This beer will always remain in my mind as the dark beer that could convert anyone to a fan of stout.
HogTownHarry (5639) - Toronto (Harbourfront), Ontario, CANADA - JUL 25, 2012
3.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
March 4, 2011 - with blankboy, garthicus, gregclow, jerc and mabel: my 1litre bottle, 2006 vintage (eep). Slightly thin-looking ruby-black with a minimal frothy beige/tan head (3-). Interesting, if mild, aroma - roast, prune, weak coffee, dry herbal bitterness in there somewhere. Taste - really thin, same as aroma, mild alcohol, a bit vinous, was probably once fairly boozy, but that has thinned as well. Light body for a stout, weak carbonation, a little astringent. Maybe I held on to it a little long.
madmitch76 (9867) - , Essex, ENGLAND - JUN 28, 2012
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
8th October 2010
Impressive 1 litre bottle, I really should be sharing this but it’s 2 years old and I need the space. Opaque black beer, small tan head, short lived. Coffee and whisky nose. Light palate, particularly for a 10.0% stout. A little dry and mild crispness. Coffee and mild minerals. Really well integrated vanilla that smooths out the coffee without ever making things sweet. A little whisky on the back of the tongue adds dimension. Immensely drinkable, too much so because I polished off the lot. Shame on me!
dlinn (146) - Denver, Colorado, USA - JUN 13, 2012
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Malty aroma. Flavor is also a bit malty, but is quickly replaced with a slightly bitter coffee taste. The sweetness of the malt mellows the bitterness. The appearance is dark as expected.
arminjewell (4160) - Saudi Auroria, Colorado, USA - JUN 13, 2012
3.5 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Pour out of hand bottle, huge thanks to Scott! Dark brownish black pour with tan head, aroma has notes of dark fruit, chocolate, slight coffee, roast, some slight oxidation with a hint of slight anise and bit of booze, pretty nice but a bit sweet. Taste is dark fruits, anise, coffee notes with chocolate, hints of molasses, toffee, finishing with a hint of roast and some sweet chocolate. Pretty tasty.
adnielsen (6200) - Fort Collins, Colorado, USA - JUN 13, 2012
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Small growler @ Dan’s house, courtesy of doodler. Thanks so much Scott! Black appearance with a brown head. Rich dark chocolate, black licorice, big vanilla, dull coffee aroma. Thick dark chocolate, vanilla, anise, somewhat roasty, light coconut flavor. Pretty good for the age.
deyholla (4787) - Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA - APR 25, 2012
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle. Pours black with a dark brown head that dissipates to the edges. Aroma has a good amount of coffee with some earthy dark grains and a decent amount of roast. Flavor has a good amount of roast and coffee with some backing dark grains.
decaturstevo (4083) - decatur, Tennessee, USA - DEC 2, 2011
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Brown/black pour with tan head and lace. Chocolate, coffee, abv, and vanilla. Chocolate, abv warmth, grainy coffee, with a nice malt bitter. Smooth silky start with a watery finish. A coco like bitter.
diabel (1584) - Aarschot, BELGIUM - NOV 14, 2011
3.8 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Black body with a creamy, lightly brown head. Aroma of chocolate, coffee, liquorice. Moderately bitter, lightly sweet flavour. Not bad at all but quite subtle and not very special.