squidknuckle (22) - 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?
vtafro (3430) - Wayne, New Jersey, USA - JUL 22, 2014
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 14/20
(Backlog) Bottle at fantasy tasting at Paul’s. Black pour with tan head. Black malt, chocolate, roasted, vanilla, oak, and bourbon tones.
AirForceHops (3191) - Epping, New Hampshire, USA - MAR 18, 2014
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
2009 bottle shared at the RBNG by mcox90. The aroma shows hints of espresso beans, old vanilla and loads of chocolate malts.
Flavor has a large level of roast. Caramel, muddled espresso character with some creamy texture, charred malt and sugar with hints of anise. The whiskey is just a very mild hint at this point, just barely there.
Overall for a 5 year old bottle this aged really nice. A little oxidized but still very tasty. The 10 % ABV is no longer found and drinks very easy. This was a really nice treat of a New Hampshire classic that is starting to vanish off the face of the Earth. Thanks Mike!
Reynolds314 (2331) - Connecticut, USA - MAR 17, 2014
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
2009 bottle shared by mcox. Good stuff if a bit past its prime. Some coffee still remain with toffee, burnt toast, raisins are heavy on the finish and light soy. A bit oxidized but really not that bad for a 5 year old swing top. I enjoyed this.
AdamJackson (2622) - Enfield, New Hampshire, USA - MAR 15, 2014
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Nice and dark, 3 year old flip top, right? Nose is cocoa and like vanilla pepsi cola. chocolate ice cream. roasted coffee beans with prunes.
radarsock (914) - Vermont, USA - MAR 15, 2014
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
mcox supplied the bottle. Many thanks! More watery than I thought it was capable of being; a little smoky with notes of milk chocolate, grill char, and London yeast. I could have this again. Sure why not? A little big, but it was harmless.
Ernesto987 (3714) - Connecticut, USA - MAR 15, 2014
3.6 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
UPDATED: MAR 17, 2014 Shared at RBNE meetup, oxidized and rich, light coffee is faded and in the background, a little stale, very very roasty and ashy. Hops are still in there with a hoppy bitter finish which really saves it. It was great to try, I was a fan. Thanks!
WillRunForBeer (677) - Massachusetts, USA - MAR 15, 2014
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
2009 bottle. Taste at RBNG. Thanks, mcox! Pours coca cola brown, justa bit of bubble left. Aroma has dark chocolate, dark fruit, multigrain bread. Dark chocolate, coffe, soy, molasses.
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 (6108) - 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.