canary dog (685) - Rutland, Vermont, USA - NOV 11, 2007
3.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
A very sweet and thick malt-bomb of a brew. Appears to be a well made beer, since it tastes very similar to Celebrator, which is a highly respected beer around here. However, itís not my cup of tea. A little too sweet for me.
bu11zeye (12112) - Frisco (Dallas), Texas, USA - NOV 6, 2007
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
(Bottle) Pours a hazy amber-brown body with a medium amber head. Aroma of anise, dark fruits (dates, berries), light smoke, and herbal tea. Flavor of dark fruit, anise, clove, and caramel malt.
hopscotch (10015) - Vero Beach, Florida, USA - OCT 15, 2007
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle... Opaque, extremely dark ale with a small, creamy, khaki head. Excellent retention. Big-time esters in the aroma... dark fruit, sassafras tea and a rumor of mint. Light smoke phenol. The earthy, herbal flavor provides good bitterness with, again, sassafras and a touch of mint... just a whisper of that smoky phenol on my palate. Full-bodied with a dry mouthfeel and subtle carbonation. Lengthy, sweet and then bone-dry finish. Odd, this one, but not at all bad. Interesting... tasty! Kudos to growler for shipping this one to Florida!
Beerdedone (2908) - Croydon, Pennsylvania, USA - OCT 5, 2007
2.8 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Bottle sampled. Pours a very dark brown with a small beigh head. Aroma of roasted malts, light caramel, yeast, and a hint of brown sugar. Flavor is strong dark licorice with caramel, roasted malts, and some spices. Not a licorice fan.
hopdog (9642) - Lansdale, Pennsylvania, USA - SEP 27, 2007
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
On tap. Poured a deeper brown color with smaller sized off white head. Aromas of roast, chocolate, spices, licorice, and dark fruits. Tastes of dark fruits, spices, licorice, roastiness and some caramel. Light alcohol in both the aroma and taste. The waiter said this was like a porter and I would have guessed a dubbel...
DougShoemaker (3147) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - AUG 29, 2007
3.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Spicy rootbeer nose, deep brown, large toffee head. Tastes like rootbeer, assorted spices. Light bodied, uniquely bitter. Good
bbp182 (255) - Levittown, Pennsylvania, USA - AUG 26, 2007
1.8 AROMA 3/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 3/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 5/20
Looks like a light porter. Very dark amber. Beautiful. Nearly black. Smells like black licorse or Jagermiester. Not very fond of it so far. The taste is like black licorse a little bit. Which I hate. If you like Jagermiester and/or black licorse youíll love this beer. Itís an ok Belgian Strong Ale. Little alcohol taste to it.
VTHopHead (1511) - Barre, Vermont, USA - AUG 25, 2007
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Bomber - Poured a very dark brown/black in color with a medium tan head that faded to a ring at the top of the beer and some lacing. Aroma is a nice mixture of spicy Belgian yeast, some roasty malts, molasses or caramel and just a hint of anise. Flavor mirrors the aroma fairly well, but with more emphasis on a bread dough-like yeastiness and a stronger dash of the licorice. Alcohol is not readily apparent until the beer hits the tummy... then it provides some pleasant warming. I agree with other raters; this beer needs some aging to further mellow and blend the flavors... However, that being said, this is a good beer now and one that I enjoyed and would repeat soon.
ClarkVV (4084) - Allston, Massachusetts, USA - AUG 22, 2007
3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
2007 bomber drunk on 7/18/07
First of all if this isnít bottle conditioned, this is one hell of an appearance. Huge, cascading, dense tan head is very stubborn and provides quite nice lacework. Body is a dark brown with deep violet tints on the edges. Clarity is medium-high to high.
I donít know if this is a fresh batch of bottles (this beer was first released quite a while ago), but it certainly tastes like they put a fresh batch of anise in it, and lots of it. The classic "over-spiced beer that would otherwise be quite delicious". This texture stands first and foremost as the best trait here and would probably hold up against some of the better bottled Belgian beers. Tight carbonation in perfect amounts creates a creamy, soft mouthfeel. Behind the anise is well-attenuated, lightly crackery malt with caramel and toffee drizzled on for good measure and balance. No tacky yeast, not even that estery or phenolic (though this amount of spice would probably dominate any actual phenols in the beer). It does get a bit thin and dry by the finish, not just due to the spicing, but also from some stronger-than-average alcohol warmth. Clove phenols do emerge in time, further drying things.
Aroma is lightly sweet (caramel, raisins, sweet dough) and the malt mixes with the spice to produce almost a pumpernickel/cardamon sort of note. Not as dominated by the spice, is the aroma, but like the flavor, there is some latant alcohol sharpness with warming/breathing on the finish.
Perhaps after a year in the cellar it would lose some of the anise flavor, but the beer is already quite dry and Iím not positive the dark malts wouldnt oxidize prematurely as well. Commendable.
The deviation on the ratings thus far is very interesting...
apoptosis (1317) - Denver, Colorado, USA - AUG 12, 2007
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Cocoa and molasses in the aroma., with some licorice too. Complex and interesting. The licorice really comes out in the flavor too. Interesting.