bu11zeye (11971) - 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.
argo0 (11590) - Washington DC, USA - JUL 17, 2008
3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
(22oz bottle) Medium beige head atop clear dark brown body. Aroma is medium sweet, anise, some caramel, spearmint, light cherry. Taste is medium sweet, cinnamon, some spearmint, light anise. Light-medium body, light syrup.
jcwattsrugger (11173) - Florida and, New Jersey, USA - JUL 5, 2008
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
22oz bottle @Joe’s NYC Gathering shared by jwc215–pours a foamy tan head with mahogany color. Aroma is anise/herbal, almost root beer, yeast. Taste is anise/herbal, almost root beer, yeast, some peat, some pepper. Medium body.
kp (10884) - Woodstock, Georgia, USA - DEC 12, 2007
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
UPDATED: DEC 17, 2007 Date: 11/29/2007
dark brown, fine beige head, streaks of drippy lace,
dark chocolate aroma with a lot of sweet estery fruity character and lots of spicyness plus fusel alcohols,
sweet fruity chocolate malt flavor, touch of hot spicy spruce, all sweet spice,
picking up a peppery character in the aroma,
more balanced flavor between the fruity chocolate and the spicyness
Aroma: 6/10; Appearance: 7/10; Flavor: 7/10; Palate: 6/10; Overall: 13/20
hopscotch (9387) - 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!
hopdog (9059) - 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...
Sammy (8849) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - MAY 10, 2008
2.5 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 10/20
This is a smoked beer with lots of sweetness. An experiment that while is drinkable, does not add up as something to have again.Some colour in body. I do not get this as a Belg, and did not observe any compexity when paired with food. Light mouthfeel.
JoeMcPhee (8534) - Toronto, ON, Ontario, CANADA - JUL 27, 2007
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Vermont Brewers Fest ’07. Deep brown with a creamy tan head. Aroma is quite smokey and sweet with lots of earthy malts. Fresh beechwood smoky aroma over a candyish caramel malt base. Yeasty and spicy through the middle. Belgian yeast shows lots of character with heavy fruit, apple, peach and raspberries that intensifies through the middle. A soft smokiness on the back. Finishes spicy and quite dry considering all the sweetish aspects of the brew. Comes across as very refreshing and a nice surprise. Completely unlike anything I’ve ever had.
3fourths (8216) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - JUL 10, 2008
3.2 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Dark cola brown colored body with a small tan head. Toothpaste/spearmint/anise/candy sugar nose, very strange smell overall, with a maple/caramel note mixed in as well. Flavor is surprisingly different, the spearmint is very dampened, the body is full, frothy and thick, and it tastes more of chewy bread crust, bran and toasted malt, with a little cola sweetness at the end (and the flavor of rosemary and sweet licorice in the prolonged finish). Weird stuff, but interesting.
MartinT (8024) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - JUN 4, 2007
2.6 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 10/20
My Bottom Line:
Clovey spiciness and a bag of Halloween candy overwhelm the frail body of this somewhat incoherent Belgian Strong Ale.
Further Personal Perceptions:
-A ring of foam looks onto the hazy brown.
-The finish is earthy and yeasty, not exactly fitting the sweet spiciness which dominates the flavor profile.
-The low and soft carbonation exposes the lack of substance.
-Floral notes and fruitiness even appear through the sweetness, imparting an unwanted tartness.
-Hmmm...Barry’s rating makes me want to try it again, although this initial experience definitely had the reverse effect.