luckygirl (1223) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - JUN 19, 2006
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Beer is a murky medium brown with an average-sized, beige, mostly diminishing head. The aroma is malty with moderate notes of roasted grain, light notesof caramel, trace underlying note of sweet almond; Hoppy with a moderate-to-heavy note of herb with a light note of pine; Yeasty with moderate notes of dough; Trace miscellaneous note of cola, light winter spice. Straight forward, but lyrical in it’s balance. The flavor is moderately sweet, moderately acidic and lightly bitter with a long, moderately acidic, lightly sweet finish. Alcohol is well masked in the nose and the palate. The body is medium, the texture is watery-to-velvety and the carbonation is lively.
jpm30 (1587) - East Central, Georgia, USA - JUN 9, 2006
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
From a cage corked 750 ml. brown bottle with a blurb, aging and serving instructions on the back label, batch 001, sampled at a cellar temperature in a chalice.
Made a good appearance, poured a cloudy dark brown with a foamy beige head that settled into a thin lacing, minimal amount of sticking, good Belgian carbonation.
Had a nose of clove spiciness and banana with a sweet caramelized maltiness with a light passion fruitiness.
A malty crisp, textured and carbonated smooth medium bodied mouth feel, good drinkability.
Caramelized malty with a clove spiciness and mushy banana taste, followed by a sour passion fruit rindiness and a dryish yeasty and malty finish with a little alcohol warmth in the palate. The alcohol is well masked through out the taste.
This can only get better with age, a tasty and balanced Belgian Strong Dark Ale, a must try.
ClarkVV (3760) - Allston, Massachusetts, USA - MAY 27, 2006
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Batch 001: Consumed on 5/27/06 with SuIIy.<!-- br -->Controlled pour releases a tight, but large tan head. Lacing, strong retention, the works. Body is maroon-amber but dark, with an extremely caramelized tint. Tons of sediment and tiny bubbles rising.<!-- br -->Spicy, but yet Trappist-like nose includes the weizen/dubbel notes of bubble gum, banana and clove. Sweet peaches and blood oranges, with light cardamon and black pepper phenols. Quite sweet, at the same time, with sugary raisins, bananas foster and vanilla icing. But all masterfully undercut by a clean, crisp yeastiness and conditioning. A true masterpiece of America-does-Belgium-brewing. Vinnie is at home when brewing highly experimental styles or when brewing authentic, die-hard researched styles like this. I know that all sounds fun and dandy, but I bet Vinnie just makes shit up as he goes along with this. But it still seems elegant and reserved. Just goes to show that it’s not the brewery but the brewer.
SuIIy (1983) - Burlington, Vermont, USA - MAY 27, 2006
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
22oz bottle shared with ClarkVV. Batch 001 consumed on 5/26/06. Pours a dark brown color with a frothy off white head. Head receeds to a thin filmy covering and a nice ring around the glass. Nose is yeasty, bananas, some grape notes, light dark fruits, and hints of chocolate. Palate is stingy. Flavors of bananas, lght choclolate, some more yeast notes, dark fruits and grape skins. Finishes with a molar coating and a nice light warming.
11026 (1772) - Alabama, USA - MAY 26, 2006
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle, Batch 1. Deep garnet colored and clear. Big light khaki head forrms and barely dissipates. Sea foam lacing left behind. Aroma is yeasty with hints of alcohol. Esters abound in the nose. Medium bodied and well carbonated. Spicey and yeasty flavors, perhaps a bit heady with alcohol. Tasty beer.
DocLock (7421) - Lower Pottsgrove, Pennsylvania, USA - MAY 25, 2006
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Thanks to Dave Cooks for this one. The pour is hazy ruby through light, and dark brown with a 2-finger, off-white head. The aroma is malty, figgy, fruity, with some definite banana nut bread and spice. The flavor is caramel malty and spicy, with slight banana, nuts, cinnamon, and cacao. The palate is medium and complex, with more malty and chocolate emerging as it warms, and the banana nut bread sensation remains throughout. It actually seems to smooth out and get more subtle and velvety as it warms. Another superb beer from Vinny Cilurzo and Russian River. Now, someone please hand bottle me a Pliny the Younger!
Boutip (4436) - Gatineau, Quebec, CANADA - MAY 24, 2006
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle (Courtesy of Jimbowood): Poured a dark brown color ale with a huge foamy head with great retention. Aroma of spices with strong malt presence and funky yeast. Taste is at first dominated by some spices with some semi-sweet dry fruits. There is also some subtle sourness, which doesn’t dominate but is very enjoyable. Body is above average and alcohol is well hidden. Another winner from this great brewery who in my mind is probably currently doing the best Belgian in North America.
LilKem (1213) - Marietta, Ohio, USA - MAY 23, 2006
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Aroma is malty, chocoalte, nuts, raisins, dark druits, some nutmeg and clove. flavors are dark fruits, raisins, some maple, some molasses, chocoalte, nutmeg, ginger, malt, and some yeast.
aracauna (2985) - Georgia, USA - MAY 22, 2006
3.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
This one pours a ruby brown with no head. The flavor is heavily sweet with brown sugar. The beer is way to sweet to be drinkable in any normal quantity.
bhensonb (10201) - Woodland, California, USA - MAY 14, 2006
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Sort of malty, chocolaty, clove aroma. Brown to deep ruby when held to strong light (tulip glass). Flavor like a smooth brown ale - chocolate coffee holding down the malt. Dry, considering the malt; maybe that’s what lean malt means. Medium thick feel, with tiny bubbles. Alcohol seems to dissolve the fruit aspects quickly. Dark fruit like dried grapes or plums, but only hints. Finishes with a sweet n sour aspect. Chocolate lays on the tongue. Never detected banana, but it’s spring, so the nose may not know.