TheJester (1696) - Peterborough, Ontario, CANADA - SEP 29, 2012
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Beautiful 750 mL bottle. (Even if the beers aren’t always top notch, you can always count on the Boston Beer Company for a beautiful bottle. Frankly, I’d rather they go with a plain bottle and drop the price.) This one is different - kinda like a Belgian Brown mixed with a sweet stout. The oak is present, but not overdone, which is nice. Body is thinner than it perhaps should be. Really interesting, though.
bhensonb (10213) - Woodland, California, USA - SEP 28, 2012
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
750 c&c from BevMo in Folsom, CA. Pours very dark brown with a foamy/fizzy light tan head. Aromas of yeast/spice, cacao, and wood. Med body or better. Flavor has yeast/spice, dark fruit, dark chocolate, espresso. It’s very "fresh". Finishes with coffee bitterness. And with oaky astringency. Don’t think there’s any booze associated with the oak. Seem purely oak. Which is ok. A mild and flavorful beer which provides no hint of a 9% ABV. Likely to be deadly drinkable.
KAggie97 (3529) - Ugly, Hot, and Humid Spring, Texas, USA - SEP 27, 2012
2.4 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 8/20
Pours a deep, rich black with a nice head. Nose is plastic chocolate, movie set berries, and dollar store coffee. Flavor is retarded berries soaked in a dollar store coffee/chocolate sauce. Average mouthfeel. Thank goodness it was only $8.
mikesaum (573) - Newark, Ohio, USA - SEP 27, 2012
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
This brew is slightly confusing, pours dark brown, pretty much back with a khaki head that doesn’t hang around long. Aroma is not what I expected at all, it has a decent amount of tart dark cherry aroma, a bit of vaniila, not much chocolate or coffee at all, this smells like a sour honestly. Taste is not as sour as the aroma suggests but it has a small tart bite to it, taste of chocolate covered raisins, dark cherries, oaky vanilla tones. Glad to see sam adams finally making some good actual craft brews.
Mat42m (160) - orlando, Florida, USA - SEP 26, 2012
4.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Interesting aroma that smells like grapes. Hints if chocolate flavor. Almost a spicy finish. Very complex and very good.
AmEricanbrew (5516) - Same Trailer, Different Park, Louisiana, USA - SEP 25, 2012
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Deep ruby brown color with fleeting tan foam. Tart, dark pit fruit aromas ( prunes, figs ) with raisons, vanilla, wood. medium body. Licorice, dark fruit, chocolate flavors with a smooth vanilla, oaky finish--good
b3shine (4236) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - SEP 23, 2012
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Shared 750 ml bottle to oversized snifter. Looks good; black with tan head that dissipates into sticky lacing. Smells and tastes solid; wood, malt, dark fruit, and spice. Nice ans smooth on the palate. Abv is hidden well too. Enjoyable.
BMan1113VR (7773) - Los Angeles, California, USA - SEP 22, 2012
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
Bottle. Pours with a not quite black hued body with a nearly tan head that lasts and leaves decent lace. Aromas are of anise, chocolate, licorice, cola, rootbeer, coffee, light spice, vanilla, oak, chestnuts and raisins. Decently complex. Flavors are of raisins, lightly tart, vinous, cola, brown sugar, vanilla, anise, light coffee, spicy, medium to high esters, light pepper mint. Dry, vanilla. Warming, spicy, interesting combo, but not necessarily a good one. Medium to medium high carbonation, low tannin with a light tartness.
kdm1984 (586) - Missouri, USA - SEP 22, 2012
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
UPDATED: DEC 10, 2012 SA describes this as a stout and Belgian style ale blend. Intoxicating aroma of dark fruits and yeast - not much coffee or chocolate stout characteristics; just a hint of cocoa. Large head, sporadic lacing, very dark (almost black) color. Taste - delicious purple fruits, some cocoa, tinge of acid; yeast and alcohol in the finish. This is a very good Belgian Strong Ale through and through - not very stouty at all, actually, so downrating a bit for some inaccurate style description. Good brew, but folks looking for the stout characteristics will probably be disappointed. Ommegang Art of Darkness is about as stouty as this, and no one that I see is calling that stouty.
Heathen (1444) - Wilmington, Delaware, USA - SEP 21, 2012
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
THOUGHTS: Nice barrel-aged flavors, but not enough stout flavors and aromas at first. It was a very nice beer but not the best stout. This could have been just about any dark, roasty beer that was barrel aged. It was very easy to drink for the high ABV. Hid alcohol incredibly well. I think Jolly Pumpkin did a much better job with this style of beer.
TECHNICAL: Bottle. Poured a dark brown that was nearly opaque black in the glass with a small tan head that mostly diminished. The aroma had roasted malt; light spicy yeast; light cocoa; and wood; but mostly sour fruit. The sour parts actually reminded me of Rodenbach. The initial flavor was lightly sweet, light to moderately sour and slightly bitter; while the finish was moderate to heavily sweet, moderately sour and slightly bitter with a long duration. There was sour fruit, chocolate, roasted malt, wood, and a hint of coffee. It was all a little watered down. The slightly more than medium body was somewhat oily and then a little dry with soft carbonation and a slightly dry and lightly astringent finish.