EithCubes (4749) - New Jersey, USA - AUG 7, 2013
2.8 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Well, I’ve been sitting on this bottle for a while, I’m guessing 5-6 years, though it’s clearly the 1997 vintage, had here on 7 Aug 2013. Resealable self-opening cork and deep blue glass, though there’s no way you could tell that from the outside. I’m disobeying orders and starting this at fridge temp before letting it warm. On open, tons and tons and TONS of soy sauce, even at this temp, with some caramel and light sherry, tarry port. Into a small snifter it’s deep, dark brown, black at fuller volume, with an oily sheen, legs on glass, and absolutely no head. Viscous oily body, extremely so, with strong alcohol and extremely, outrageously strong soy sauce, light fish flavors and faint caramel, prunes, heavy toffee. Very sweet red berry/grape/raisin are buried deep in the bg but that initial shock of sweetness rivals the impact of the soy. A touch medicinal. There’s some tar and faint but ultra-dark chocolate (surpassing high-cacao percentages and leaning into heaviest fudge), the warming is gentle (the alcohol, to credit, is amazingly round and tamed - seems something like 9-10%) but intense and lasting. There’s some subtle but gummy yeast but nothing off-putting there besides the soy, no rubber or fumes. Slow warmth reveals more of the significant oxidation, but I’m getting sherry, Port, flat Madeira and no wet cardboard or depression. On the whole, this is a mess, and not pleasant to drink, but at a slow sip, with palate adjusted, and closer to room temp, there is a certain glassy-eyed elegance here, and it’s absolutely an essential experience for every earnest beer enthusiast to seek out, for its vision and influence within the industry as much as its technical/aging aspects. A worthy experiment, for sure, and honest history lessons don’t usually come this cheap.
jonno (2275) - JAPAN - JUN 8, 2013
3.9 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 16/20
1997 vintage. Wow I feel like I just drank soy sauce and cooking wine. I don’t know what to say. There were hints of dark chocolate and sherry, but it is probably a one time only beer. RERATE. Heavily oxidised and the soy note was turned down. Still a huge beer and lots going on. Has something that I am still not totally enamoured by, but it’s a beast and very fun.
sherm1016 (1127) - Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA - MAY 15, 2013
3.4 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
1997 vintage, purchased at Discount Liquor probably 10 years ago. Pours a dark purplish brown color with no head. Perfect cork, no floaties, but the inside of the bottle was coated with something. Aroma is fruity, cherry, raisin, leather. Heavy on the palate, flat. Flavor is sweet, raisin, leather, soy, molasses, with a sweet, malty finish. Not a horror story, but not as great as I remember it.
SrSilligoose (3226) - pouring bus, New Brunswick, CANADA - MAY 7, 2013
0.7 AROMA 2/10 APPEARANCE 1/5 TASTE 1/10 PALATE 1/5 OVERALL 2/20
UPDATED: MAY 9, 2013 1997 bottle. @adnielsen: what the H kind of ratings distribution is this? well here goes. this bottle was provided by j12601 for secret santa maybe a few years back. try to open the thing and the cork crumbles in half with a huge chunk falling right into the beer! pours a deep dark brown with bits of cork strewn about. flat. aroma is big potent salty soy sauce. once you get beyond the wallop of soy sauce, got some black licorice, tar, ash, smoke. also some sweet prune juice. chocolately nose filling booze rounds things out. not so inviting. but not that bad either. initial sip leads to a norm macdonald-esque grimace. not too nice. notes of big boozy sweet prunes. motor oil. hint of death. finishes with a toasted purple grape drank medicine. undrinkable. a 1 on the budlight drinkability scale. pour this one out for the cates.
TaktikMTL (5661) - Montréal-Nord, Quebec, CANADA - APR 30, 2013
2.9 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 11/20
Brassin 1997. Bouteille de 8.45 oz achetée chez Finger Lakes Beverage Center (Ithaca, NY). Arôme: Odeur d’alcool et de mélasse. Apparence: La couleur est noire. Saveur: Goût de caramel et de mélasse avec une pointe d’alcool. Longue durée de l’arrière goût. Palette: Le corps est plein avec une texture légèrement liquoreuse. Faible effervescence en bouche. Légère présence d’alcool en arrière goût. (Rating #4721)
writerljberg (656) - Oregon, USA - MAR 24, 2013
2.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 1/5 OVERALL 9/20
Bottle bought for probably too much. 1994 vintage.
A: Falls out of the bottle like the nozzle is doing its best to expunge the material. Zero head and zero carbonation. Cork broke in the bottle, which is highly encouraging.
N: Nose is rich chocolate, soy sauce, prune and raisin. The oxidation you’d expect is here. Still has an alcohol presence, and honestly this, isn’t the worst thing. It smells a lot like Dark Lord.
T: Mint, chocolate, prune, and enough oxidation to rust off a hubcap. Dark sherry and peanuts. Alcohol is muted by now. Port notes. Not the worst thing in the world, though there’s too many discombobulated flavors to be good.
M: Placid and slimy. Not good.
O: Seeing as this was the 1994 vintage, I knew there was a chance this could be fairly decent. I was kind of hoping for a travesty rather than something merely bad and unpalatable. That said, it was a great joy to me to watch peoples’ faces shrivel when they tried this unpleasant concoction. I gather this was one of the ’good’ bottles.
Cory (295) - , California, USA - MAR 21, 2013
1.8 AROMA 2/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 1/5 OVERALL 7/20
1995 bottle. Aroma of soy and plum sauce. There is some strange mint aspect that was confirmed by a few of my friends. Very creamy on the palate with the taste sweet like molasses with some saltiness to it. The color is very dark with a fair amount of oil on the glass. It is very clear that this beer is past its prime.
BillWyce (700) - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - MAR 17, 2013
1.5 AROMA 3/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 2/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 5/20
from notes: no markings, which likely make this a ’97. Poured opaque cola brown-to-black, with no visible head or carbonation at all. Aroma was medicinal, wine-like, with perhaps a sweet malt note in there someplace. Full body, viscous. Vinegary, medicinal flavor, with an odd note that I can’t identify underneath, maybe something woody. Unfortunately, something appears to have happened to these over time, based on my experience and other recent reviews. I had this when it first came out, and it was excellent. Now, it’s terrible. Perhaps air got to it?? There was a lot of an odd black residue left on the inside of the bottle. Quite unfortunate.
JoelMiler (13) - Michigan, USA - FEB 4, 2013
1.1 AROMA 2/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 1/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 3/20
Friend got two bottles of the 1995, for free. That should have said something.
Popped the cork; looked as if someone had used it for a butt plug; brown and covered in slime. Strong odor of what I thought was soy sauce? Poured thick, opaque, with no head. Not quite black. Motor oil; really. Thick on the mouth feel, although, and very strong flavors of malt and almost salty? Was this soy sauce? I couldn’t put my finger on the taste... but, thought, perhaps? Opened a bottle of black strap molasses, dipped my finger in and tasted it. Color and viscosity were close to the same, but, the molasses tasted better. Dumped the rest of the bottle down the drain. Only too find a full inch of settlement in the bottom of the bottle.
It IS an experience.
NobleSquirrel (3437) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - JAN 25, 2013
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
1997 bottle from Discount in Milwaukee. Well, this was something. Pours a deep, dirty motor oil, leaves a nasty black film on the bottle as well. Pours still. Nose is super intense. Miso, soy sauce and raisins. Port-like except for the soy notes. Low levels of oxidation, remarkably. On tasting, intensely rich and sweet. Big alcohol notes. Pureed raisins, quite vinous and showing soy notes again. Not for the faint of heart. Thick and heavy bodied. Interesting but too much.