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 couldnít 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.
koleminer20 (553) - Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA - JUN 30, 2014
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
From notes. Enjoyed at the Ashleyís Rare & Vintage Beer TasteFest on June 07. Vintage 1995. The pour is a very dark ruby/light black with no head or carbonation. The aroma is strong on dark fruits, raisins and plums, with a light soy sauce character to it. The smell also packs a little heat on the back end, joining a lingering molasses note. The flavor is a little more geared on the sweetness, overshadowing the dark fruits a bit. There is a bit of licorice, and then dark fruits before transitioning back into the sweetness. The mouth feel is thick, like a strong syrup, with a lighter medium-ish body, and a short, sharp fruity, malty aftertaste
generallee08 (622) - New York, USA - JUN 28, 2014
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
When it comes to looks this beer will probably not be wining any beauty pageants. It poured a very dark and murky brown almost black color with only a thin quickly fading head on top. When swirled in the snifter it appears to be quite thick and viscose as a thin brown film coats the glass. The aroma greets you right away as the bottle is opened. It is full of all kinds of sweet, roasted and smoky/woody notes with some fruity esters and hints of rum. As for the flavor there is an extremely rich and powerful complexity that hangs on the tongue and palate with its full body and its slick heavy texture. Flavor notes of dark maple syrup, black liquorish, roasted grain, molasses, raisins (when baked in pastry), herbal hops, wood and smoke mingle and hang out on the tongue. The presence of alcohol is also very apparent. It adds firm warmth and throughout. Most of the sweeter flavors are more up front with herbal and woody notes coming in more towards the finish. These woody and smoky notes really hang on as there is very little carbonation to refresh the palate.
tcane7 (1660) - Pennsylvania, USA - JUN 6, 2014
2.6 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 9/20
í94 bottle courtesy of Dan. Split with Al and Dan. Pours a near black with a slight reddish hue. No head or carbonation but a slick oily residue left of the glass with slight particles I assume is bits of cork. Aroma is chocolate twizzlers, sherry, soy sauce, sharpie marker, molasses. Very oily, slick mouthfeel. A slight tartness to this - big soy and molasses flavors, chocolate, cherry, plum. Provides a good deal of alcohol warmth. Tough to put down, real oxidized but not that bad. thanks for sharing Dan.
JStax (2860) - Devola/Marietta, Ohio, USA - MAR 30, 2014
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
1994 bottle shared and poured into a mini snifter. Pours a thick, inky black with no head or sings of carbonation. The aroma is mostly dark fruits and candied fruits. The taste is very sweet and somewhat boozy. Thick body and mouthfeel. The guys drinking this with me said this is the only one theyíve ever had that didnít taste like soy sauce, so thatís cool.
kcorum10 (325) - Arizona, USA - DEC 28, 2013
2.1 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 7/20
Pours a dark black with no head. Flavors and Aromas of soy sauce, toffee, fruits, and a brandy burn from the alcohol. This wasnít very good.
Nische (652) - SaltsjŲ-Boo, SWEDEN - DEC 11, 2013
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
ery dark brown, almost black. No head, but a little fizz when bottle was opened. Intense chocolate aroma with soy sauce and napthaline. Vinous alcohol aromas with licorice. Very complex.
SpongeRuiner (678) - Michigan, USA - OCT 22, 2013
2 AROMA 3/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 7/20
Thanks for the split HisBoyElroy. Smell is rough. Thick chunky pour and leftovers. Cherry/black cherry flavors throughout. Really strong.
tectactoe (1540) - Michigan, USA - OCT 14, 2013
2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 3/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 6/20
UPDATED: APR 9, 2014 [Bottle / 1997 / ~16 years old] Thanks, Kevin! Black as night & thick as hell... Oily and viscous with residual, sludgy chunks left behind in the bottle. No head at all, only a few small bubbles that rise to the top. Aroma is huge & as strong as they come. Heavy, heavy sugary molasses, rich brown sugar, bittersweet chocolate, graham crackers, licorice, plenty of warm alcohol... So damn powerful and so damn sweet smelling. Very, very sweet. The taste is extremely sweet as well. Tons of dates & sweet prunes, syrupy licorice, brown sugar, molasses, chocolate, intense residual sugar. Hot alcohol flavor with a huge, thick, sticky, viscous, chewy body. Doesnít taste like "soy sauce" at all, as many people have said. Itís just way, over the top sweet. Itís not awful... itís just, insane overkill. Way too sweet to enjoy more than an ounce or two. Even that ounce is pretty killer. Would be interesting to try other vintages to see how they compare. Thanks again, Kevin.
BlackHaddock (3515) - Shropshire, ENGLAND - SEP 25, 2013
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
1994 Brew Reserve.
The small 8.45 blue bottle had been with Marcus and Bryony for years: not since 1994, but not far off: the bottle was opened with great trepidation on 10th September 2013, especially when the cork snapped in two before it came out, cork screw required.
I loved it: a rich, mellow tasting Chocolate Port with malts, canít think of a better description, sorry.
There were four of us to try it, luckily the ladies were not so keen, so Marcus and I had the Lions share.
This was the best beer I had during our 14 day íGrand European Tourí and a lovely gesture by our hosts for the evening to open something that had sat for so long in their flat overlooking the Mosel.
pushkinwow (1966) - Ottawa, Ontario, CANADA - SEP 20, 2013
2.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 3/10 PALATE 1/5 OVERALL 10/20
Purchased two 1997 bottles a couple of years ago in Buffalo, not knowing what they were, and finally opened the second bottle for a "special" occassion. Pours a dark murky brown with no head. Almost a half inch of sediment in the bottle, avoided pouring any chunks into the bottle this time (however will say this is a great bachelor party suprise beer...). Anyways..huge soy bomb on the aroma, some wet cardboard, sweet and slightly fermented prunce with some caramel and brown sugar, fair amount of sherry. Low carbonation, high alcohol, full but not necessarily good body, soy and alcohol really overwhelm the palate, long soy finish with some sherry and cardboard. Would love to have more of these to "share" and suprise people with but doubt that will happen. Actually smelt faily interesting but after 16 years the rest just didnít hold up. Still glad I got to try these though.