jefyou (39) - Menlo Park, California, USA - FEB 2, 2003
2.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 2/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 7/20
As advertised this [1995 Reserve] is not lik any other beer. Aroma of port, leather, cigars, maple. Dark black like coffee, zero head, no carbonation. Flavor is very unusual. Port, madeira wine, with sour finish. Aftertaste is very unpleasant. Sticky, syrupy palate. This "beer" is only for the curious or jaded. Closest beer I can compare it to is very sour, bad, Samichlaus (which is a beer I enjoyed). Can't recommend this expensive Sam Adams brew.
JStax (2601) - 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 (320) - 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 (530) - 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 (568) - 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 (1169) - 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 (3183) - 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 (1842) - 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.
EithCubes (4628) - New Jersey, USA - AUG 7, 2013
2.8 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Well, Iíve been sitting on this bottle for a while, Iím guessing 5-6 years, though itís clearly the 1997 vintage, had here on 7 Aug 2013. Resealable self-opening cork and deep blue glass, though thereís no way you could tell that from the outside. Iím 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 itís 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. Thereís 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. Thereís 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 Iím 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 itís 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 donít usually come this cheap.
jonno (2130) - 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 donít 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 itís a beast and very fun.
sherm1016 (1056) - 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.