KAggie97 (3529) - Ugly, Hot, and Humid Spring, Texas, USA - OCT 8, 2005
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: NOV 5, 2009 GABF 05. Whew! What a flippin’ beer! Pours a beautiful and thick dark amber. Nose is red wine with some wintery spices. The ABV is evident from the first splash upon the lips, and it lingers throughout the experience. (Notice I said it is an "experience," as this is one beer that will keep you occupied for awhile, and leave you with some lasting memories.) More akin to a good cognac than a beer, with its biting spice flavor of take-your-pick spices. Hints of fermented raisin abound in the finish. Palate is just short of perfect, with a slippery coating. This is one helluva beer; if you have a chance to try it, do so. You’ll either love it or hate it. My guess is you’ll love it.
Bottle #1139, courtesy of Sprinkle. Thanks for the brew! Same as above, but since I’m able to savor it I appreciate it that much more. Aroma of alcohol, raisin, maple, and port wine literally fills the room. Flavors mesh into one as it slides down the throat, burning and pulsing as it inches its way to your stomach. Damn, this stuff is good!
matta (1140) - Tampa, Florida, USA - OCT 6, 2005
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
4oz tasting poured by Jim Koch himself at the 2005 GABF…. I think he was talking to someone and forgot he was filling my glass… all the way to the top, baby!! I sure got my money’s worth that Thursday night!
A HUGE NOSE! More maple syrup and molasses than one could ever pack into a 4oz glass! So sweet, syrupy; majorly fruity… apple, pear, raisin, date sugars.. Intense.. More of a brandy than a beer! Some barrel flavors and heat in the finish… but overall… sticky and sweet yet very drinkable!
kvwbingo (4) - Vista, California, USA - OCT 4, 2005 does not count
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Clear coppery pour, with no head at all. Looks like brandy, smells like brandy. Also smells of bourbon, maple, and sherry. Taste is similar--very sweet and nutty, with creeping alcohol heat rising from throat to palate and into nostrils. Makes for an intense sipping experience. Certainly more of a cordial than a beer.
Walt (2449) - Austin, Texas, USA - OCT 4, 2005
3.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Pour is lightly caramel colored...smell is sweet with port, sherry, alcohol...beautiful...taste is alcohol and maple syrup...
Mangino (1027) - Mississippi, USA - OCT 4, 2005
3.8 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Huge thanks to JPDipso for sharing this unique brew! Pours a murky brass/copper color, no head. Glass almost has "legs" (Learned that from John!) Aroma of nail polish remover, maple syrup, amaretto coffee syrup, alcohol, brandy. Flavor is also extremely complex, you can definitely taste the alcohol on this one!
whaleman (2178) - North Wales, Pennsylvania, USA - OCT 3, 2005
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: APR 10, 2006 GABF 2005. 2 oz. sample poured by Jim Koch while he was being filmed, which was amusing. Flat, clear, rich brassy gold body. Dizzying alcohol hits first followed by a bouquet of bourbon pecan pie. Flavor of alcohol, molasses, pecan and other nuts. Sticky and ultra-sweet. A fun, decadent sipper.
WISEGUY572 (1373) - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - SEP 30, 2005
3.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
At $10 / shot in a brew bar in NY I’m not sure what to expect, but I know it won’t be ordinary. And it’s not. Reddish gold — looks like a single malt that’s been aged in casks used to age port. Good looking for a scotch, but not for a beer. Mouth feel is too flat for a beer — no carbonation — and too syruppy for a scotch. Taste is interesting ... nutty, with strong taste of alcohol and dried fruit ... but not great. In the end I have to call it a real disappointment ... for the price you can get a GREAT scotch ... or half a case of Dogfish Head World Wide, or even half a case of Westvleteren. This is an interesting experiment, but not a triumph. And, given the price, I just can’t get too excited about how the experiment turned out.
frankenkitty (1959) - Oak Lawn, Illinois, USA - SEP 11, 2005
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
At $5.00 an ounce this BETTER be good...
A terribly thick amber/orange with no head, Utopias gave the initial impressions of brandy or scotch. Aromas (that could kill a cow) were total brandy with oak, cherry and bakery. My wife got a contact-high across the table from the scents that emenated. Flavor was heavily sweet and highly alcoholic. There was a big nuttiness to finish & linger... pecans with honey and brown sugar. Full-bodied and syrupy. This baby actually made me sweat. Not so much a beer as something much, much more.
<font size=-4>From bottle at <a href=http://www.ratebeer.com/Places/ShowPlace.asp? Place Restaurant and Beer Garden, LaGrange, IL<font size=-1>
RAYBOY01 (2012) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - SEP 6, 2005
3.5 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Barrel Aged Fest 2004: Cognac or beer? I don’t usually have this difficulty differentiating between the two. Or is it brandy, for god’s sake. SYRUPPPY! I know this is meant as a joke, right? Or maybe even rum? I sip gingerly but still can’t control the shivvering effect this sucker has on my system.
emptytankard (36) - Illinois, USA - SEP 3, 2005
3.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 12/20
Wonderful aroma very reminiscent of a cream sherry. Not very balanced with a sweet and heavy malty mouthfeel. Where are these four noble hops? Flavors of vanilla and maple are predominant. Finish is a bit hot and harsh. Quite a strech to call this one a beer. May be an involved and expensive brew to make, but the result is little more than a nice sherry.