beervana (781) - Libertyville, Illinois, USA - NOV 17, 2005
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Sampled at the 3rd Annual Festival of Wood & Barrel-aged Beers held at Goose Island (Wrigleyville branch), Chicago, IL. Served from brown bottles. 2003 vintage. Hazy, strong dark brown amber ale having pronounced scotch whiskey aroma. No discernable carbonation. Full-bodied having creamy maple syrupy texture that starts with moderately sweet malt with pronounced whiskey, prune, raisin and maple syrup flavors, and trace of light bitterness. Finishes with light sweetness and no discernable bitterness. Pronounced alcoholic warmth. Very much like a liquor (a beer liquor?). A very delicious beer that is best served as a digestif.
IPFreely (1470) - Sanborn, New York, USA - NOV 17, 2005
3.9 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Still. Medium amber color, very oily looking leaving viscous legs along the sides of the glass. Massive aroma, knocks you back a step. Loads of maple, some cortland apple, vanilla, brown sugar, and some alcohol. Flavor starts out with maple, floowed by some hot alcohol, vanilla and brown sugar again. Very light and airy on the tongue, doesn’t burn nearly as much as you’d expect. This is some crazy stuff, JC.
fluids (364) - Massachusetts, USA - NOV 16, 2005
4.2 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Intense cognac maple nose. No head. Golden metallic maple syrup color. This severely blurs the line between barley wine and cognac. Mocha, malty, vanilla, rounded taste. Sip it very slow. The tail end of the palate is very maple sugar (right at the end) Malty throughout with warming burning from the alcohol. It’s excellent tasting however I would not call this beer by any stretch of the imagination.
Pailhead (5378) - Plymouth, Michigan, USA - NOV 13, 2005
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle: Lots going on in the aroma. Big vanilla extract aroma with honey, light chocolate, and a light tequilla presence. Pours a transparent reddish-orange with no head at all. Very sweet. Lots of vanilla and honey. Big warming bourbon finish with hints of tequilla. I like it, but like the Triple Bock, only in small samples.
jimhilt (2450) - Bow, New Hampshire, USA - NOV 11, 2005
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: DEC 18, 2008 Pours without a head and no lace. Crystal clear deep amber color, no carbonation and heavy bodied. Nose is a strong alcohol. Starts sweet, with serious alcohol overtones, taste is a cognac/brandy, lingering alcohol aftertaste. Is this a beer?? And how can you compare to others? Its bottle #1776 for me, very expensive and really DFH World Wide Stout (18-23% ABV) at $7.95 tastes more like a beer. $100 for 24oz bottle from Tully’s Beer & Wine Wells, Me.
Crosling (1864) - Fort Collins, Colorado, USA - NOV 9, 2005
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Sampled from a cognac like pour at the Sunset Grill and Tap in Allston, Massachusetts. Copper colored with no head. The nose is sharp and extremely alcoholic if you take a big sniff very close to the glass, but if you sniff from a bit further away and use the wafting method, an unbelievable range of aromas comes about, including caramel, vanilla, mocha, maple and hazelnut. Rich, diverse range of flavors, very similar to the aromatic descriptors above. The alcohol is huge, but I didn’t find it overwhelming in any way, but well hidden.
erway (1004) - Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA - NOV 4, 2005
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
GABF (like I’m gonna pay for this myself!) Pors a Med. Amber with no head. Soy sauce maple vanilla and port, a hell of a lot better than the triple bock in the nose. Syrupy body with very little life. Hot and sweet w/maple. Very oxidized and hot, brandy-like. Not very drinkable. I’d rather have a $50 bottle of port.
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.