JMerritt (1844) - Macomb, Illinois, USA - APR 11, 2010
3.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Garnet tinted brown with a medium-to-large light brown head. Loads of bubbles stream up from the bottom of the glass. Aroma predominantly ripened plums and figs with baking spices (nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves), caramel candies, bubblegum and slight-to-moderate alcohol. Subdued sweet taste, very low bitterness with some definite (though low) saltiness. Body is rather thin with low-to-medium carbonation. Finish is dry and nutty with a hint of alcohol burn, reminiscent of almond extract. Alcohol is overall pretty noticeable, surprising for a 8% ABV. A big thanks to Narnad for lugging this down to me during his last visit. I was very happy I got to try this.
hayduke (3472) - Eureka, California, USA - FEB 11, 2010
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
From a 750ml capped bottle courtesy of Strykzone, this poured a hazy amber to orange color with a nice tan head and decent lacing rings. The nose is of caramel malts with aromas of ripe fruits. The body is medium and the mouthfeel is smooth but also lively. The flavor is complex with fruits nuances of all kind…strawberry, melon, some chocolate, and some subtle spices. The finish has a citrus bitterness. This is a difficult beer to describe, but a very easy one to drink. The sad part about getting a beer like this in a trade is that when it is gone, it is gone. A real winner.
Strykzone (5074) - Wood River, Illinois, USA - JAN 17, 2010
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
A very attractive pour. Amber brown with plenty of visible carbonation. A big tan head has strong retention that tries my patience. Aroma is fruit, bread, caramel, and light spices. Alcohol is prominent in the flavor. Chocolate, fruit, red hot candies, soft spices. Licking my lips brings malt flavors. The chocolate stayed throughout and described the finish. Lots of subtleties here. A hint of hop late. Warming throughout. Very enjoyable.
sneagrams3 (2337) - St. Louis, Missouri, USA - JAN 3, 2010
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Tasted 1/3/10. 750ml capped bottle. First pour mildly hazy and lively. orange amber hue. Layer of off-white head. Aromas of mild spices and sweet breads. Strong berry esters in the nose. Hints of strawberries. Faint melon and a touch of brownies. Medium to full bodied with a familiar flavor. Sweet and tangy malts. Tingling effervescence. Great mouthfeel. This hits on all cylinders. Initial flavors are sweet cinnamon bread and berries. Bready notes. Then the astringency hits and totally dominates the rest of the show. Lotta fruity flavors pop up throughout the palate roll. Subtle bubblegum in the middle. Typical Schlafly house yeast. Not a bad thing, just noticeable. Finishes with a kiss of grapefruit bitterness. That, mingled within the myriad of other lingering flavors. This has great complexity and a great palate. You did a great job on this one Drew!
MrRain (472) - St. Louis, Missouri, USA - JAN 2, 2010
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
750ml bottle poured into a bulbous stemmed glass. SHA pours a nice clear burgandy color with a large linen-colored head that persists quite nicely. This beer pours so clean that it almost looks like carbonated scotch. The aroma is hard to place. Parts of it remind me of that after-meal mint stuff that you get by the door of an Indian restaurant. There’s also a nice malty aroma. The flavor is quite mild with autumn leaves, lima beans and maybe horehound. I’m not sure how to classify this beer but it works quite nicely. It’s a nice cross between a saison, Belgian strong ale and barley wine. The finish is unexpectedly dry and clean considering the malt in the nose.
Narnad (1472) - Wonder Lake, Illinois, USA - DEC 30, 2009
3.5 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 14/20
UPDATED: DEC 31, 2009 Schlafly limited production of this beer to only 300 cases. Pours a deep caramel color with some mild red-orange hints and topped with a very big, off-white head that fades down to a very dense, creamy filmy head. Aroma has a sweet caramel note, a mild spicy cinnamon presence, mild alcohol nose and finishes with an overall bready character. Flavor has a very smooth caramel sweetness, a bready middle, a fairly hefty spicy presence, a very subdued floral hops middle, a modest alcohol bite and an very sweet toasted ending. The brew as a whole is very smooth with a slight sticky texture and a heavy body. Carbonation is low but the head is great and produces a very solid lacing on the glass. Overall a great brew and well worth the money. The only problem I have with it is that the alcohol, albeit only at 8%, comes off a bit too hot in the flavor. I hope with a bit of aging that this becomes less of a concern but as of right now the alcohol is a bit on the rough side.
Finhead (1223) - OFallon, Illinois, USA - DEC 27, 2009
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: JUN 15, 2014 A hazy amber pour with off-white head. It has a malty caramel aroma mixed with some apple and berries. It has a medium body with slightly sticky texture and average carbonation. The taste is moderately sweet and finishes lightly sour.
kwoeltje (2233) - Manchester, Missouri, USA - DEC 25, 2009
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
(large bottle) slightly hazy medium amber with off white head. Aroma of faint yeast, spice, warm malts. Flavor is warm malt, hints of fruit and spices. Nice full body. Great with a holiday meal.
fata2683 (2176) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - DEC 24, 2009
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
bottle, thanks to Keir, pours amber with a medium tan head. Aroma is toffee and carmel with lots of sweetness. Flavor is carmel malt and toasted nuts with a lightly spiced finish of cinnamon. Nice brew.
Noelweichbrodt (25) - St. Louis, Missouri, USA - DEC 23, 2009
3.9 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
Nice-looking pour, rich white head that can get quite tall. Roasted malt, honey, pine, pine nuts, alcohol but not unwelcome, actually a cleansing bite.
Good, not spectacular. If it had a bit more vigorous alcohol taste, I would try to cellar it for a year. As is, not sure where it’s trying to go.