Doppelganger (1388) - Dry County, Arkansas, USA - FEB 15, 2005
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Pours sparkly amber orange with a nice layer of cream-white head. Clean yeasty malt aromas, and minty, flowery hops. Very soft and pleasant. Beautifully layered flavors--nice bitter minty-lemon hops right off the bat, followed by a warming bready maltiness, and a nice yeasty finish. Soft clean palate. A terrific full-flavored ESB that rewards sipping, but is balanced enough to be very drinkable.
TheDean (786) - MIlwaukee, Wisconsin, USA - JAN 2, 2005
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Beautiful pour and aroma. Sweeter then most ESB’s I am accustom too, but tasty and good.
millerclmb (44) - Boulder, Missouri, USA - DEC 23, 2004
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Nice sweet aroma and a crisp bobbly apperance. More head than I remember in this particular sample. I have had this before and liked it more than this year. This seemed like a thinner body with more carbonation and less alcohol. : (
Nice malty taste is well balanced. Great six pack beer...but this year is not as good as other years.
Aggie80 (790) - Michigan, USA - DEC 23, 2004
3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Nice dark gold color with some foam and a bit of lacing. The hops are well balanced with the malt and neither is dominant. Sour hoppy aftertaste one would expect from a bitter.
heemer77 (5187) - Urbandale, Iowa, USA - DEC 4, 2004
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: JAN 27, 2009 Tried again from the ’08 bottled batch. Solid, previous rating holds, but I bumped up the palate as it is smooth and light on the tongue. Pours with a deep amber and slow, lazy bubbles. A huge white head tops it off. This could be because it was delivered today. The aroma is nice and malty with some notes of grass and cola. The taste is a nicely malty and roasted. Some notes of fresh soybeans. A weird sweet note in the background. A fairly nice ESB, but not world class. I have heard this year’s batch is down a little bit. I would really like to try this on tap. Thanks for the delivery, sethdude!!
lizzy (44) - Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - NOV 28, 2004
3.8 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
This is an overall very good beer. I normally don’t care for a lot of hops, but the bitterness and malts balance it out. One of my favorite seasonals.
darkstar (69) - Eureka, Missouri, USA - NOV 14, 2004
4.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Initial sweet taste followed by a bitter finish. The color is pleasant with an off colored white head. One of my favorite beers.
kwoeltje (2233) - Manchester, Missouri, USA - FEB 19, 2004
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: NOV 7, 2004 (draught at Bottleworks) Copper, almost no head. Lovely lace on the glass. Mild malt aroma. Well balanced with sweet malt up front followed by a bitter hops finish.
jeffc666 (1984) - Fairfax, Virginia, USA - FEB 13, 2004
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottled 11/26/03 – Pours a slightly hazed amber with a creamy off-white head. The aroma is that of earthy and flowery hops with lots of sweet malt. The flavor is slight caramel then lots of flowery/fruity hops with medium to light bitterness. There are hints of rye but it is really very far back in the mix. The body is medium-full and seems to be substantiated a good bit by the rye. A good beer overall. Possibly misclassified as an ESB, seems more of an APA to me. It lacks the sweet cinnamon character I like in an ESB.
ClarkVV (4353) - Allston, Massachusetts, USA - JAN 17, 2004
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: JAN 19, 2005 2003 bottle. First off, thanks to Emily for sendin this gem as an extra. Pours about as good as you can get without being bottle conditioned. Good sized yellow-white head and a marvelous deep red-amber color. Dirty brown and yellow waves as well, quite bright. Smells very full and strong, lots of hops and a slightly spicy/peppery aroma. Mellow and dry caramel as well. Flavor is superb. First off you get a great bitter hops flavor from some nice english-style hops. On the background is a dry caramel-earthy/root flavor. Almost tastes like there is some anise in there, but that’s probably the rye. Body is perfect and flavor is strangely subtle yet full, as a good bitter should be. Beer definitely grows on you as you drink it and the aftertaste of sweet molasses/caramel and low acid hops is wonderful. If this was bottle conditioned, this would be one of the best beers ever made. I hope to test that theory at the brewery with the cask version.