SilkTork (5019) - Rochester, Kent, United Kingdom, Kent, ENGLAND - FEB 19, 2003
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 12/20
Why do some strong lagers work for me, while others don't? The smooth body of a lager often puts me off. Despite heavy alcohol, despite a huge malt sweetness, it comes across as strangely bland. In some versions I find the body to be "thin" - and I've been criticised and slapped around the head for that. But I like to be able to "feel" the body in some way, and if it's too smooth, then it sort of disappears into, well, not quite thin air, but into a thin body. Eku 28 I had liked. The body was firmer. That was an eisbock. Urbock 23° I had liked. Good body. That was made by Castle Eggenberg - same people who now make Samichlaus. Mmmm... It is known that yeasts stop working in a high alcohol situation. It is also known that lager yeasts work more slowly than ale yeasts - a lager yeast will not bring forth the same oaky/fruity qualities from the malt as would an ale yeast. Those oaky/fruity qualities that give an edge to the body, give it firmness. Yet I had liked the eisbock. Was that to do with the concentration of the malt body and the alcohol due to the watery part being removed during the freezing process? I like the two Castle Eggenberg products I've tried. Is that due to the special yeasts they use, which had been specially developed by Hurlimann to continue working in high alcohol situations? Whatever. Samichlaus has a firm, sweet body, and an assertive alcohol enveloped carefully in the malts. It is still a little too smooth for my taste, but I didn't find myself fighting with it as I had done with Andechser Doppelbock. Samichlaus is a nice after dinner drink. Not a great beer, but quite satisfying and heartwarming.
RobBestwick (583) - Calgary, Alberta, CANADA - FEB 19, 2003
2.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 9/20
very sweet and malty nose, pours ruby red with a small head, taste is very powerful and alcoholic with a bit of malt, this has a bit of a kick in it, not for the faint hearted. The aftertaste is a little sickly sweet for my liking as well
WabashMan (1004) - Noblesville, Indiana, USA - FEB 11, 2003
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Suddenly saw this for the first time, in VERY limited availability, at my neighborhood store. The 2000 variety, and I do hope it has aged enough, has a strong, but pleasant aroma. Nice color, too. And the flavor...wow. Deep, dark, complex...in other words, VERY NICE! A slightly strong alcohol flavor (14% ABV...duh!), but not so much as to be harsh on the palate. My only complaint of this brew is that it almost has TOO MUCH flavor. It's bold, strong, and powerful, but near the end of my 12 oz., I find myself thinking that it was too much. A great beer should have wonderful flavor, but should still be drinkable! On another note, this one seems to have some rather poor ratings that are, admittedly, due to the lack of aging. If you come across a 2000 or older, I'm fairly certain it has aged enough to be more than enjoyable! RERATE: Had the '95 and '96 vintages and they were MUCH smoother in flavor and palatte than '00. If you can find the older bottles, well worth a try!
gwfrankpsu (231) - McKinleyville, California, USA - FEB 9, 2003
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
2001 bottling, served at ~55 degrees. The aroma is wonderful, fruity with an almost burnt overtone. Very rich, prunes, raisins, carmel and a wonderful burn of alcohol. this was taasted on a cold evening in front of a fire - a great way to end the evening, but the company made it special.
CapFlu (4242) - Victoria, British Columbia, CANADA - FEB 7, 2003
2.9 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 11/20
UPDATED: FEB 13, 2003 (Bottle) Little head and dark thick red body. Aroma of alcohol and something sour. Strong alcohol taste with slight caramel and port flavours. A fairly bitter-salty finish. Very different from what is available in North America.
jaymobrown (1586) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - JAN 29, 2003
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
2001: Dark oil red color. Nose of alcohol, apples, and worschester sauce. The alcohol is really strong. Sour notes with dark malts. To be slowly sipped.
hennes (934) - Fountain, Michigan, USA - JAN 25, 2003
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Very, very cough syrup rich with some musty notes like chewing on old honeycomb from the basement where my dad keeps his seperator and used supers. Whiffs of nuts and whiskey. Interesting, exotic, a bit over the top for me.
Jayb0 (959) - Cherry Hill, New Jersey, USA - JAN 23, 2003
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
2001 vintage, aged 13 months. Dark ruby red, nearly still, a bit unsettling in that regard. Thick. The 14% is evident but hidden well. I guessed 10% before looking. The alcohol warmth lies below layers of sweet toffee, vanilla, dates, and raisin. Extremely pleasant, finishing like real maple syrup. Look forward to trying older bottles.
omhper (18324) - Stockholm, SWEDEN - JAN 16, 2003
3.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 12/20
Bottled. 2001 version sampled in October 2001.
Pours red-brown and thick.
Super malty with syrupy sweetness. Will by all likeliness gain by 10-25 years of aging.
bierkoning (9554) - La Tropica, NETHERLANDS - JAN 15, 2003
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Raisinny, peppery aroma. Very sweet flavor with raiisns, cherry, porto and lots of alcohol. Syrupy and strong. No head at all, but a good lacing. Warms the body, should be far more complex after a few years cellaring.