ThomasE (5174) - Copenhagen, DENMARK - DEC 5, 2004
3.5 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
2003 vintage bottle. Nice dark golden colour with fairly small white head. Aroma has some sweet maltyness, but is dominated by the alcohol. Flavor is fruity, sweet and malty, very warm alcohol finish.
elnadeau (786) - Laguna Niguel, California, USA - DEC 5, 2004
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Tap at 8th Pizza Port Strong Ale Festival. Clear reddish amber, smallish head. Aroma is sweet caramel, alchool. Sweet candy and estery with a very barleywine like character. I would describe as syrupy but the high abv thins it out. This would be enjoyable to sip as an after dinner or late night beverage.
TerryR (390) - Oswego, Illinois, USA - DEC 4, 2004
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
2003 vintage. Copper/amber color. Small head disappears almost immediately. Aroma is sweet malt, alcohol, raisins and plum. Port-like. Flavor is much the same with a hint of oak. Alcohol very present but nice. Finishes the same way it started. Unfortunately my lack of will power means my last Hurlimann versions of this beer are long gone. Fairly close as my memery serves me, but by the time I enjoyed the last of the Hurlimann’s they had aged 5-6 years and were more complex. Very nice winter warmer. I’ll try to save a few to see how they progress.
ChristianSA (368) - Copenhagen, DENMARK - DEC 4, 2004
2.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 3/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 5/20
33 cl bottle: I shared this with a friend, and it still was to much for me. Dark copper color, almost no head. The smell is the best part, with alcohol and sweet malt. Taste is malty with some really wonderful grain taste, that is, unfortunately, drowned in an awfully, cloyingly sweetess. Mouthfeel is sirupy. This beer is more interesting than good.
IMtheOptimator (1164) - Bethel, Connecticut, USA - DEC 1, 2004
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: FEB 25, 2005 2001 bottle, sampled 2004. Poured a clear ruby/brown. A fizzy head tried to form but disappeared instantaneously. This unbeerlike behavior affected the score. Aroma is very powerful, and has a sweet vinous character, similar to Celebrator or an eisbock. Taste is similar to the aroma, with mostly fruity vinous tastes coming to the surface. The alcohol is present in the taste and finish, but surprisingly not too overwhelming. The palate is syrupy and chewy--deceptively thick given the appearance. Overall, an unusual beer? Yes. A complex beer? Yes. The world’s most extraordinary beer? Not by a long shot. But a good drink, nonetheless.
beerinmarch (2830) - Washington, USA - NOV 27, 2004
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
2003 edition. Out of the bottle this brew pours a very transparent copper with a small white head. Aroma is very malty sweet with a big fig smell to it. Aroma is very thick with a warming wine nose and molasses smell. Right on the palate this thing explodes with tons of sweet malt, very thick and clingy, lots of fig in the flavor, as well as a toasty caramel taste. Tastes a bit woody in the finish, not very balanced with almost no noticable bitterness, just big ol sweetness. There is a noticable alcohol finish on this one, but for 14 percent isn’t all that bad. Very warming brew to get you through some cold nights.
jercraigs (9541) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - NOV 26, 2004
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
UPDATED: APR 8, 2007 2006 Vintage Rated April 2007. Bottle shared by Tuqueboy/Mabel. Pretty similar to previous samples, very sweet and alcohol. Lots of sugary toffee and caramel. Some more carbonation would be nice. Fairly alcohol, but I did not notice the booze as much as I thought I would. Bumping the aroma and flavour one point each. 7/3/7/3/14 - 3.4
2003 Vintage Rated April 2006. Bottle. Amber headless body. Sweet syrupy sugary malt flavour and aroma, though the aroma is a tad muted. Medium to full bodied palate. 6/2-3/7/4/13<P>
2003 Vintage Rated Nov-25-04. Bottled from SAQ. Colour is a dark cherry wood-amber with a very small fast diminishing head. Very, very alcoholic aroma. Sweet, sugary... tough to get past the alcohol. Flavour is sweet with a touch of burnt caramel. Vaguest bit of... something. What I imagine brandy to be like. Very warming. Semi-syrupy body. Nice, but not what I was hoping for. 6/3/6/3/13 - 3.1
sayravai (4706) - Helsinki, FINLAND - NOV 26, 2004
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: JUN 25, 2006 (Bottled in 2002, sampled Jun 25, 2006) Clear, dark nutty brown with a small, mostly fading head. Sweet and port-wineous aroma with dried fruit, vegetables, unfermented wort and hints of alcohol. Sweet, slightly alcoholic, fruity-raisiny-malty flavor with a bitter, somewhat burning-alcoholic finish. Very full-bodied, slicky and oily, alcoholic palate with almost no carbonation. Not as complex as the original Samichlaus (’95 vintage), but it’s nice they keep up the tradition. A very nice and filling beer overall - like a doppelbock in steroids. At least nobody can say malts would have been spared while making this ;)
(Bottled in 2001, sampled Nov 26, 2004, 7-3-7-4-15=3.6) Dark amber color with no head. Very port-wineous, quite alcoholic aroma. Very alcoholic, quite sweet, very port-wineous and liqueourish flavor. (Am I repeating myself?;) Full-bodied, caramely-sugary, alcoholic palate. Heavy stuff! Can’t wait to re-rate the 1995 Swiss version...
willblake (2654) - Bel Air, Maryland, USA - NOV 23, 2004
2.9 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 11/20
11.23.04 .33l bottle. Although it’s ubiquitous, I’ve never gotten around to drinking this one. The pour is thick and mostly clear rust color with minimal head. Aromas are very sweet and cloying; lagery as can be; a bit of goat cheese? First sip is a real eye opener: a massive hit of alcohol goes far beyond warming an delves into burning. I’m not sure I’m ready to sacrifice my palate, but I can suck it up. Massively malty, sweet like honey, not as syrupy as many have noted and even a light eff pervades. Some salty, soy undertones that really come through in the aftertaste. Offputting super-lager flavors that make this one something I don’t really care for but I can see where they’re going with it for sure.
Littlechemist (3) - Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA - NOV 19, 2004 does not count
2.7 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 10/20
This just isn’t beer. It is quite heavy and syrupy, tasting of caramel with a smoked-wood aftertaste. I do not care for it and would not drink again.