kmweaver (3207) - Petaluma, California, USA - NOV 17, 2009
2.6 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 9/20
Draft @ TAPS Petaluma. Pours a very dark, cola-black color; huge textured, creamy light-tan head with great retention and lacing; beautiful, sturdy pour. Oh, my. Lots of fusel alcohols in the aroma: unadulterated sugar, inkiness, mild bitterness, and just loads of burnt maple syrup; bland and markedly unpleasant at the same time. Medium-to-full mouthfeel: heavy, oily and inky presence in the mouth; maple syrup, definitely, some roughness and bitter chocolate, licorice, and burnt malts; thereís a chemical bitterness and alcohol here (fusel, I think, and it really reminds me of a fresh bottle of DFH WWS I had in 2008) thatís just very offputting and chemical-y; just a mess right now, this beer. Maybe it will improve and sherry-out with age, but this is barely drinkable right now, and Iíd take the lower-alcohol descendent any day. Lasting finish of inkiness, maple syrup, and burnt sugars.
joeneugs (3478) - Livermore, California, USA - NOV 15, 2009
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle. Pours brown with a large, creamy tan head. The aroma doesnít jump out at me as expected. Itís sweet and toasty with cherries, brown sugar, maple syrup, and an earthy bitter quality. The flavor is pretty nice, and actually reminds me of a dark lager up front. Some spice, burnt toast and wood. But the depth comes out later with molasses, maple syrup, nuts, and mild notes of vanilla. The moderately earthy hop quality gives it almost a barrel aged feel to it. Very smooth and medium to big bodied. Nice sipper. A llittle harsh on the palate, might need a little age.
golubj (1377) - San Mateo, California, USA - NOV 16, 2009
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle. Dark brown pour with a small amount of tan head. Aroma is light roast and nuttiness, like a brown ale; soft overall. Flavor is like a syrupy sweet brown ale, maybe some english caramel malt too; the sweetness is quite nice though, and there is some spice and small amount of bitterness in the finish.
emacgee (4138) - Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA - NOV 18, 2009
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle shared by Sierra Nevada rep. Pours a dark browb with some light. Head is two fingers thick creamy light tan. nose is rusty, shows some Munich malt (?), mild sweetness, caramel, light hop presence. Flavor is rusty, mild dubbel character, some sweetness, mild alcohol. Palate is medium bodied, no bitterness and mild alcohol showing.
tyler_mn (1475) - SLP, Minnesota, USA - NOV 19, 2009
2.6 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 10/20
Lost my notes for this one. But I do remember it was wholly unimpressive. Smells of a slightly sweeter brown ale. Toasty, grainy malt. Some brown sugar and tree bark. Burnt caramel. Decent aroma. Poured the standard brown ale with a lasting khaki head leaving spotty lace. The flavor and palate absolutely fell apart. Sweet, sticky cloying and messy. Flabby body. Loose carbonation. Lots of unrefined maple syrupy sweetness. Blech...
swoopjones (6201) - Buffalo, New York, USA - NOV 19, 2009
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
On tap @ Coles Buffalo NY> pours a deep dark brown. Aromas of rich malts, maple, some booze in the end. Light notes of wood. Taste is malty richness, maple sweetness. Caramel & roasted malts. Fuller mouthfeel. Pretty good. 10.2% well hidden
Schultsc (572) - San Diego, California, USA - NOV 19, 2009
3.7 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pours an opaque dark brown with subtle golden highlights and a medium-fine light tan head. Spicy aroma with malt, alcohol, soft sweetness, and herbaceous sassafrass edge. Nice malt presence with an alcohol structure that overlays a flavor profile very suggestive of autumn. Apprpriate notes of spruce, sassafrass, maple, and spice predominate. Good balance in the body now, though would certainly benefit from a year or two of aging. A fun, seasonally-appropriate offering.
BDR (2534) - Roseville, Minnesota, USA - NOV 19, 2009
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
A sweet very mild maple aroma in the woody malty aroma. A very dark brown body. The body is very malty but neither dry nor cloying - well balanced. Thereís a lot of wood in there and while I donít get much of the maple I discerned in the aroma, the birch is overwhelming in the body. Growing up in WI, my parents two acre lot was littered with birch trees and the flavor recalls me to the scents of that wooded lot.
Skubic448 (10) - San Diego, California, USA - NOV 19, 2009
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Presentation: From tap at Blind Lady Ale House in a trappist glass.
Appearance: Hazy brown with a finger thick tan head.
Aroma: Toasty. Like burnt toast.
Flavor: Toasty. Like burnt toast.
Overall: I quite enjoied this beer.
CheersMate (1312) - Fremont (Seattle), Washington, USA - NOV 19, 2009
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
Picked this bottle up at Macís on West Peachtree. I thought it was a spice beer, but I was VERY wrong. Dark brown body, with somewhat of a thick pour. Off-white head on this beer. For an American Strong Ale, this reminds me of the Port Brewing A.S.A.s. Slight chocolate malt aroma. The aroma is quick weak, and not very nuanced. An alcohol aroma as well, but there is not much of aroma coming off of this thing. I am quite upset with the aroma I must say.A big alcohol taste. A nice creamy palate. After the first sip, I am not very pleased with this beer. I must have purchased a bad bottle to have something like this from Dogfish Head/Sierra. The malts are there, but after that there is nothing there (here). Not a very interesting A.S.A., I just wish there was more.