DarkElf (2988) - La Jolla, California, USA - SEP 23, 2005
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
(Draft: Sierra Nevada 2005 Beer Festival at Lucky Baldwins in Pasadena, CA) This will be my final beer of this festival, and I’ve saved what I’m hoping will be the best for last. As with the others, it looks beautiful in my small Chimay glass, boasting that tall, creamy, tan head with the excellent retention and supreme curtain-like lacing. Dark amber in color, and again, it’s crystal clear. Things really get interesting with the nose. As expected, it’s very smoky, like sitting around a camp fire, but there’s also a good bit of spiciness I tend to associate with Belgian ales. Oddly enough, with as smoky as the beer smells, the initial flavor is pretty light on the smoke. But as we near the finish, the smokiness starts to build on the palate and then hangs on. Still, it’s not a beat you over the head kind of smokiness, but more subtle. Moderate maltiness also doesn’t become apparent on the front end either. Rather, the beer starts a bit nutty and gently hoppy like an English Bitter, but as I’ve noted, that is short lived. Medium bodied, nicely carbonated, smooth on the palate, and that smoky finish is just wonderful. I made the right decision by finishing with the Rauch Beer. This is really nice, and for those that don’t like smack you up smokiness, this shows how this style can be executed without being overbearing.
mkobes (2138) - paramus, New Jersey, USA - SEP 20, 2005
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 14/20
On tap at Blind Tiger. Amber in color with a little head. Malty smokey hoppy aroma. Caramel notes. Smokey hoppy caramel flavors. Finish is smokey. Smooth. Medium bodied. Decent beer.
notalush (4457) - Denver, Colorado, USA - SEP 16, 2005
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Draught at Blind Tiger, NY - lighter in flavor than some other rauchs I’ve had, but that made for a much more subtle smoke flavor, which is good for me (a lot of rauchs taste a bit baconesque to me) - not overhopped as I expected from this brewery - quite malty (caramel malt mostly) - actually much better than I was expecting.
OlivierMTL (711) - Quebec, CANADA - SEP 10, 2005
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Couleur ambrée aux reflets orange foncé et remonté d’une faible quantité de mousse refusant d’adhérer au verre. Plaisant caractère de malt fumée, boisé, tourbé, sous une touche de caramel et de noix grillées et de même de fruits. La présence des composantes fumées est évidente mais tout de même un peu retenue, en faisant un breuvage intéressant dans sa balance. Texture légèrement huileuse, corps d’épaisseur semi mince, douce carbonatation. Servi en fût, Blind Tiger, N.Y., Septembre 2005.
Rastacouere (6103) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - SEP 6, 2005
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Draft at the Blind Tiger. No head covers this cloudy amber body. Well focused if a bit too light aroma propose gentle cookie, bready, nutty flavours with obvious soily peaty smokiness procuring cask wood and campfire notes. As it warms up, every sip procures new fruit suggestions, ranging from leathery, mushroomy apricots to juicy peaches. Very good stuff, I’d only wish the body would be a bit more full and confident, less thin and oily, but this remains most satisfying, well done!
pineypower (2306) - Pine Barrens, New Jersey, USA - OCT 18, 2004
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Tap at dba NY. Deep reddish color with a decent head. Nice smoky aroma with notes of caramel, smoke, and hops. Nice balanced brew!
Eyedrinkale (3213) - Astoria, New York, USA - AUG 30, 2004
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Tap @ Blind Tiger. One of my favorite styles and this stuff didn’t dissapoint. Kind of a light copper color with a thin veil of a head. Burnt white ash aroma and light smoky taste. Mellow light apricot flavor. Lightly sweet and balanced really well. I’d really love to see this stuff again.
JohnC (3000) - Mission Viejo, California, USA - JUL 23, 2004
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
On tap at BJ’s in Laguna Hills, CA. Pours a clear amber color with a minimal head. I’d say that this beer is lightly smoked, both in the nose and in the flavor. You can certainly get the smokiness, but it’s nowhere near Alaskan Smoked Porter, for example. I like smoked beers, and I thought that this struck a good balance between smokiness, drinkability and mass appeal.
celogan (201) - Oroville, California, USA - MAY 14, 2004
2.5 AROMA 3/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 12/20
Not my favorite SN brew. Had this at the SN Restaurant with a burger the other day. Pour was dark caramel with very minimal head but decent lacing. Lacked body as it had a watery mouthfeel and could have used some more carbonation. Smokey aroma and taste which was "different" but good. Worth a try to say the least, but there are other SN’s better.
Linc (737) - Sydney, AUSTRALIA - DEC 31, 2003
3.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Blind Tiger Big Beer Festival 2003. Clear brown colour, smokey aroma. Smokey, nutty choc-malt flavours though it felt a little too thin to hold the considerable smoke presence, probably 'cause it was served too cold.