WesBeerGuy (62) - Rocky Hill, Connecticut, USA - APR 2, 2005
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pours thickly, medium tan head that doesnít last long enough. Smells sweet and malty, but has far more hops than Iíve had in a stout. Which I donít think is bad at all. Nice roasted malt flavor, augmented by serious hops bitterness. An unusual take on a traditional beer and I would recommend it to anyone
tjwais (42) - Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA - APR 2, 2005
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Classic stout. Dark, but not as strong of a flavor as I was hoping. I think Iím actually tasting some hops in this, different for a stout (from what Iíve had, at least). A well-balanced roasty flavor, and a good buy for my money.
DrunkenWeasel (224) - Portland, Oregon, USA - APR 2, 2005
3.7 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pours pitch black with a thick off white forthy head and heavy lacing. Smells very roasty but somewhat uncomplex, slight coffee smell. Coffee bitter flavor with heavy roast aftertaste, kind of watery palate for a stout. But quite nice.
FlacoAlto (4127) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - MAR 26, 2005
3.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 11/20
UPDATED: FEB 21, 2010 Sampled January 2011
A decent pour into my New Belgium Globe glass produces a three-finger thick, lightly brown colored head. The beer is a rich, dark, concentrated, chocolate brown colored beer. The aroma smells quite toasted, with lots of whole grain aromatics to it; it smells like a richly toasted, whole grain bread crust. Underneath the toasted malt there is a soft, lightly sweet, rich chocolate note. As the beer warms more of the roasted notes start to come out; it is a bit like a city roast coffee. The aroma is more savory than sweet or roasted, which wasnít what I was expecting.
Lightly sweet tasting, but not rich feeling, in fact it seems like it is a bit light bodied. The beer finishes with a bit of roast acidity, bitter burnt malt, and some astringency. Some dark chocolate flavors (which comes out more as the beer warms) subtly cut the edge of the roasted malt that dominates the flavor profile. This has quite a bit of hop bitterness to it as well. Up front there is a nice, richly toasted, whole grain character, but this quickly gets drowned out by the sharp finish (that is even a bit acrid at times).
I remember this being a bit of a let down the last time I reviewed this beer, but I was hoping that was just an off night. Unfortunately, this is one offering from Sierra Nevada that I can live without. It is just a bit too acrid, bitter and sharp in the flavor.
Sampled March 2005
This beer pours a full black color and is topped by a frothy three-finger thick, brown colored head. The aroma is dry and roasty. I gets notes of coffee and smoke, as well as a certain woodiness that I canít quite place. In fact the aroma almost has a certain saltiness to it, but the dry roasted/ burnt grain notes certainly dominate.
This beer is definitely chewy with a full bodied character that coats my tongue. It is quite dry, despite the fullness, because of the roasted character of this brew. There is a certain fresh hop character here that peeks above the roasted notes, I get hints of pine and a certain herbal character. Flavors of coffee and burnt toffee dominate the flavor throughout, and this finishes quite dry with a solid bitterness that begs you to take another sip. The salty character is in the flavor as well, it is quite intriguing and adds a certain extra fullness to this beer.
This beer is most definitely a classic, when I first had it back in the early 90s I could not believe how much flavor was packed into this beer. The only complaint may be that this beer is a little too heavy on the roast malts, or at least the American ones, as it is a bit astringent in the finish. This is a minor complaint though, and it just makes you want to take another sip of this beer.
Tmoney99 (13080) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - MAR 25, 2005
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle. Poured a black color with medium tan head that lasted most of the brew. Roasted coffee and malt aroma. Flavor was rich and creamy with same flavor as aroma. the finish was long and full. Good brew.
kms399 (267) - plymouth, Minnesota, USA - MAR 23, 2005
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
wonderful looking beer. but looks can be deceiving. smells malty with a slight coffee. taste is roasted malts. faint bitter chocolate and coffee. has a bit of hops in the after taste. mouthfeel is dry and bitter which isnt bad. leaves nice lacing.
ericmc83 (207) - Arkansas, USA - MAR 21, 2005
3.7 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: APR 21, 2005 bottle - 3/21/05 - The pour is black. Very good head retention. I smell a hoppy armoa that overshadows the malty hints. I taste the chocolatey/roasted malt side, but from beginning to end there is bitterness...not just in the finish. Itís not too overpowering...I just thought that I should note its presence. The brew has a creamy, soft texture in my mouth. Overall, itís a nice stout. The finish is something besides just bitter...salty maybe? grassy?
hammenlind (737) - Sundbyberg, SWEDEN - MAR 20, 2005
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Black/red colour thick white head. Clear hoppy flavour. Sweet caramel taste and a bitter short aftertaste.
ChristianSA (368) - Copenhagen, DENMARK - MAR 19, 2005
3.6 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle. Wonderful tan, rocky head with good retention. Caramelly aroma, which leads to a sweeet, bitter, roasted flavor with some hops and a very long bitter finish. Too carbonated.
StewardofGondor (1934) - Washington Heights - Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA - MAR 18, 2005
2.8 AROMA 3/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Slightly thin pour; fizzy, bubbly head. Smells of sour milk, sweet malt and roasted barley. Rich, bright, carbonated taste. Mouth watering milk chocolate. Mild and even. Nice, but nothing to write home about.