Alengrin (4163) - BELGIUM - APR 15, 2016
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Vintage bottle of some years old, bought online. Stubby 37.5 cl bottle with purple wax and though a wax dipped sealing may look fancy, I don’t like it: age has made the wax brittle, and to quote someone at Beerit, "it makes sure you spend 30 minutes trying to open it, and then have a wax shaving filled beer" - both statements have been true in several wax dipped bottles I had (though fortunately not so much this one). Thinnish but very dense and utterly creamy, deep beige head dissolving in the middle apart from a thin ’island’, but retaining well on the edges; colour is evidently jet black, but a deep, warm burgundy hue is still visible on the edges, albeit only under bright light and only for one millimeter or so; it does, however, leave this typical ochre ’coating’ on the glass in the end. Robust, rustic and complex bouquet of bitter cocoa, black coffee with a splash of brandy in it, old dry pipe tobacco, a lot of cured meat and wet leather, Worcestershire sauce, lots of salmiak, old sherry, Irish coffee, stewed plums (the Banyuls?), wet furniture, soy sauce, roasted pine nuts, burnt brown sugar, old raisins, bourbon indeed but more so sweetish cognac, bayleaf, some dried banana, liquorish candy, fudge, dried tree leaves, black olive, coffee cream, stewed beef, elderberry syrup, fried oyster mushroom. ’Heavy’ onset of lush candied sweetness (candied dates, strong raisin, fried banana) countered by equally strong umami flavors (dried meat, dried mushroom) and an underlying blackberry sourishness; carbo is very soft but still effective, mouthfeel is - expectedly based on the motor oil-like pour - utterly thick, creamy, syrupy, ’fat’ and heavy, gliding thickly and slowly over the tongue, consisting of layer upon layer of massive maltiness, caramelly and nutty, but thickly chocolatey as well (as in bitter black chocolate, not milk chocolate) with some sourish grainy notes here and there (including the velvety effect of oats), becoming more and more roasted bitter and ending with (soft) coffeeish bitterness while the initial caramel sweetness persists. Finish is a big wave of thick, dense, almost sticky malts enriched with drying woody notes (with some retronasal vanilla tannins), residual ’burnt sugar’ and molasses bittersweetness (the Muscovado, I presume), lingering liquorish flavors (but also some clove-like phenols yet fitting in well here), and, last but certainly not least, a strong glow of deeply chest-warming, bourbon- and brandy-, but also brown rum-like alcohol (in which, frankly, the Banyuls gets a bit lost). Onsetting oxidation yields a subtle old sherry-like retronasal quality, thus adding to the complexity of this beer. The alcohol is heavy and a bit tiring I must admit, but it does not become burning and effectively uplifts the flavors well. An Irish coffee-like flavor lingers a bit at the back after swallowing, along with some cloying residual sugar sweetishness and a deep, balancing, basic sourishness - in all, dryingly bittersweet, just perfect for the style. Siren may not be situated along the ’Bermondsey Mile’ by any means, but they sure are at the core of the relatively new, still thin but notably prominent layer of English craft breweries which have embraced RIS, IPA and other originally English beer styles in the new American way. This particular beer is awe-inspiring: it has the deep complex structure one naturally associates with RIS these days, a rich and exciting, thick texture and a depth of aroma and flavor I have not encountered that often outside of its big and - sometimes overly - ’hyped’ American counterparts. I can especially appreciate the ageing (I bought this when it was already several years of age): the maderisation, though only just beginning, is already doing fascinating things with it. I hope the web shop where I bought this has a few more left, I have a strong suspicion this can withstand ten years of cellaring whilst becoming only more beautiful than it already is. World class, in my view, a flavor Odyssey for sure, and doubtlessly a fantastic dessert beer.
RobertDale (5100) - Lansing, Kansas, USA - MAR 17, 2016
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
375 ml. bottle. Thanks Nikos! Pours black with an average tan head. Aroma of malt, chocolate, bourbon, and coffee. Taste is roasted malt, chocolate, bourbon, coffee, and dark fruit. Excellent.
Christian (12554) - Odense, DENMARK - MAR 14, 2016
4.2 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Jet black with a little, but lasting tan head. The aroma is so inviting - plums and blackcurrant, dried prunes and dates, licorice and chocolate, dessert wine and a faint little touch of pure alcohol. The flavour is a bit less complex, with a lot of hard roasted malt, charcoal and ash, but also great notes of dried fruit and dessert wine. I feel like maybe the base beer wasn’t quite to my liking, but that the aging and maturing has worked perfectly.
punkdad (11) - NORTHERN IRELAND - FEB 26, 2016
3.4 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle from the Vineyard, Belfast (a birthday treat, over £11 a bottle!!). Not a very strong aroma, nor a much of a head. Incredibly dark and thick looking, almost like syrup. Liquorice and dark brown sugar hit, molasses and maybe coffee-like on the palate. Lingers on the palate for a long time. An unusual beer altogether.
Arve_Christian (4601) - Oslo, NORWAY - JAN 19, 2016
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
On bottle at Schouskjelleren , Norway. Pitch black color, some brownish foam.. High aroma intensity; high barrel influence, dark choclate , malty & vinous. Full body & high complexity. Some sweetness- balances well. Very enjoyable
---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone
gunnfryd (13858) - Kristiansand, NORWAY - DEC 11, 2015
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
KRS 140815. Black colour with a brown head. Aroma is roasted malt, sugar, caramel, coffee. Flavour is roasted malt, sugar, caramel, licorice, alcohol, spices, bourbon, coffee, chocolate. Full body. Very nice beer.
Stuartyboy (1322) - Ayr, SCOTLAND - NOV 27, 2015
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle from alesella a deep brown nearly black in colour aroma is treacle and liquorice flavour brown sugar with treacle and liquorice notes some lighter hoppy notes coming through pronounced bitter finish
rouhlas (2246) - GREECE - NOV 14, 2015
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
From tap at Copenhagen Beer Celebration 2014. Black color with brown head. Roasted malty aroma, chocolate, cocoa, licorice, caramel, fruity, wood, alcohol. Sweet and bier taste like aroma. Medium to full oily silky body with soft carbonation.
Meilby (10584) - Kristiansand, NORWAY - AUG 14, 2015
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle 375ml @ Geokkjer
Pours black with a tan head. Aroma has notes of roasted, chocolate, caramel, oak, vanilla, dried fruits, coffee and alcohol. Taste is medium to heavy sweet and light to medium sweet with a long warm, roasted, chocolate, coffee oak, caramel and dried fruity finish. Body is full, texture is oily, carbonation is soft.
yngwie (16315) - Kristiansand, NORWAY - AUG 14, 2015
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle, 375ml. A finger-thick, tan, dense, head forms over a dark brown to black body. The aroma is lighlty alcoholic, with roasted malts, coffee, chocolate and toffee. A bit simple perhaps, but sure nice. Licorice, roasted malts, coffee, dark chocolate and some alcohol in the flavor, brown sugar and dried fruits, and some woody, tannin notes. Full body, soft carbonation and a certain warmth on the palate. Lasting finish. A bit messy this one, but sure nice. 150814