JoeMcPhee (9268) - Toronto, ON, Ontario, CANADA - APR 12, 2009
3.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Cask at Blind Tiger. Deep brown beer with a light tan coloured head. Aroma is quite lovely. Loaded with chai spice. Soft chocolate and cocoa topped with allspice, clove and cardamon. The flavour also has an unusual herbal/minty note that Iíve never gotten from chai tea... although I suspect this character might be the tea itself. It has a nice interesting cooling character that is really lovely. As it starts to warm I get more of the tea character with a touch of astringency as well. It is still a pretty nice brew and one Iíd definitely sample again.
notalush (5707) - Denver, Colorado, USA - FEB 12, 2007
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
EBF 2007 - quite an interesting brew - regardless of the fact that all the chicks were flocking to this beer, I had to try it anyway - lots of cocoa and cardamom come wafting up from the glass - the flavor is much like their robust porter, only much more dry, with light herbal notes and lots of cocoa coming through - the chai/cardamom mixes with the roasty dry character to remind me a bit of turkish coffee - and I loves me some turkish coffee - very original stuff.
ClarkVV (5568) - Allston, Massachusetts, USA - MAR 17, 2007
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
On cask at Redbones stout and porter dinner on 3/12/07
Dark ruddy-brown, with some deep tan highlights and a dark beige head that is moderately well-retained, providing light lacing. Clarity is medium.
Wonderfully fragrant, spicy nose is filled with cinnamon and ginger. Light breadiness behind it gives it a gingerbread-like nose. Dry hazelnuts, cream and very dry chocolate notes on the finish signify some porter qualities, but itís not overly roasty. More like a lightly toasted/singed nuttiness and smoked cinnamon, not that that makes much sense. Definitely unique and interesting and much better than I expected. The nose mellows and the spiciness becomes more cohesive with the sweet maltiness behind it, as it warms/breathes. But every subsequent whiff always starts with that spicy cinnamon-gingerbread intrigue. Very strong aroma, no alcohol or flaws.
The flavor is just as full of chai, giving a milky, creamy and very spicy flavor. But the sweetness is rather high and helps soak up some of the spice. Vanilla, chocolate and ginger all mesh well together. Almost a chalkiness as well, from the chai, with an extremely soothing mouthfeel and low carbonation. Dry spiciness lingers on the finish, with a bit of breadiness and roast. No alcohol noted.
This batch had twice the amount of chai as the EBF batch (accidentally). I bet the EBF batch was REALLY good, as this one was just a bit too heavy on the chai, I think, despite still being good.
Rciesla (5500) - Exit 15W, New Jersey, USA - APR 12, 2009
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Cask at Blind tiger, what a weird brew, it was more like drinking chai tea, really nice spices and effervescent with how heavily spiced it is. I thought it was delicious but for small samples only.
Dickinsonbeer (5074) - Hoboken, New Jersey, USA - APR 8, 2009
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
cask at BT. Pours a nice deep woody brown with some cool woody ruby highlights- nice head too. Aroma is very chai- tea like- more powerful than the previous batch at EBF a couple years ago- roast and chocolate porter-like is only subtle- the chai comes through big time- herbal minty and anise/licorice. Flavor is very herbal earthy, tea-like with almost a milky lactose sweetness thrown in to make it even more like chai- anise, leather, fennel, caraway, licorice but finishes a bit thin- and as it warms the chai character actually becomes a bit too strong for me this time. Good for about half a glass then I got sick of it.
LilBeerDoctor (3702) - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA - APR 9, 2009
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
On cask at Blind Tiger. Pours black with a thick tan head. Aroma is super chocolatey with tons of spices (flowery, some pumpkin spices), definitely tea-like. Flavor is also super chocolate with some vegetal notes and a spicy, clove finish. So chocolatey. Well made, the spices and chocolate really complement each other.
GeneralGao (3614) - Iowa City, Iowa, USA - APR 19, 2009
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
Cask at Blind Tiger. This was an unusual beer. Poured a near opaque black color with a soapy light brown head. Distinct spicy chai aroma. Any beer aroma that might have been there was subdued at best. Medium bodied and spicy. Chai flavor dominated the chocolate and roast underneath. Interesting and bizarre at the same time.
puzzl (3258) - New York, New York, USA - APR 14, 2009
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Cask at the Blind Tiger. What a beer. Iíve been salivating over this beer for years, always seeing it in the Smuttynose list and never thinking Iíd have a chance to try it. And I only got to try it after a long and painful passover day, where a nice beer would be an incredibly lovely treat to relax the olí bones.
You may think that would make my rating rather biased and untrustworthy, but I got to down a couple pints two days later with no more prejudice and it was just as fantastic. Incredibly drinkable, not necessarily complex but still a symphony in the mouth, albeit one you donít fall asleep during, as this beer goes down faster than near any other beer Iíve ever drank.
I wrote a full rating for this on a Smutty coaster but I see little reason to type it out. This beer is exactly what it claims to be and it plain nails it. Supremely drinkable and just awesome.
PilsnerPeter (3045) - Flushing, New York, USA - APR 13, 2009
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Cask at Blind Tiger: Iím glad I got to try this one. Deep murky brown with a well retained khaki head. Big chai aroma- some cinnamon notes mesh with cocoa. Very interesting. Creamy and silky body. Starts off with straight chai- lightly spicy notes of cinnamon, cardamom, ginger leading to the solid base porter which gives off malt subtlties of cocoa and nutty crystal character. Mildly smooth roast in the finish. A very well done fusion of a solid porter and flavorful chai with no astringency. Good!
Slipstream (2424) - USA - NOV 20, 2011
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
From a cask at the Bronx Ale House, where it was called robust porter with chai tea. And shouldnít this be in the spiced beer category? Very full, floral aroma. Dark brown pour that leads to a creamy mouthful. Iíve always liked this brew and I like it even more in this version. The clove and ginger blend in nicely to give it a bold, spicy flavor that is still balanced and smooth. Excellent!