ClarkVV (5129) - Allston, Massachusetts, USA - FEB 17, 2007
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Draught at EBF on 2/9/07
Soft copper-melon colored body with light amber hues. Definite chill haze and a bit of haziness past that, but it still showed some clarity. Foamy/frothy dark beige head is actually quite prominent and recedes slowly, leaving light lacing.
Wow. That’s a funky aroma (not literally). Definitely strong in the bocky/wine-like yeastiness. Much more than when fresh. If I wasnt looking at it, I would almost guess it was dark. Very assertive, powerful aroma. Staunch caramel, butter toffee and a snappy, creme brulee finish alive with sourdough-like lager yeast and light melanoidins. Waves of citrus pass through the nose, but it’s certainly much less hoppy than when fresh. To the point where it smells like a doppelbock and the malt easily outshines the hops. Buttery crackers dipped in caramel with light traces of crystal malts. The bourbon is very well-done here, giving only a light liquorous feel and actually accentuating and improving upon the malt flavors instead of distracting from them. It creates a very elegant, delicate sort of....not sure how to say.....creme brulee splashed with strong brandy, I guess. High strength of aroma, no flaws. Vast improvement upon the oak-aged imperial stout (which was way too much bourbon).
Flakey toffee with light saltiness and buttercream cover the palate on first sip, aided by a very tight, moderately carbonated texture. Moderate breadiness begins to show, but is smoothed out by sweet caramel which in turn gives way to dark chocolate mixed with creme brulee and bourbon notes. But again, the bourbon is deeply integrated in to the flavors, even the yeast is hard to separate from the bready malts and robust bourbon character. Some lightly chewy, aged caramel malts yield easygoing dark fruits on the finish, which is also dotted with light brandy/bourbon notes. Hops leave some bitterness behind at this point, but do little else (some citrus notions, I guess). Delicious, unique! A year has done wonders for this beer.
holdenn (2101) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - NOV 9, 2006
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
FoBAB 2006: Dark amber colored with a tall head (at least compared to my little glass). Bourbon nose with chocolate and toffee. Sweet bourbony chocolate flavors with dark fruits and toffee underneath. Sweetness and alcohol in the finish. A pretty tasty doppelbock, some might even say "doppely delicious".
StewardofGondor (1934) - Washington Heights - Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA - NOV 6, 2006
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Translucent and magnifying copper with a dense, tall, one inch thick and tightly packed tan foam head. Aroma’s right where we want it to be. Chalky pralines, prunes, Godiva liquor, melting caramel crème morsels and an overall simplistically complex nirvana. The flavor base relishes in a caramel booze glaze. Melting chocolate toffee seeps over mince meat pie filling and amaretto Irish cream. Full bodied and ample bitterness propel the palate presence to brilliant strife. Tossing the heavenly liquor over and under the tongue lets the whiskey and rye night cap creep down the throat and reverberate with a warming presence. Northern captured bitterness comes out more in this barreled version than the standard (equally beautiful) rendition. Brandy soaked chocolate prunes and dates and figs yield a heavenly composure. Bourbon inside chalky caramels transition us into the finish, while smooth, shingling dates wrap it up.