FlacoAlto (3676) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - FEB 22, 2007
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
UPDATED: MAR 17, 2007 390ml rectangular tequila type bottle, #62 of 1000
Pours completely flat and uncorroborated as promised with of course no head. It is the color of concentrated honey or dark amber. Definite smoky aromatic notes are the first thing that I notice. Underneath this is a touch of phenolic plastic character, though just a touch. Is there some fruit here as well, perhaps something like smoke peaches or smoked pears. There is definitely some fruit aromatics here, at times it can be subtle, but at others it is definitely noticeable (pears and apples seems to be the most aromatic). Lightly tart as well, but only just enough to accentuate some of the underlying fruit.
Not overly sweet tasting, but definitely has a bit of a syrupy mouthfeel to it. Definitely phenolic in the taste as well, though not as smoky as the aroma is, but more plastic-like. Notes of maple syrup, some definite umami, concentrated malt extract notes, and lots of herbaceous notes that remind me of spruce, perhaps some notes of cedar, and even some light anise. This, I hesitate to call it beer exactly, tipple could actually use more residual malt character. Additional sweetness would help to balance the phenolics, though the alcohol is certainly well hidden. I am not entirely sure what I think of this beer. It is actually quite a bit more approachable than Sam Adams Triple bock, and even Utopias, which it apparently was inspired by, though it is not nearly as refined as the last one. In the end I can only applaud a brewer in the state of Arizona taking a step in this direction, the more brewers doing cutting edge things here the better. Even if they fail, which I would certainly not classify this as. This beer is just very interesting, it makes you question what is the envelope that contains all variations of what we think of as beer. Iíll have to see how this beer oxidizes over the next few nights as it might get more interesting.
Purchased: <a href=http://www.ratebeer.com/Places/ShowPlace.asp? Liquors, Tucson, AZ
NYHarvey (2153) - New York, New York, USA - FEB 17, 2007
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Courtesy of Boboski, thank you, Jason. The aroma holds smoke, vanilla, sweet rum cake, malt, maple syrup and mesquite. The body is a still amber/brown (much more brown) and is entirely headless. The fore is a huge malt blast which segues into hickor, oak, sweet molasses syrup, white cake and a hot blast of alcohol. I find this very unique and interesting and much better than I anticipated. Worth a try even at the ridiculous price....though you should definitely share the bottle.
Pailhead (4232) - Brownstown, Michigan, USA - FEB 17, 2007
3.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Courtesy of cbkschubert via trade
Bottle: The aroma has a huge smoke presence. Behind all the smoke lies light maple syrup, oak, and some alcohol. It pours a transparent brownish-orange and is very still looking. Smoke and oak are by far the dominate flavors. There is light maple syrup sweetness and the finish has a touch of bitterness. The alcohol is very light considering the 19.5%. Itís there as sort of a light whiskey flavor in the finish, but by no means overpowering. The mouthfeel is much thinner than Iíd expect from such a large beer and to no suprise there isnít any carbonation.
zathrus13 (1661) - Mount Laurel, New Jersey, USA - FEB 8, 2007
3.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Bottle #23/1000, thanks to Bockyhorsey.
Deep amber/brown, with no head. Aroma is like nothing if ever encountered in a beer. Sweet, smokey malt, alcohol, toasted wood, and some maple syrup. Flavor is much less sweet than expected, with smokey, toasted wood, maple syrup, smoked ham, and malt. Alcohol is pretty well hidden. Very unusual, and a bold statement. not great, but unique.
BuckNaked (1230) - Tempe, Arizona, USA - FEB 7, 2007
3.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
390ml bottle 178/1000 purchased from Papago. Pours to a mostly clear, though dark, brown colored body with no head (itís not carbonated). The color starts from an amber color at the edges with least concentration and darkens to a medium brown towards the center of the glass. The aroma and taste are both quite unique, at least as far Iíve experienced for beer. Thereís some toasted wood, showing mild char, a hint of light molasses, iron metal (not in a bad way, itís hard to describe this scent), sweet syrupy maple wood, maple syrup, a very mild alcohol burn, roasted cocoa beans, mexican chocolate, with some hints of straw in the background of the aroma. For flavors it shows lightly charred wood, maple wood, maple sap (not syrup), some alcohol burn midway through, a bit of bitter hops in the very background (unless Iím just tasting the wood), a bit of oak, sweet caramel malt, mild cola, and bits of charcoal & honey in the background. The finish on this one is quite interesting, showing charred maple and oak, roasted mexican chocolate, bourbon, and leaves my mouth feeling dry. Medium bodied, slick, non-carbonated, and sweet (e.g. not dry, though it doesnít taste overly sweet due to the oak and maple chips). Very interesting and certainly totally unique, I know of no other beer that tastes like this one, however I canít say itís great. It tastes to me a bit like watered down bourbon with a bit too much fresh and charred wood character, though it does show more sweetness up front than bourbon would. Though I donít find it awesome (but not bad), I still think Sonoran deserves much credit for brewing such a novel beer.
smhncabot (310) - Cabot, Arkansas, USA - FEB 4, 2007
3.5 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
shared with that bastard xmarcnolanx and his hetero-life partner drmatt. aroma was strong maple, oak, and sausage. taste was much the same. kinda like breakfast sausage with maple syrup and oak shavings. it was quite potent and very interesting. im curious what it would be with some aging.
xmarcnolanx (925) - Kirkwood, Missouri, USA - JAN 29, 2007
3.4 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
I was wondering when they would put this up on the site. I had this (bottle 125 out of 1000) at Popago in Tempe, Arizona with SmhnCabot and DrMatt. It poured like an uncarbonated monster- imposing but in an excited anticipatory kind of way. The taste was mostly of maple and a little bit of oak. I was not a huge fan of it, but it was a respectable effort and definitely very cutting edge. The taste was very much of malt liquor, so I guess they were right on in that aspect, but the overwhelming taste profile aside from the malt was maple and oak. Not bad, but not great
bigbeersrule (97) - USA - JAN 14, 2007
4.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Wow, Scott sure can brew some interesting beer. The 19.5% alcohol is masked by the maple sweetness. The sweetness is balanced not so much by hops but by a smokey flavor given to it by the toasted oak chips I believe. It is similar to Sam Adams Utopias or Triple Bock, but better. With as much alcohol as it has I think it will keep for years. Still a sipping beer like a cognac, not a gulping monster.
GreatLibations (1854) - Last Supper, Arizona, USA - JAN 11, 2007
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 18/20
Pours a tawny leathered amber color w/ very little froth (very whisky like). Aromas of steak and teriyaki w/ a little whiff of Bourbon. Medium nectar and still as night. It even drinks like whisky. The texture is almost Sake like in feel. Flavor profile is earthy w/ a defined smokey character. Jerkey, leather, carameled persimmons, cigar wrapper, Madiera, and a distinguishable Bourbon essence. You actually have to drink this like a bird drinking water. Tilt your head all the way back to expose your back sides of the tongue to the brew. This is where you taste it best. Itís multi layered. You get alcohol glycerin upfront, then the flavors settle in but just for a minute and then the glycerin comes back and wipes the palate clean leaving very little flavor at all except on the back sides of the tongue. The finish is mellow w/ very little bittering. Amazing as it sounds, there is very little alcohol flavor. This brew drinks like some killer aged sake.