Theydon_Bois (8273) - The ’Sham, Surrey, ENGLAND - FEB 23, 2014
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle shared at Josh’s last hurrah in the smoke, thanks to Kenny - CDA top boy, 20/02/14.
Very dark mahohony brown with a well appointed tan covering that retains well.
Nose is bitter tropicals, tea leaves, earthy hops, light smoke, touch of grapefruit.
Taste comprises earthy hops, cocoa powder, pine bite, jammy berry fruits, bitter tropicals.
Medium bodied, fine carbonation, semi drying close.
Solid CDA - best in class this evening.
Leighton (10767) - London, Greater London, ENGLAND - FEB 20, 2014
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle shared in London for Josh’s farewell tasting. Pours clear, rich brown with a frothy beige head. The nose has toasted bread, a bit of pine, ripening orange. Medium sweet flavor with a good deal of earthy-ashy bitterness, soft roast, baking cocoa, charred malts, burnt pine. Medium bodied with fine carbonation. Lightly resinous to finish, more bitter dark chocolate, earth, ash, some dried citrus, decent roasted malts, well toasted bread. Not bad.
Scopey (6711) - Croydon, Greater London, ENGLAND - FEB 20, 2014
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle thanks to Ken. It pours darkest brown with a small light tan head. The nose is fresh, pine, citrus, soapy, roasted malt, candied peel and cocoa. The taste is rich roasted malt, cocoa, toast, earth, burnt aspect, chewy malt, citrus rind and good deal of bitterness. Medium body and moderate carbonation. Punchy and tasty. Nice work.
DocLock (7828) - Lower Pottsgrove, Pennsylvania, USA - FEB 3, 2014
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bomber from Whole Foods and Capone’s. Pours turbid dark black with creamy tan head. Nose is great creamy dark lactic malt, resiny hops, cacao, black pepper. Tastes rich and complex, with heavy dark malt, cacao, and a dry hoppy finish. This one is above the pack.
peteinSD (1364) - San Diego, California, USA - JAN 25, 2014
3.3 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
On tap. Black pour with a light tan head. Light herbal hops and some sweetness in the aroma with perhaps some minimal roast. Taste is clean with a light herbal flavor, perhaps some pine, and slight roast. Relatively light mouthfeel. Underwhelming hops but a nice drinker nonetheless.
FlacoAlto (3800) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - JAN 20, 2014
3.4 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
A steady pour into my New Belgium tulip produces a three finger thick, amber stained, tan colored head. The beer is a dark, concentrated brown, sort of approaching black color that shows a brilliantly clear, blackened plum hue when held up to the light. The aroma smells of expressive fruity / floral hops, supported by roasted, earthy whole grain malt character. Rich toasted cocoa notes, amply toasted whole grain bread, touches of roasted coffee, and a bit of charcoal make up the supporting, but noticeable malt aromatics. Floral peach, kumquat zest, some guava notes and lychee just about jump out of the glass. At times there is just a touch of spicy, warming alcohol in the nose as well as a bit of herbal and spicy hop character.
Citrusy hop flavors lead into a biting, lingering hop bitterness that melds with a bitter roasted note into the finish. A bit of warming alcohol is found in the finish and it accentuates a spiciness from both the hop character and the toasted malt. The body is nice and light, but does have a soft creaminess to it towards the finish, overall this makes this beer nicely quaffable. Spicy notes of woody black pepper, linger chili pepper spice (alcohol notes), and acrid roasted character adds quite the bite to the finish. There is also some lingering essential oil like flavors of pine and menthol in the finish as well. The up front hop flavors contribute a mix of peach concentrate (without the sweetness), lychee, rounded guava notes, and lots of layered, tropical leaning, citrus zest notes (tangelo, kumquat, etc.).
The brightness of the hop character is dulled a bit by the sharp roast character and the fact that the beer is a bit on the dry side; this makes for a finish that is sharp, a bit alcohol warming, bitter, and a touch acrid in the finish. A good enough beer in the end, but a bit unbalanced in the finish which ruins this a bit for me in the end. Still a good enough beer that I am happy to be trying.The soft creamy note in the body is certainly a nice accompaniment.
mogydirt (13) - simi valley, California, USA - JAN 17, 2014
2.6 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 9/20
Nice color and it has nice head retention. Smell is kind of mild, it doesnt have much of a smell. Taste malty and taste more like a black ipa than a black ale. Not to impressive, but i do like the label. Lol
high_on_hops (612) - Burlingame, California, USA - JAN 5, 2014
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
On tap. Pours a solid black with a tan head and lacing. It has a nice aroma of earthy, piney hops and dark malts with a bit of coffee and chocolate. The flavor earth and resin up front with a coffee and hop bitter finish over a medium-heavy body.
---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone
greenhorn1 (807) - Mission Viejo, California, USA - DEC 8, 2013
3.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Bottle. Strong hoppy citrus aroma. Flavor is dark malts, citrus notes but light on the palate. Decent black ale/ipa.
---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone
jandd1983 (2536) - Florissant, Missouri, USA - DEC 4, 2013
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Sampled at an ESBLS tasting. It poured a clear dark brown color with a tan head. The aroma was of grapefruit, roast, light charcoal, orange zest, light pine and some light cocoa.The taste was of roast, grapefruit, charcoal, light pine and light cocoa with a crisp dry bitter lingering roasted grapefruit finish. Enjoyed this one.