HonusWagner (1978) - Florida, USA - SEP 23, 2013
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
I’ve debated my 1000th rate for a while. Should it be Gratitude, as a symbol of the thanks I’d need to give to the many great beer geeks, here and elsewhere, who have generously shared with me on my journey down the rabbit hole? Should it be La Fin Du Monde, the first microbrew I ever tracked down, only to hate it when I wasn’t aware that it was meant to be poured into a glass? Should it be the rarest walez imaginable, regardless of emotional significance?
I settled on none of these things, because ultimately rating beer is about expanding ones horizons, about loving the art even when it gives you things like Peated Black Hole and any sour beer produced by Dark Horse. This random, potentially delicious, beer in my fridge represents my belief that ratings milestones are just markers on the endlessly rich journey of a beer geek.
Pour is dark brown or black but with the sort of light, bubbly head you expect from a black ale rather than the frothy, creamy head of a stout or porter. Aroma is a fascinating melange of characters, a light hint of soy sauce, a spicy character reminiscent of the DeCiccos/Captain Lawrence chestnut beer, some kind of stone fruit character, maybe plums, a dash of fusels/alcohol in the nose, minor smokiness, earthy, overall a bit like a malbec, very complex and fascinating. Taste is a bit sweet up front, modest carbonation carries the fruit flavor to the forefront with spice notes of black pepper not far behind. Earthy, semisweet, clean on the back end, minimal bitterness. Mild tartness, curious. Highly drinkable. Good stuff.
From here we go sublime.
LesArgen (299) - AUSTRALIA - MAY 15, 2016
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 15/20
Aromas of plum, cherry, grapefruit, chocolate, malt and coffee. Taste of coffee, raisin, chocolate, and some funky farmhouse flavours, with a slightly watery aftertaste. It’s a bit of a stretch to call this a farmhouse ale methinks, but who cares if it tastes good?
GoufCustom (1439) - HONG KONG - MAY 15, 2016
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
330ml bottle bought at HK Brewcraft in Central.
Looks: Clear deep Cola blackish brown colour; Less than one-quarter finger head with residual soapy light beige foam which fades in 30 seconds; Fair sticky lacing with notable very slight carbonation.
Aroma: Fragrant dark malt, with moderate funk, barnyards, strong caramel, toffee, chocolate, coffee, cream, light sugar, strong yeast, thin lemon and light grass.
Taste: Mid to strong sweet dark malt, with strong roastyness, burnt caramel, burnt toast, strong molasses, alcohol, strong dark chocolate, black coffee, floral, strong earth, spices, strong Bel yeast, lemon, strong bitter hops and grass.
Body: Mid to full body. Very slick and smooth palate.
Mouth Feel: Strong dark maltyness in pretty creamy background. Strong roastyness with lots of burnt caramel and toast. Very sweet and quite boozy but well match by strong dark chocolates and light black coffee. Earthy, spicy yeasty with sharp lemon to round. Very nice!
Hoppiness: Thin lemon and light grass in nose. Strong earth, spices, sharp lemon and strong grass in taste. Bitterness is very strong for a lasting, very high astringent sweet bitter finish.
After Taste: Fairly dry. Sweet, burnt and strong bitter to mouth.
Comments: This one is very interesting - a Dark Belgian fused with some funk in araoma, lots of burnt toasty sweet maltyness with strong Bel yeast and earthy citrusy sharp hoppiness. Has a snobbish feel but taste-wise it’s quite balanced and bursting with strong flavors. Will buy again!
oldrtybastrd (4888) - Fort Walton Beach, Florida, USA - MAY 9, 2016
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Pours deep dark brown. Aroma is full of sweet roasted malt, coffee and milk chocolate. Taste is very smooth, and has a coffee/chocolate flavor kind of hoppy.
CacheManyHose (543) - HONG KONG - APR 16, 2016
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Drank w Matt after Orange Peel drumming gig. Opaque black with creamy beige-tan head and big streaky legs. Smells of funky dark malt, pear, lightly sour in a fermented way, chocolate. Interesting combination of flavours in the nose. Tastes of burnt dark malt, moderate sourness, quite a bit of Belgian yeast, gentle clove and spice, very faint coffee/chocolate. Body is smooth, frothy, pepper/clove, bitter. Unusual to have funky sour yeast paired with burnt coffee malt, quite good.
HKdIPA (621) - HONG KONG - APR 16, 2016
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle from Craftissimo at home after drum performance. Dark black pour with puffy tan head. Aroma is a bit farmy, a bit roasty, some earthy hops - subtle but nice. Taste is very round - a bit of everything. Some roasted dark chocolate-ish malt, some bitter hops, some farmy yeasty flavors, some spice and clove, some booze. Smooth but not rich palate with nice carbonation. Very interesting.
ByTheirLimpin (248) - New York, USA - MAR 12, 2016
3.8 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle to tumbler. January 2014 bottling. Didn’t catch it until I was pouring, but it held up. Dark ruby brown in the glass. Nose was vacant. Palate was intriguing. Little sweet blackberry somewhere up front. All barnyard and malts thrift through the middle. Complex, sticky. Little fine fizz to the syrupy mouth. Yum.
altonbrownd (5174) - Chevy Chase, Maryland, USA - FEB 28, 2016
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle from Chevy Chase Wine and Liquors. Dark brown body with slight head. Nose is oaky, plums, berries, caramel, malts. Really nice. Taste very malty, roasty and plummy too. Nice smooth texture. A really clean beer. Want to drink slow and enjoy.
Garrold (3778) - Sheffield, South Yorkshire, ENGLAND - FEB 23, 2016
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Tap. Mother Kelly’s, Bethnal Green. Dark, cola brown. Film of beige head. Nose has blackberry. Blackcurrant. Hint of liquorice. Some notes of chocolate. Taste is light sweet. Hint of dryness. Hint of roast bitterness. Good body. Smooth. Light, fruity bitter finish. Nice one.
Swamp_Thing (49) - Florida, USA - JAN 24, 2016
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Well balanced and complex. Sweet and yeasty with fruity aftertaste. Goes down alomost too easy, but a memorable beer.
Linnet (1562) - Karlstad, SWEDEN - JAN 16, 2016
3.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 12/20
Belgian yeast, malty, jam, earth, lightly roasty, alcohol.
Ruby red, dark Brown, no head.
Mid-sweet, lightly bitter, salty, ABV well integrated. Bit simplistic.
Medium body, soft carbonation, sweetish finish.