brentfeesh (1207) - Mansfield, Ohio, USA - MAY 14, 2005
3.8 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: JUL 8, 2006 Initially tried 5/2005....I really thought this was a good looking beer. Deep Bombay mahogany color, with some cherry looking hints. Wispy off white head. The aroma was hard to place but Iíd describe it as spicy with Belgian hints of clove, yeast and candy. The body is medium and slick, though it ends with a very dry mouth feel (bitter). The flavor is two fold, and I think itís good overall. There is some initial fruity sweetness that moves into spicy pepper and perhaps clover (or some such thing). These spicy flavors are pronounced. There is also some yeastiness and some burnt malt. Alcohol is present in a good way. Really gets bitter at the end with intensified pepper. While not great now I think this has some real potential! Canít wait to do the 03-06 release tasting Iíve set for myself next year!
I was getting a bit tipsy by the time I re-rated this one. My color notes were the same but my coments on taste and aroma lacked any of the spice I spoke about before. Any spice left in the aroma or taste were much more subdued as this point and I foudn this to be a well balanced treat. Iíve improved by taste score by three points. This is aging well.
BrewEd (182) - Wilmington, North Carolina, USA - MAY 14, 2005
3.8 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
22oz: Gorgeous ruby-red and brown - as attractive a beer as Iíve seen. Not very aromatic but hints of apricot and dates. Sweet and malty up front with enough hoppy finish to keep the taste from being cloying. Very nice - I hope I have the opportunity to taste this in several years.
ojclark (69) - Santa Monica, California, USA - MAY 14, 2005
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Phenolic: nutmeg/cloves/banana notes dominate aroma. Translucent dark red/brown with mostly lasting tan head and decent lacing. Spicy flavor: nutmeg, cinammon and clove. Very malty with slight soy sauce overtone. Medium/light carbonation. Oily/slick mouthfeel and a fairly long finish. Aftertaste is an extension of the flavor but with some bitterness added to the mix. Nice, but this should get even better with some bottle age.
Padron4KM (537) - Chandler, Arizona, USA - MAY 14, 2005
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: FEB 25, 2007 22 oz bomber. Pours out a murky dark reddish brown, with a fluffy tan head.
lace coats the glass in a thin sheet. alcohol floats on top like a nicely aged port.
Aroma is roasty, dark fruits, some mustiness, and maybe a little alcohol.
flavor is fruity and sweet, followed by some roasty chocolate, and a little spice on the end.
Lots of flavors there but they havení t quite come together yet. Iíll be aging a couple 2 or 3 bottles for sure, and will re-rate in a year or 2.
(re-rate feb 07) Flavors are coming together nicely. Roasty chocolate, spicy clove, dark fruits, yeast. Looks promising.
BierBauch (784) - Cape Coral Waterfront Wonderland, Florida, USA - MAY 13, 2005
3.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
UPDATED: NOV 21, 2005 What an amazing color this brew has. Almost cranberry in color with nothing of a head which can be common with some Belgian styles. Aroma is interesting. Some berries and cinnamon, weird yeast aroma, sulfur. Kind of like a Dubbel gone wrong. Overhopped maybe because itís got a nasty bitter aftertaste. A bit medicinal.Body is smooth with a good carbonation fizz to it. Flavor is a major dissapointment in my opinion. The finish is like Vicks 44 cough syrup. I donít know what to make of this. I donít know why I get sucked into the seasonal Stone releases because for the most part theyíve been a dissapointment. When reading DaSilky1ís review I thought this guy was perhaps a bit harsh but after drinking this I can see his point. Stick to the styles youíve mastered. The Impy Stout and IPAís are what you brew best. RE-Rate 9/7/05Brilliantly clear cranberry color with a small dense head which diminishes quickly leaving a slight disorganized layer of film and some light lacing.. Aroma, slightly alcoholic, some dark fruit, caramel, dark malt and less prominently, yeast. Malt is really forthcoming with a lightly burnt caramel sensation. Second pour reveals a doughy yeasty bread aroma which is soon overtaken by the caramel like malt once again. Decidedly, this has improved in 3 months. Flavor is malt forward yet hops lace the walls of my mouth with bitterness. Dark fruit also contribute some flavor. The body is soft and full with a syrup like slickness which coats my mouth. Overall this has improved since I first tried it when released 3 months ago. I only wish they used a better yeast to give it that Belgian quality we all look for in this style.
mreeves (275) - Sammamish, Washington, USA - MAY 13, 2005
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Dark ruby to brown, small head. Definite Belgian yeast flavor, mostly malty but more hops than one would expect for the style (though not for Stone). Kind of a chocolatey taste, but not real strong. Alcohol strength fairly evident. A nice beer, and will probably age well.
mkobes (2140) - paramus, New Jersey, USA - MAY 13, 2005
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 15/20
Deep brown in color with a nice tan fluffy head. Sweet musty aroma. Very smooth and sweet flavor. Nicely balanced sweetness. Finish is spicey. Drinkable. Enjoyable. Nice beer.
MaiBockAddict (1497) - Good Beer Bar Deprived, New Jersey, USA - MAY 13, 2005
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 15/20
Ruby brown, clear, nice tan fluffy head. A mildly musty sweet aroma, with a trappist like note to it. It does remind me of Rochefort a bit, or even more recently, Chouffe Nice or Fantome Christmas, but much less assertive. Very smooth sweet flavor, with rich Belgian malty fruitiness. Spicy finish. This is a decent Belgian that will age, but may oxidize with time too much to enjoy by 2012.
johnyvt (158) - West Hollywood, California, USA - MAY 13, 2005
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Transparent brown/red pour with a big tan head that didnít stick around too long. Spicy aroma of cloves and dark fruit. Nose is banannas and a little bit of alcohol, but that is quickly covered by a dark, roasted malt finish. Has a bit of Three Philosophers dark cherry taste. Other fruit, like plums. Yeasty. Thereís chocolate, some detectable hops, and a lot of other subtle flavors that I imagine will come out more with age. Still, this is impressively drinkable now.
jeffc666 (1984) - Fairfax, Virginia, USA - MAY 12, 2005
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Nice looking beer. Clear mahogany with a dense tan head. The aroma is quite spicy, hints of Juicy Fruit chewing gum with some light dark fruit that is reminiscent of a dubbel. The flavor is quite salty, full of sweet malts, the spice is still here, and a decent hop bite in the middle. It really tastes like a lighter barley wine mixed with a dubbel and then mixed with an Anchor Our Special Ale. The palate is medium, lightly assertive, dry alcoholic finish. Interesting for sure. Seems much more American styled than Belgian styled. I find it rather enjoyable in the end.