mreeves (273) - 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.
noelcb (271) - Toledo, Ohio, USA - JUN 7, 2005
5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
This one came with a ton of expectations and didnít dissappoint. It poured a beautiful near-black, like soft licorice when itís pulled apart. Nice tan head, full and durable, with good lacing. Aromas were fruit, fruit, fruit. Apricots, cherries, apples, figs, raisins, licorice, cloves, nutmeg, coffee, bread, green peppers. Whew! Taste was WOW! Big hit of smoke morphs to malt heaven then makes room for pear, applequince, even avacado. Lots of fantastic hop bitterness, complimented by the fruit sweetness. The malts were toasty, chocolatety, creamy and smoky -- the best malt presence Iíve tasted. Finish is malt, smoke, peat, earth, and hops. Mouthfeel was perfect -- at no time did it seem too thick or too thin. It was perfectly carbonated. I know all 5s leaves no room for improvement and this ale is meant to be kept until 12-12-2012 and if itís going to get even better, well Iím going to get more and save it. The Stone Brewing Company made one happy beer drinker today. if you havenít already, go get yourself 2 -- drink one and save one for 2012!
kms399 (267) - plymouth, Minnesota, USA - AUG 1, 2006
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
thanks to secret santa (JPDIPSO i think) pours a deep ruby red with a small slightly brown head. aroma is slightly fruity and spicy despite the fact that they say they used no spice in this beer
there is a light malt and yeastieness that is like. taste is much of the same with a bit of roastiness. damn fine beer. it is a shame i will probably never have another.
kbjames (244) - Utah, USA - JUN 25, 2005
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Another good offereing from Stone. Iím not a big fan of the Belgian Strong Ale style so Iím not a big fan of this one. But it is full bodied, smells of cloves and its really dark for this style.
entertheiceman (242) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - MAR 14, 2006
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Quite good, like the 03 version on sterioids. This will probably age very similiar. Deep ruby color, fruity nose malt, grapes and alcohol. Taste is dark fruits, and maty merlot along with liquor. Finish has is a lingering sweet and bitter at the same time thing going on. The flavors are all over the place and aging may do this one some good. That said, this beer is great right now and it remains to be seen if aging will blend the flavors well or take itís character away ala the í03 VE.
Brewso (238) - Mt Kisco, New York, USA - SEP 28, 2005
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Dark candied fruit with loads of belgian yeast and malt on the nose. I was surprised that no extra spices were added as spice did come through.
Moggman (235) - Columbus, USA - NOV 28, 2008
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle. Pours dark brown/amber with tan head. Aroma is sweet, dark fruits, banana, clove. Flavor is sweet with clove notes throughout, dark fruit, and molasses. This one has aged well so far.
dhlesq (233) - Thousand Oaks, California, USA - MAY 30, 2005
3.9 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Aroma of banana overlaying horseblanket. Appears reddish-orange-brown, crystal clear. Flavor is sweet followed by horse. Palate is medium-heavy and appropraite.
doubleipa (224) - Georgia, USA - JUL 2, 2007
3.1 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
What a dissapointment. I was so looking forward to cellaring a bunch of these until 2012. Unfortunately Iím not too optimistic. Virtuallly zero head, though good lacing. Body was clear with an anlmost black color. Not much in the way of aroma. Mostly raisin and dark cherry. Very sweet flavor with a very long finish. Maybe a bit of coffee. Texture was watery and flat carbonation. I was unimpressed. Itís not very good now so I donít see how it will get any better.
BCAR (220) - Naperville, Illinois, USA - MAY 10, 2006
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Deep brown color. Richness is exuded from this brew. Dried fruit, yeast and alcohol dominate the nose. Easy-drinking Belgian strong. Definitely could polish off a couple bombers of this. Rich, a little soy saucy at times (in a good way). Nice bitter finish. Really enjoyable. Canít wait a few weeks for the next release.