5000 (6239) - Hardened Liver, Washington, USA - JUN 11, 2006
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle: Black coffee in color, moderate frothy beige head, a few whisps of lacing. Nose of molasses, brown sugar, slight anise, a touch of charred wood, and even some candle wax like aspect. Very pale dark pitted fruit, moreso noticeable on the tongue. Fairly sweet, yet not cloying, nearly full bodied, moderate mouthfeel. A bit more dark pitted fruit on the exit, but otherwise moreso brown sugar, molasses, and some nutty aspects. Not your typical Dubbel. Warming, yet not hot. Decent offering, just wished it had a bit more dark pitted fruit and a bit less sweetness. Flatter than most Belgian examples too, but glad it didn’t blow up when I opened the bottle. I praise them for trying different stuff, but they still have more work to do on these Belgian styles.
papajohn (1249) - San Diego (Mira Mesa), California, USA - JUN 11, 2006
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: JUN 13, 2006 Rating #666: The darkest of brown with burgandy highlights, when held up to light and a small fading tan head. Aroma is spicy with dark fruit and a wiff of banana. Flavor is spicy and peppery with dark fruit and a little nuttyness finishing somewhat dry with a hint of chocolate and some banana comming through as it warmed. Medium bodied and smooth with moderate carbonation.
FoolishMortal (990) - San Diego, California, USA - JUN 11, 2006
3.6 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
22oz. bottle. Deep ruby-brown, nearly opaque, with a medium sized brown head. Heavy astringent phenol yeast aromatics, clove and some banana. Heavy clove and pineapple esters up front, melds into some bubblegum, crystal malt, and some nutty/toasty malt characters. Tinges of chalky chocolate in the finish reinforce a mild roastiness and some residual fruit esters, primarily banana. Mouthfeel is a slightly heavy medium, somewhat hot as it warms, fairly lusterous but not dry.
JohnC (3000) - Mission Viejo, California, USA - JUN 10, 2006
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Poured from a 22 ounce bottle. Very dark brown with a frothy white head which quickly diminishes. The aroma is lightly spicy, yet has some coffee notes. The body is medium at best. The flavor initially hits the tip of your tongue with some bitterness, but after that a nutty roastiness (maybe chestnuts) hits you along with flavors of chocolate and dried fruit. This should age well.
awaisanen (1304) - Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, USA - JUN 10, 2006
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
From 22oz Bottle. Pours a deep dark, chocolatey brown color with a beige creamy head resting on top - fabulous retention. Loads of banana in the nose, but light and creamy like a frozen popsicle treat. Some coconut and smooth clove spice add some olfactory highlights. A mild chocolate licorice rounds out a solid malt base. Thick, rich and creamy mouthfeel without being overly heavy. This beer is going to be amazing if its already this good. The yeasty clove spice is a bit staggering as it confronts the palate at first, but it eventually gives way to some rich Belgian chocolate notes with a hint of anise. The chocolate flavors are nice and balanced without being overly dry or too sweet. Final smack of cedar cone hops and a smooth caramel maltiness. Well constructed beer with a delicious complexity as is - I will eagerly look forward to tasting this in the years to come.
Enniskillen (2029) - Salinas, California, USA - JUN 10, 2006
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
This is probably the best of the anniv. that i have had so far. Dark body, caramel and plum aroma. Taste is caramel, alcohol, a bit mettalic. Pretty good.
winegarner (220) - san diego, California, USA - JUN 10, 2006
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Poured a dark brown to black with a lasting tan head and good lacing. Aroma is of chocolate and spice, most notably clove. Flavors are similar to what the aroma would lead you to, especially with an overpowering clove character. The clove really dominates the entire flavor profile from beginning to end. Some sweet roastiness and hop flavor try to compete. I must say that I am a little disappointed with this one.
IrishBoy (3820) - Bakersfield, California, USA - JUN 10, 2006
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: MAY 15, 2010 06/10/06 Dark walnut with cherry tints in the body and very small beige head. Malty aroma with banana and plum notes. Flavor shows malts and bananas with hints of chocolate and spice.
04/19/08 Nose more molassy with raisin, chocolate, and clove notes; clear dark walnut with a nice medium straw head; flavor is brown sugar, prunes, molasses, and a light chocolate note; has developed nicely over these last almost two years. Good thing I still have six to sit on for the next dozen or so years and see the development!
5/15/10 Another two years and this stuff is still fantastic. Still drinking very well. My favorite of the Vertical Epic Series!
Odeed (1776) - Bakersfield, California, USA - JUN 9, 2006
3.6 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: JUN 20, 2007 poured a super brown (almost black) body with red highlights.the head was very tiny but did stick around for a while.lots of belgian yeast in the aroma.followed by some brown sugar,and a hint of zesty spice.flavor was loaded with yeast as well.along with some chocolate,cloves,hay,and bananas.the palte was nice and complex and changed for several seconds.mouthfeel was on the medium side.id like to do a side by side with an 05 to see where they stand.(RE-RATE ON JUNE 20TH 2007)appearance is pretty much the same.althoughi now detect some cinnamon and ginger in the flavor.it seems like its holding up pretty well.
zug4abby (287) - San Diego, California, USA - JUN 9, 2006
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle thanks to DarkElf. Pours a clear, dark brown color with a very small tan head and no lacing. Aroma is malty and full of bananas with strong nut/malt hints coming through. Flavor is rampant with banana, yeast and malt and is very complex, some spice hints come through towards the end and more so as a beer warmed a little. very smooth and bubbly on the palate. This should age very well in my opinion.