Drake (9964) - Free Union, Virginia, USA - SEP 11, 2009
4.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
22 ounce bottle from Wine Warehouse in Charlottesville, VA. Pours a very dark brown color with a large tan head. Good head retention and lacing. The aroma is very roasty with hints of smoke, caramel, chocolate and light citrus and other fruits. Tastes is strong dark chocolate and banana with other tropical fruits, citrus, leafy hops, smoke, vanilla and faint wood notes. Very smooth with a faint but lingering hop burn. Full bodied. Nice beer.
FatPhil (9905) - Tallinn, ESTONIA - OCT 24, 2014
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: OCT 25, 2014 660ml bottle (dunno which webshop, maybe biercompass.de)
Lovely rich roasty aroma, some chocolate hints. Basically black, sticky large tan head. Very full palate, smooth, and in some ways a bit slick, but it’s working for me at the moment (I have a bit of a cold). Great roast, some more of the chocolatey aspects, earthy hops, touch of a metallic tooth-coating noble hop bitterness too. Finish starts with a slight burntness, then some cocoa-powdery chocalitiness. But some lovely dark treacle too. The earlier sips were so gentle - no sign of 8.6% at all. It does get just a little headier as it warms, but it never becomes hot or boozy. Gentleness is this guy’s winning feature. Aged perfectly, I’d like to say, at 5 years, but probably still has many more years in its peak. Good stuff, Stone!
hopscotch (9896) - Vero Beach, Florida, USA - SEP 8, 2009
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Draft… Pitch black ale with a small, creamy, khaki head. Good retention. The aroma is of charcoal, espresso, chocolate, light clove and a rumor of campfire smoke. Full-bodied and very silky with medium carbonation. The flavor is roasty, burnt and bitter with hints of spicy Belgian phenols. Reminiscent of a weizen bock. Lengthy, burnt, bitter finish.
hopdog (9453) - Lansdale, Pennsylvania, USA - SEP 15, 2009
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Poured a dark black color, with reddish/brown edges, and an averaged sized off white head. Aromas of chocolate, licorice, citrus, spices, some roastiness, fruity, and vanilla. Tastes of chocolate, vanilla, citrus, vanilla, spiciness, and some coffee in the finish.
Sammy (9198) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - OCT 19, 2009
3.8 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
On-tap at Cole’s. Chocolate quad. Very dark Belgian chocolate brown with thick lace. Full mouthfeel. Thick lace follows. Fruity, a sipper, there is chocolate and there is bitteress in the mouth.
GT2 (9102) - San Diego County, California, USA - OCT 2, 2009
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 12/20
Bomber into Unibroue tulip. Looks beautiful: pretty much pitch black with a towering dark, rocky, dense, tan head that has completely insane retention and leaves sheets of lacing. Aroma is a bit of dark chocolate, molasses, smoked bacon/ham moving to a vinous, candi sugar complexity. Taste is semi-sweet chocolates, cafe latte, some burnt toast. Very much like a smoked or stout. Huge bitter finish. Not sure how cellaring this would bring out any improvements.
Dogbrick (8966) - Columbus, Ohio, USA - FEB 22, 2013
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
On draught at Brews Cafe. Pours motor oil black with a medium tan head that diminishes steadily to an outer ring. Rings of lacing on the glass. Aroma of earthy malt, chocolate and dark fruit. Medium body with flavors of roasted malt, dark chocolate, slightly sour fruit and oak. The finish is oaky with a tart fruit aftertaste. Did not have this one when it came out, but still pretty enjoyable.
JoeMcPhee (8746) - Toronto, ON, Ontario, CANADA - SEP 20, 2009
3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 11/20
Tap at Rattle N Hum. Deep amber-brown pour with a thick creamy tan head. The nose is loaded with rummy spiciness. Lots of plum and spice and a kiss of vanilla. There is a lot of molasses in here as well. The body is quite lean and boozy. A little bit peppery. I’m not really a huge fan of this at all. Maybe it’ll be better in the bottle.
crossovert (8496) - Illinois, USA - APR 9, 2011
3.1 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
On tap, it was thicker and roastier, and more stout-like than a typical bsda, though it was a n easy drinker.
MartinT (8328) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - AUG 29, 2010
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
My Bottom Line:
Chocolate malts, lemon verbena and peppery vanilla move atop oak chip flavors in this Belgian-style Strong Ale which is more redolent of a spicy Stout than anything else.
Further Personal Perceptions:
-A creamy layer of foam covers the dark brown-hued blackness.
-The body is hefty but pillowy.
-The vanilla and French oak combine for a vinous touch in the finish.
-Roasted malts also contribute the flavor profile.