Duhast500 (414) - Cumberland, Rhode Island, USA - AUG 27, 2014
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Poured from a 22oz. bottle into a Harpoon snifter glass.
The color is a dark black with a finger or two of foamy brownish/tan head that relaxes back into the darkness of this beer.
The smell is a complete surprise. There is a nice belgian chocolate aroma that is top notch. Some great malt flavor in the nose that reminds me of peanut brittle and caramel.
The taste is coffee and dark chocolate throughout and it hits the palate and pushes open the curtains and just walks right in. A big kick toward the end with a bit of a oak flavor that lets the chocolate and coffee bean ride on top.
This beer does kick but it hides the boozy overtones with some well places flavors and a nice warm feel in the back that feels like a warm blanket on a cold night. There is some carbonation that lightens the heavier ABV and and is the glue that seems to hold everything in place.
beer-yum (599) - Wellington, NEW ZEALAND - AUG 23, 2014
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Huge body, brilliant balance, and massively complex make this an excellent beer. But it is missing that little ’something’ that makes an excellent beer great - and for that reason it’s a little disappointing.
Darkmagus82 (1828) - - AUG 21, 2014
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Transfer from BA review on 1-1-13-
Served on tap in a 10 oz tulip glass
Appearance – Served a pitch black color with a one finger tan head. The head fades relatively quickly to leave a great level of lacing on the side of the glass.
Smell- The aroma is heaviest of a roasted malt smell and aromas of clove and cinnamon. Mixed with this there is a light sweetness of some chocolate as well as a light citrus hop aroma.
Taste – The taste begins with a roasted malt flavor. As the taste advances further some sweet chocolate flavors come to the tongue. A coffee flavor and spice flavors of cinnamon and clove spice then develops in the taste, quickly following the fruit flavors. More toward the end, as the coffee and roast intensify some, a bitter hop flavor of a earthy and citrus nature comes to the tongue. These flavors, with a light alcohol flavor, create an odd bitter and roasted flavor to linger on the tongue.
Mouthfeel – The body of the beer was on the average to slightly lower side for a 9% abv brew with a carbonation level that was rather average. The carbonation was good for keeping and making an easy drinking brew, although a slightly thicker body may have been nicer for the darker flavors.
Overall – Not really what I was expected in something that is labeled as a Belgian strong dark. It is roastier and hoppier then I would expect. It wasn’t bad though as it did have quite nice transitions between a more initial roast, followed by a light sweet and spice and then finished with a hoppy flavor.
Travlr (13422) - Washington, Washington DC, USA - AUG 21, 2014
3.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Draft on 12/12/12. Hazy brown color. Aroma of herbs and coffee grounds. Taste is a jumble of an off mix of herbs, plus some brown bread.
Benzai (8986) - Oirschot, THE NETHERLANDS, NETHERLANDS - AUG 19, 2014
2.4 AROMA 2/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 9/20
Bottle shared with Ferris and Fonefan. Opaque black color, average sized brown head. Horrible herbal and spicy aroma. It reminds me of (Dutch) speculaas. Taste isn’t so bad, though I will never order another one. Mainly herbs and spices again, "speculaas", some roast, sweetish a bit as well as some bitter. Medium to full body, medium carbonation.
Ferris (5002) - Burnaby, British Columbia, CANADA - AUG 11, 2014
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle - Clove, cinnamon, dark sugar and chocolate. Jet black with a nice brown head. Chocolate and dark sugars, clove and a tasty bitterness at the finish. Tastes stronger than it tastes, which is good.
LoFi (1595) - Göteborg, SWEDEN - AUG 4, 2014
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 12/20
Dark, light brown head.
Aroma: glögg and Christmas spices, pomerans, licorice.
Taste: glögg spices, julmust, grapefruit, bitter, malty, fruity, syrup.
Interesting to follow the VE series, but would probably not have this again if it was regularly available.
Joakgust (962) - Stockholm, SWEDEN - JUL 30, 2014
3.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
Bottle. Opaque black beer with a large beige head. Aroma is malty with notes of cloves, caramel spices and cola. Flavor is malty with notes of cloves, dried fruit and caramel. High potential, although at this point it isn’t really quite finished maturing.
Slipstream (2076) - USA - JUL 26, 2014
4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
The last of the Vertical series? Damn! Well, I’m sure Stone will continue to entertain us with excellent surprise releases. This has a full, dark aroma - prune, petals, chocolate, and applesauce. This is pretty dry and hard to pin down in terms of style. It tastes smoky and chocolaty, with a little tobacco, prune, and espresso. This had a little of that rustic ale quality to it also. If I hadn’t seen the label, I would not have guessed it was a Stone. As it is, it is another fine one from them!
hman43 (410) - Pinehurst, North Carolina, USA - JUL 12, 2014
4.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
It pours black with a dark brown head that produces a fair amount of lacing. The cinnamon, ginger, and allspice are the first things that come through in the aroma. There is a sweet smell that is present it whiffs after that. It has a rich, yet dry flavor with the cinnamon and ginger producing a complex flavor with the allspice combination. There is also roasted malt that is present especially on the palate. Unlike many beers in this alcohol range, the alcohol is not over powering to the point where it effects the overall flavor and taste.