DarkElf (2988) - La Jolla, California, USA - SEP 23, 2005
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
(Draft: Stone Brewing Days 2005 at Stuffed Sandwich in San Gabriel, CA) Duvel tulip glass in hand, I walk into Stuffed Sandwich for their Stone Brewing Days 3-day festival, hoping Iíd find something cool, but oh my heavens, look what Sam has on tap! I never thought Iíd see this in bottle or on draft ever again. Well, actually, Iíve never seen it before, not ever, since this came out just as I was moving out to San Diego, and I had better things on my mind at the time than beer hunting. Anyway, Sam has filled my Duvel glass right to the top, as always. I sip a bit off so that I donít spill it, and amazingly, the head builds back to the top. I get to my table and sip some more head, and sure enough, here comes the head, continuing to form, beautifully creamy, light tan in color, and just refusing to fade even in the slightest. I have to keep drinking, and only then does the head finally give in and stay at a thin layer, but it leaves a thick, dense foam on the glass for the duration of the session to remember it by. The body is fully cloudy, amber in color, and impossible to see through, even at the edges. The nose is only lightly hoppy, so clearly the hops has softened considerably, which is to be expected for a 4-year old beer. Instead, itís very earthy and woody, sweet, solidly malty, and certainly oxidized a bit. Similarly, the flavor is malty, earthy, woody, and mushroomy, but thereís also an obvious sweet fruitiness fighting through and holding its own. Itís not hoppy at all, and in fact, itís only mildly bitter, but that bitterness does show up a bit in the finish. Alcohol isnít really noticeable to me. Medium "plus" in body, but I think much of that "plus" is due to the aging. With the earthiness, this isnít a clean beer at this point, and with the mild hoppiness toward the end, the finish isnít terribly crisp either, but this is an IPA, so who could expect it to be? So clearly this beer is past its prime, and itís not the same beer it was when fresh four years ago, but unlike many other "old" non-cellarable beers Iíve tried, this is still remarkably drinkable and very enjoyable. True, I enjoy that earthy, mushroomy flavor and aroma, but because of the solid fruitiness, this beer is more than just an oxidized, earthy, mushroomy beer. Still, I have to be fair and say that this beer, four years after being brewed, isnít as amazing as it apparently was, but Iíve had no problem finishing the entire Duvel glass. As a rating buddy of mine said to me tonight, this is easily the best 4-year old IPA Iíve ever had.
radiomgb (2143) - Peterborough, Ontario, CANADA - AUG 30, 2005
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle. Golden-orange in colour, lasting tan head, very nice lace. The aroma was of mild citrus hops, some pine, earthy, with a caramel sweetness. The flavour was of piney hops, orange citrus, malty in the middle (caramel, some light butterscotch). Bitter mouthfeel, medium body, lively carbonation. FInishes with a long lingering bitterness. This has held up fantasticly, Thanks for the beer Larry Pitonka.
Radek Kliber (6287) - Toronto (Can) Krotoszyn (Pol), POLAND - AUG 24, 2005
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Pours neat top, cloudy, orange copper in colour. Aroma of butter due of age and good set of hops. Neat hoppy ale, medium bodied. I wish Stone Brewing brew new batch of this decent ale.
Dickinsonbeer (5076) - Hoboken, New Jersey, USA - AUG 5, 2005
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
RBSG 05. Very hazy murky pure orange with an ok light beige head which fades a bit. Lots of harsh citrus and pine hop aromas. Very sticky mouthfeel from the malt, but the hops dominate all the way on this one. Flavor is also somewhat harsh and metallic even. The hops have turned it almost grassy with some pine-sol. Harsh finish. Probably a lot better when it was fresh. Im surprised how much hops were still left in this beer though.
joeycapps (1468) - Waterdown, Ontario, CANADA - AUG 3, 2005
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Cloudy orange-amber w/ creamy off-white foam. Big hoppy citrus aroma over a firm foundation of caramel, toffee, & butterscotch. Thick, sticky, resiny feel. Flavour is heavily hoppy & bitter but sufficiently balance by the malt. The hops, however, though still aggressive seem to have faded somewhat over time.
jsquire (3227) - St. Marys, Ohio, USA - JUL 30, 2005
3.5 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Out of the 3 litre bottle at the 2005 RBSG. Murky orange with big foamy head. Nose of old hops. Flavors of oxidized beer and dried fruit, with the citrus nature of the hops still identifiable. The hops are showing their age, and add my name to the chorus that say if you still have one of these, it isnít getting any better.
burgerlicious (308) - Indianapolis, Indiana, USA - JUL 30, 2005
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Deep golden color with nice head. Excellent IPA, which I usually donít care for. Couldnít believe that itís 8.5%. Itís masked well.
richlikebeer (838) - Easton, Pennsylvania, USA - JUL 26, 2005
3.5 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
RBSG í05 - a cloudy orange color with a white soapy head. some citrus and pine hops in the aroma, which is pretty much what the flavor profile was as well, but added a base of sweet malts to counter some of the hop bitterness. you could taste that this was a couple years old, and was probably alot better in its prime, based on how good it still was now.
asheft (2372) - Ottawa, Ontario, CANADA - JUL 26, 2005
3.5 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
[Magnum at RBSG]
Hazy, yellowish orange with dotty lace and a bubbly white ring. Oxidized cereal grain aroma with ethanol, candy, and lemon notes. Also a touch of pine hops scent. The flavour is salty with hops yet with surprisingly low bitterness. Pumpernickel, some pine and subdued citrus. Probably aged too long. Medium body and moderate carbonation.
IPFreely (1470) - Sanborn, New York, USA - JUL 26, 2005
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
For being four years old this still has quite a hoppy punch. This was getting some cardboard qulaities to it and becoming somewhat astringent, though. There were still nice signs of the grapefruity hops, balanced out by the toffee flavored malts. Decent beer, Iím sure it was better a couple years ago.