riversideAK (5727) - Shoreline, Washington, USA - FEB 11, 2009
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle shared by after4ever. The aroma is full of dark fruits, fruit cake, a touch of tartness from the oak. Dark brown pour with a light head. The flavor is initially a little tart and oaky, followed is fruit cake, dark sweet malts, a touch more oak, and some boozey warmth in the finish.
mike_77 (3603) - Breda, NETHERLANDS - FEB 11, 2009
3.1 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Dark brown colour with thin head. Aroma full of rich, dark fruits and a little sour oak. Tastes somewhat sour but there’s enough sugar to keep this reasonably well balanced. Amongst the sour oak and alcohol some dark fruits creep through. The high level of alcohol and the oak do help to emulate some brandy-like undertones.
auerbrau (3182) - Peace Dale, Rhode Island, USA - FEB 9, 2009
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
33cL bottle. A meaty fist of alcohol punches my nose and bowls me over with apple-puckered gin. Surprisingly savory and bold. Gutsy. An amalgamation of malt roast and barrel char meet for a real chewy kick of smoke. Pours a vibrant ruby-mahogany, clear with a long, sweeping lace in mocha. Palate gives that explosive foam, I’m used to. This follows with a quick dispersion of flavors. There’s definitely a smokey corner to this beer, running over some sweet apple, pear, and almond extract edges. There’s a tangy, aged malt waft that adds some balance to the crispness of the alcohols and the murky underlying fire. This doesn’t quite have the sprightly explosiveness I remember with the straight version, but I do appreciate the Calvados inflection and some of the more smokey notes I’m picking up in this barrel version. An old-Fullers-like hop dust graces the backend with some lemon character. Even with the barrel addition, this beer maintains its palate deftness without compromise. And that’s something I can really appreciate. Warming, the spice picks up steam and adds some needing complexity. Thanks Sammy!
SHIG (3798) - Wasilla, Alaska, USA - FEB 9, 2009
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle: Poured a reddish brown with no head. Aroma is woodsy, liquorice, and fruit. Taste is winey, sweet liquorice, and the oak still presents just enough bitterness to make this balanced. Very enjoyable!
Cole (967) - , Alberta, CANADA - JAN 27, 2009
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 15/20
330ml bottle. 2005 vintage. Strong complex aroma. Flavors of chocolate, fruit, raisins, and oak. The fiish is rather sour, with a hint of licorice and coffee. You can really taste the 10%. This is a good beer but at $25/bottle it is not worth it.
BeerandBlues2 (10447) - San Diego, California, USA - JAN 26, 2009
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Pours cloudy ruby-brown with a small, rocky, light brown head, somewhat lasting with fair lacing. Aroma is heavy malt (cookie, caramel, toffee), average hops (flowers, herbs), average yeast (horse blanket, earth, leaves) with notes of dates, vanilla, and cinnamon. Full bodied, sticky texture, average carbonation, and a bitter finish. Average duration, light sweetness, moderate acidity and bitterness.
mgermani (1000) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - JAN 26, 2009
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pours a light brown with a thin off-white head with poor retention but some lace. Aroma of dark sweet apple cider & brown sugar with cinnamon. Tastes much like a toasted apple pie, caramel with apple and cloves, allspice, just a hint of heat from the spices and not much in the way of alco-burn, which is nice, but a bit less complex and spicy than the regular variety. Thin slightly creamy body with ok carb. This is quite subtle and enjoyable, but a bit of a let-down considering its much spicier cousin. Many thanks to Boutip for the trade!
altonbrownd (3680) - Brussels, BELGIUM - JAN 24, 2009
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle from Cracked Kettle. Dark body. Tan head. Sweet and complex nose. Taste of malt, caramel, toffee, vanilla. Very smooth and drinkable.
fidel (1302) - Livermore, California, USA - JAN 19, 2009
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pours dark amber, malty, dark fruits, caramel, wood, vanilla, little yeasty, clean finish.
AgentSteve (1640) - SF Bay Area, California, USA - JAN 19, 2009
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: SEP 17, 2009 Pours attractive deep brown with a finger thick tan head. The flavor and nose on this was rich and powerful without being too sweet. Dried fruit, caramel, cherries, vanilla, oak, all blending nicely. Creamy on the palate.