jfb (4534) - Freising, GERMANY - SEP 22, 2009
4.1 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
(bottle, 2007) pours the darkest clear ruby colour with a frothy, quickly-diminishing light brown head. complex but restrained aroma of different kinds of fruit, some cherries, strawberries and banana, oak, yeast, subtle hints of vanilla and cinnamon and very little alcohol. flavour is dark grainy toasted malts and yeast, with light notes of fruit and spices and a chewy, bready warming finish. medium to strong body with lively carbonation, alcohol is well-hidden.
finol (2393) - Stockholm, SWEDEN - SEP 20, 2009
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Shared 2007 vintage 33cl bottle at Monks Cafe, Wallingatan Stockholm.
This is a big beer with lots of licorice, grape, wine and chocolate.
hirigalzkar (2476) - Stockholm, SWEDEN - SEP 20, 2009
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
2007 bottle. Vinous, chocolaty and fruity with a small touch of licoriice in the finish. Smooth and elegant.
illinismitty (2270) - Nashville, Tennessee, USA - SEP 19, 2009
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle at Springlslickers fish fry. Pours a murky dark amber with a tan head. Aroma of dessert breads and spice. Flavor of christmas spices, dark fruit, and caramel. You sense but not taste the alcohol on the finish. I picked up some metallic notes as well. I wish I took better notes on this, but I do know that I like the regular MUCH better.
ajm (1066) - Los Angeles, California, USA - SEP 14, 2009
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
2005 750ml bottle from pantanap. Thanks Kan!!! What I admired most about this was how it staved off oxidation for this many years. Another monument to Struise’s unbridled excellence. As far as the goods, I found them a full, balanced single note: raisins. Everywhere. The Struise house yeast saves the day as usual but I find 12 oz bottles of Pannepot to be crushingly complex in comparison. Just IMO.
LooseCannon (938) - Norfolk, Virginia, USA - SEP 14, 2009
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
750ml Bottle courtesy of Immy at Immy’s Backyard Throwdown, vintage 2005. Pours cloudy copper in color with tan head. Aroma sweet, malty and brown sugar. Taste spicy, malty and woody with bitter finish.
nbutler11 (1267) - Wiesbaden, Hesse, GERMANY - SEP 14, 2009
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: SEP 15, 2009 Rating #700. Bottle shared like a baller by ajm -- big ups for securing this through a trade. Pours prune with a beige head. Smells gloriously of raisins from across the room. Upon closer inspection wood, vanilla, and tart fruit are also apparent in the aroma. All of these flavors along with plum and brown sugar are concentrated in a Normandy-like assault at the front of the palate, followed by tannins on the mid, and oats landing on the shore after the battle. Well done.
hughie (3996) - Bedford, Bedfordshire, ENGLAND - SEP 8, 2009
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle, 2007. Very dark brown with a beige head. Sweet, leathery aroma with pear drops. Taste is richly malty and immensely sweet, like crystallised dates. A curious backtaste of baked apple served with custard and golden syrup. Some late dryness. Near perfection, but I must say I began to find the sweetness a little cloying towards the end.
Bloekie (210) - BELGIUM - SEP 7, 2009
4.9 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
There’s really nothing more to say that someone might just call this the "special edition" of the best beer in the world. I never thought I would try this one, until Urbain came walking in with half a crate! I will be forever grateful that I had the opportunity to try this gem!
FlacoAlto (3810) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - SEP 5, 2009
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
A careful pour into my 25cl tulip glass produces a three finger thick, lightly amber tinged, tan colored head that forms a fluffy, textured surface and leaves lots of lace on the sides of the glass as it slowly subsides. The aroma smells of tart raisins, prunes and figs that lie on top of a dense, toasted grain, molasses spice cake note. Hints of spicy and toasted oak character lightly scent the beer, but play a subdued role in the nose. There are also red wine like notes (rich, tannic berry notes) and a concentrated tamarind note. Once you dig around and explore enough here you notice a funky, musty mushroom note that becomes noticeable in the finish; it reminds me a bit of a musky blankey that has is scented with dried sweat. Other aromatic notes of light chocolate, earthy coriander, cherry pits, and quite a fully malty note are noticeable here as well; this last contributes a dark toasted, though not roasted, deeply caramelized, and brown malt character. The concentrated fruit and malt in the nose take on a sort of smoky quality at times. The nose on this beer is incredibly complex, it is very intriguing and worth exploring in detail.
The beer is full bodied as it first hits my tongue, but has a prickly effervescent carbonation that struggles free of the viscous heft. The beer tastes lightly sweet, but is still significantly savory. The beer has a sort of has a dark honey flavor to it, but without that cloying sweetness that honey has. Notes of molasses, tart-concentrated fruit (prune and fig as well as a touch of raisin that seems to get a bit bigger as the beer warms) and some dark cocoa notes in the finish start to come out after a couple sips. This is quite rich and satiating, but not overly sweet; in fact the tart and sweet notes are in such a good balance that neither is overtly noticeable. The malt character is concentrated and brooding with lots of Maillard browning flavors, a molasses character, some notes of dark caramel, savory complex sugars, plus some toasted / caramelized dark bread crust flavors. There is a nice spiciness here that, again, is not a note that is overtly noticeable; it provides a touch of clove flavor, earthy coriander notes, an oaky spiciness (this is the most noticeable spice note, but still is fairly subtle), a touch of ginger, a peppery piquancy in the finish, a richly integrated anise note (though more like one that has been cooked for a long time), a definite note of mahleb (if you consider this a spice), mellow vanilla, hints of mace and a wisp of cardamom.
This is possibly the most balanced strong beer I have ever had; this shows a finesse that is rarely achieved, it has a melding of sweet & tart, malt / fruit & spice, oak & base beer as well as earthy & bright notes. Definitely a tour de force, it takes what can be a phenomenal base beer and adds a couple more layers, as well as a melding process that integrates everything together as a whole. I like that this has lost the sweetness of the base beer (though even the 2006 Pannepot I had last night was not aggressively sweet).