notalush (4208) - Denver, Colorado, USA - DEC 24, 2006
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
2006 bottle from santa - nearly black, stout-like pour, with a creamy tan head - the aroma is spicy up front, with notes of raisins and plums, and a slight vinous/red wine character - quite sweet and port-like, with some aromatic, floral flavors (lavender and rose mostly) - some brandy-like qualities - sweet but never cloying - warming alcohol that never becomes boozy - a really nice after dinner beverage.
JJClark (550) - Roscoe, Illinois, USA - DEC 24, 2006
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Vintage 2005 33 cl bottle from trade with Boutip. Thanks Phil! What an amazing beer. Pours a hazy reddish brown color with a big fat frothy head. Aroma of sweet dates, yeast, raisins, spices and chocolate. Taste is extremely complex with all sorts of flavors dancing on the tongue. You can only detect the alcohol very slightly and it warms the back of your throat. This beer has all of the flavors of the aroma and finishes clean with a bit of fig sweetness. Bravo!
BeerPrince (1701) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - DEC 20, 2006
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Brown with a big white head. Spicey with cinnamon and nutmeg. Bitter and minerally with caramel malts. Very sweet finish and thick body. A nice beer with complexity and balance.
shadey (1768) - Nashville, Tennessee, USA - DEC 19, 2006
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Black pour with a rediculously huge rocky head of chocolate cream. Plenty of lacing. Aroma is spicy chocolate and yeasty. Pretty nice stuff.
GregClow (2740) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - DEC 17, 2006
4.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle shared with HogTownHarry & blankboy - courtesy of HogTownHarry. Pours a deep mahogany-brown with a small mocha head that leaves lots of lace. Fantastic aroma - sweet roast, caramel, dried figs, musky spice, with slight medicinal tinge. Mouthfeel is smooth and silky. Flavour - wow, where did that coffee come from? Very unexpected, but very nice, meshing well with notes of plum & fig, rich chocolate, licorice, brown sugar and yeast, leading to a long mocha finish. Totally lives up to all the hype. Thank so much for sharing, Harry!
Sham (1845) - Seattle, Washington, USA - DEC 14, 2006
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Mahogany with a huge white head. Coriander, maybe nutmeg. Bitter and earthy with caramel malts. Alcohol heat with some citrus and dark fruits. Very sweet finish and thick bodied.
peterstrongale (43) - Tampa, Florida, USA - DEC 3, 2006
4.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Deep brown almost black beer with a thick and creamy beige head. Aroma is very powerfull, it has coffee notes, sweet accents of candy sugar, cherries, cinnamon, nuts, roasted malts and spices. The taste rich, very rich. It has a complex mix of coffee and chocolate (sweet bitters), also accents of figgs, plums and honey with a fine touch of spices. Aftertaste is sweet, malty (roasted malts), honey, spices, sour and sweet fruits with some woody and hoppy bitterings in the end. Alcohol is totally hidden and the taste stays in your mouth for minutes. A FANTASTIC BEER !
FlacoAlto (3506) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - DEC 2, 2006
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
2006 bottle vintage, Sampled November 2006
Rich, fruity notes of sweet prunes emanate from my glass as I pour this brew. It is topped by an initially two-finger thick head that is frothy in texture, clings to the side of my glass a bit and shows a lightly hazy, purplish, dark brown color. It is well carbonated with streaming bubbles of CO2 madly making there way up through the beer. The aroma is heady and sweet with dark fruit notes comprising a major component of the aromatic notes. Notes of cherries, figs, raisins and prunes, as well as a touch of fruit-like tart notes predominantly comprise the fruit driven aromatics. A touch of hot alcohol is noticeable as well, it is quite subtle and adds a not unlike that in a rich brandy. The alcohol mixes with some other spicy notes that are all quite subtle, but at times remind me of pepper, clove, perhaps a touch of cardamom or even nutmeg and a touch of ginger. Interestingly enough, as I dig around a bit more into the aroma the sweet cherry component takes on a larger, more prominent role. There is lots of layered malt character here as well; in addition to the malt driven part of the fruit notes, there are aromas of caramelized, brown sugar encrusted sweet breads and even some notes of molasses.
The first sip leaves me a touch surprised; it is quite a bit drier than I was expecting, based on my reflections of the aroma. This is sweet though and even lightly tart. It almost has a tamarind like character to it. Fruity notes of concentrated sweet / tart plums and plump, lightly caramelized raisins add a softness to this brew that is quite nice. In fact, while this is quite flavorful (even largely so), this beer is defined by its soft, smooth, mouth coating character that makes is oh so drinkable, yet rich and satiating at the same time.
This beer really is about the balance that it strikes. The mixture of richness, light sweetness, tart character, lightly spicy hotness, mouth coating richness, yet reasonable quaffability make for a beguiling brew that just begs to be experienced sip after sip.
LeopoldStoch (201) - Green, Ohio, USA - NOV 30, 2006
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Big thanks to Backus for this one! The aroma is really nice on this beer. Lots of yeasty characteristics with sour cherries and maybe chocolate or cocoa powder. The appearance is very dark for a Belgian strong, with a beautiful pillow like fluffy head that last and last. The mouthfeel is very tingly and carbonated, and the flavors are reminiscent of maybe the rochefort 8 or 10. I like it alot! Some dark fruits, chocolates, sour cherries and more. I would liek the palate to be a little thicker, but it is good at where it is. And the 10% alc. is no where to be seen. Highly recommend trying this beer...and thanks to the Struise brewers for finally bringing this beer to the states.
reakt (948) - Greater London, ENGLAND - NOV 27, 2006
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: JAN 22, 2008 Bottle from Delerium cafe, Brussels. Wow! What a treat and the perfect ending to my long weekend in Brussels. Dark, crystal clear red in colour with thin, off white head. Nose of red wine with a strong undertone of alcohol and floaty top notes of tart fruits and brown sugar. Red berries lead to a clean, strong finish of oak, red wine and nuts. Intermediate hints of peanut butter and caramel. A lot of character and warmth in even the smallest sip. Impossible to appropriately rate in one go. Stunning!