Hugh (153) - Zillebeke, BELGIUM - FEB 5, 2007
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
UPDATED: MAR 20, 2008 Competently brewed. Brown, possible red-brown beer, meduim carbonation. Brown sugar present. Too sweet for my tastes but typical for the more commercial Belgian barley wine brands. The label lists other flavours to be discovered, but unlike other reviewers, I couldn’t find them. Looking at the five reviews below this, and the aromas and flavours found in them, I had to laugh at the power of suggestion.
Stine (1475) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - FEB 5, 2007
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: FEB 1, 2008 The pour is a dense chocolate-coffee brown. Chocolate and oaky whiskey in the aroma with touches of black licorice and vinegar. Flavor is quite confusing but approachable, and strange in a favorable way. Elements are bitter chocolate, soy sauce, red bell pepper and malty brown sugar. Whispers of amaretto and smoke put the finishing touches on this very heady concoction, defying descriptions. Warming with a searing intensity, yet comfortingly rich and smooth. To be sure I certainly wouldn’t recommend this a "fisherman’s ale" - it strikes me as more appropriate for less docile or predictable adventures.
Murphy (1759) - Fort Collins, Colorado, USA - FEB 4, 2007
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle. Pours with a huge fluffy beige head, body is dark reddish brown, almost opaque. Rich aroma of yeast, plumb, molassis. Flavor is diverse fruit, molassis, brown sugar. Almost smokey malts. Clean finish, slightly oaky. Body is near perfect, silky with light oil. Moderate ethanol, appropriate. Very balanced, delicious beer. Thanks Nick!
Aarleks (409) - Sydney, AUSTRALIA - FEB 2, 2007
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle (Sydney Summer Gathering 2007): Oh my! For a bitterly cold winter’s night you couldn’t really ask for anything else. This fortifying ale lives up to its reputation and puts to shame most other attempts at the style. Almost opaque black under a tan head. Aromas of cola spiced with licquirice and medicinal herbs start to warm the blood. In the mouth the heat burns sweetly with figs, dates, and other caramelised fruits and lots of dark brown sugar, delivered via a beautifully creamy palate. However, these words simply can’t do justice to this outstandingly good beer.
tennisjoel (1161) - Rochester, Minnesota, USA - FEB 2, 2007
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
I am eagerly anticipating drinking this. Opened the bottle and it was a gusher. But I was able to save most of it. Huge muddy colored head. Awesome aroma. Raisin, plum, cocoa, spice, and cherry. Very sweet flavor, although I detect sour cherry which keeps it from being too sweet. Yum.
whaleman (2178) - North Wales, Pennsylvania, USA - FEB 2, 2007
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: FEB 3, 2007 Deep burgundy body with noticeable jets of carbonation and a persistent rippled, foamy tan head. Aroma of nutmeg, anise, rum raisin, brown sugar, dark chocolate, and pepper. Sweet and delectable flavor with nice integration of clove, licorice, and pumpkin spice with pleasing dark malt and candy sugar. Has a plum-skin character with a light edge of acidity. Velvety body with soft, mouth-filling carbonation. This is an undeniably well-crafted and creative beer, but could be out-of-this-world with a little more attenuation.
badgerben (4386) - Blaine, Minnesota, USA - JAN 30, 2007
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
2006 Bottle. Pours pretty much black with a thick, tan, frothy head. Wow... the aroma is just sadistically good. Dry malt along with very light cloves and cinnamon. It almost smells like a Christmas ale in the making! Insanely complex taste... It’s got some sweet malt rounded out with a mild yet very obvious spice. I’m not sure I’d stick with my cloves statement, but think wintery spices, not corriander and "typical" Belgian spices. Cardamom? Some yeast, but not overpowering. It may be the description influencing me, but almost salty? Holy damn is this a fine freakin brew!!
thebaldwizard (1205) - Ohio, USA - JAN 30, 2007
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle from The_Epeeist, thanks a ton!! Malty, vinuous aroma with just a hint of sourness. Very dark brown with a monster tan head. Medium to full palate is extremely smooth. Big brown sugar taste with yeasts flavors and a great malt backbone. This is an excellent brew.
TomDecapolis (4436) - Milton, Delaware, USA - JAN 30, 2007
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
2006 Bottle. Gusher! Pours a deep brown with some hints of amber when held to the light. Head was large, foamy, deep tan that left lots of sticky lacing. Aroma of dark fruits, brown sugar, cherry, caramel, hints of honey and alcohol. Flavors of dark fruits, roasted malts, sweet yet creamy with tingling carbonation. Some molasses, cherry, some spices, sugary, some chocolate, burnt caramel. Also picking up some of the yeast in the flavor. Just a ton going on in the flavor and even the aroma. I would be interested in finding out what they use to spice this beer.
DocLock (7721) - Lower Pottsgrove, Pennsylvania, USA - JAN 29, 2007
4.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Bottle from State Line. Pours burnt sienna with huge 3-finger head that gets fluffier at the repour. The aroma is heavy figgy fruit, brown sugary malt, slight band-aid, cherry, blackberry, plum...extremely complex aroma. The palate is rich, very complex, and very well balanced, with flavors of spicy scotch aley malt, a soluid dose of brown sugar and figs, some molasses, blackberry, and cherry. The repour is thicker, with tons of floating yeasty and malty goodness. I’d pay hansomely for the original version, but this one is astounding!!!!!! Get me some more!!!!!!!