Odeed (1799) - Bakersfield, California, USA - FEB 12, 2007
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
(RATING NUMBER 990!2006 BOTTLE FROM MCBACKUS)top opened with a loud "POP".then 2 or 3 seconds later the bottle began to gush.i dont think this was from movement in shipping.more like an overcarbonation or infection issue.as soon as i started pouring it i could smell the beer.lots of belgian yeast followed by bananas,figs,caramel and roasted malts,all spice,and raisins all made up the aroma.i was surprised by the appearance as it looked more like an imerial stout than a belgian strong.the body was black as black with a huge dark brown head.as the head settled it left some webbing but i honestly expected more.the flavor was huge!smoke,caramel,brown sugger,a fine cigar,dark fruits,all spice,chocolateliquorice,and almonds.mouthfeel was nice and full and the alcohol well hidden.honestly i dont see why this isnt rated even higher than it is.
IrishBoy (4070) - Bakersfield, California, USA - FEB 11, 2007
4.8 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
2006 Bottle from Footbalm; Nose is wonderfully complex mix of banana, dark fruit, raisins, caramel, and fantastic sweet spices; hazy walnut color with a big tan head that hangs around for a while; flavor of brown sugga, raisins, dark caramel, nad some pumkin pie spices! Now where am I going to get a couple more bottles to age?
boboski (1095) - Alabama, USA - FEB 7, 2007
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
2006. This is the most beautiful looking Belgian I have ever had, the first beer that made me wish the appearance scale could be adjusted to a higher number for special circumstances. Such a picturesque, statuesque and stately head, boldly bobbing atop a gleaming mahogany body that is hazy and so creamy, seems to be melting rather than diminishing. Rarely have I been so thrilled at the sight of a beer. The aroma is mind boggling in its complexity and stunning array of fragrant nuances. Berries of every variety mingle seemlessly with robust caramel malts and chocolate. Vanilla is intertwined with spicy and earthy ginger and sherry. Miraculous it is not, but it’s darn close. Flavor is very sweet, with tastes of caramel, more dark fruits, dates, chocolate, hazelnut, port and/or sherry and alcohol coyly hiding in the shadows. Monstrous yet balanced, playful yet so refined. Effortless though it is to partake in, it’s near impossible to sit down, or even admire from afar. The palate is a touch spicy at times but lovely in its entirety. Finishes sweet and elegant. Masterful to the Nth degree.
highlandlad (1462) - Blue Mountains, AUSTRALIA - FEB 7, 2007
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 14/20
An exceptional Belgian strong ale displaying a delicate sweet/sour balance. It reminded me a bit of Thorogoods Billy B’s Malted Golden Ale in its intensity of flavours. For my money, it errs on the sweet side, but that’s a minor criticism of a fine ale. Brown with a solid head. Not as sweet in the aroma as the Pannepeut - this has sherbet and plenty of sour cherries. Perfect palate - soft and creamy. Lots of caramelised sugars, tokay and dried fruits. Terrific stuff but just a bit too sweet IMO. (Bottle courtesy of Duff at the Sydney RateBeer Jan 07 gathering - thanks amigo)
Hugh (202) - 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 (1744) - 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 (1313) - 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.