GAManiac (1944) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - SEP 5, 2012
3.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
750ml bottle with orange wax.
Pours a deep, clear orange with a small soapy beige head that recedes slowly and leaves some sticky legs and lacing on the sides.
Aroma is boozy as hell with lots of alcohol, vanilla, and oak. Sweetness dominates the nose in the form of heavily caramelized sugar and booze-soaked light fruits, apricots and pears. Hints of citrus as well, oranges especially, though itís definitely hidden behind the alcohol and sugary sweetness.
Whoa, and I thought the aroma was heavy. The taste is oaky tannins, molasses, orange zest and straight up alcohol, which just completely burns the throat after each sip. Apricots and pears are still there but the spiciness and boozy burn are the dominant components.
Mouthfeel is heavy and massively sweet and alcoholic. Decent carbonation keeps it from getting completely out of hand.
This is a serious beer and one to be shared as the booze, in my opinion, is not hidden at all. I would peg it pretty close to 15%. Not my favorite from Surly, but, hey, thatís a high bar.
Nuffield (3717) - Roseville, Minnesota, USA - SEP 2, 2012
4.1 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
I donít advise a big glass of this as the first beer in a tasting of big beers... wow, quite a beer. And very engagingly curious, with the woods giving the nose a lovely complexity, though it is a burning complexity. Clear golden. Pronounced sweetness makes it a more marmelade-style pine/orange hop monster. I ended up liking this quite a lot. Well done. Bottle.
brokensail (11599) - Orange County, California, USA - AUG 31, 2012
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 12/20
The pour is a slightly hazed golden amber color with an off-white head. A bit of citrus/grapefruit peel, some floral hops, and a light wood note. Plenty of caramel, some alcohol, and a lot of sugar. Flavor has a nice fruitiness to it, nice peach, grapefruit, and tangerine. Plenty of sugar, light alcohol, and piney hops. A bit of oak and vanilla, and very strong sweetness. Nice flavor to it, but the strength of it is just too much for me.
portableparty (1957) - Blaine, Minnesota, USA - AUG 31, 2012
3.1 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
750ml bottle to a snifter. Pours clear bright amber with a tight soapy off white head that settles to a film and collar. Aroma is sweet and bitter with fruitiness honey vanilla and woodiness... Taste has a strong bitter sweet flavor with vanilla piny hops and wood that create a strange fruitiness and malty flavor with what I suspect of the booze showing through, but yet seems hidden or well mixed and yet, I then get spice and pepper too. Palate seems medium and slick with a strong warming dry finish. This one is again complex, yet straight forward and I really donít know if I am enjoying this or wishing there were more traditional characteristics showing through. This is by far the least intriguing brew that I have had by Surly!
dimenhetfield (2487) - , Florida, USA - AUG 26, 2012
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
Bottle shared with friends. When I saw that this was a Strong Ale I figured it would be dark and murky with a good amount of alcohol in the nose. Well I pretty wrong. The color is somewhat clear, light brown, with good carbonation. The aroma didnít really have any alcohol burn to it, more woody malty presence then anything. Not sure how I felt bout the flavor, but I was pretty surprised that the the 15%ABV was masked so well.
madvike (2905) - Middleton, Wisconsin, USA - AUG 24, 2012
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
On tap at GTMW - Pours amber with a light white head. Nose is savory herbs, mango, with light malt, garlic, and a metallic twinge. Taste is the same--a very weird mix of flavors. 15% isnít too present, but for a warm belly. Lots of smooth carbonation, but the whole thing feels weird and off. Not going to track down a bottle of this.
rbfishstick (141) - Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA - AUG 19, 2012
3 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Enjoyed at GTMW 2012. Pours to a bright amber with a medium creamy head. The taste was very strong and metallic. It was average but nothing I would choose to seek out again.
TheAlum (5909) - Aurora, Illinois, USA - AUG 13, 2012
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Draft pour on tap at GTMW 2012 (Madison, WI). Pours a richer glowing orange hue, healthy amber orange hues, fairly transparent. Some frothy whitish head, dies to a ring and laces small. Aromas are sweeter, oaky vanilla, touch of spice. Sweet toffee, biscuits, and mellow toffee. Some gentle orange, some American hops. Initial is medium bodied, woody and a touch of smoke, with some spice. Wet oak, mellow sweet malts, bread, and some vanilla. Gentle spice. Toffee, some bread and biscuity malts. Fairly hot into the back. A bit sticky in the middle, some oranges, some heat and spice into backend and finish. Some dryness, heat grows. Interesting, a bit hot, oaky, spicy. Not bad, not totally my jam though. Hot even lingering on the esophagus. A bit dissappointed, I think.
mikem409 (1612) - bloomfield, Michigan, USA - AUG 12, 2012
2.6 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 10/20
Bottle. Aroma is of an IPA malt and hoppy. Taste is a sweet hop mess I taste no barrel. Pours orange nice head. Bottle is wicked
arkurzynski (1591) - Combined Locks, Wisconsin, USA - AUG 12, 2012
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
GTMW. Deep orange/red/brown. Aroma mostly big fruity malt and hops, a tinge of booze, and some background wood notes. Flavor is, again, largely the grab-bag mix of fruity-like malt with hop bitterness to match. Sweet, but not too sweet. Big and bold with some dry woodiness towards the middle to end, that I think is brought out even more from the alcohol. Mild to moderate booziness, slight tannin. I actually think this drinks pretty good right now, but certainly could use some age.