adnielsen (10037) - Fort Collins, Colorado, USA - AUG 5, 2012
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Bottle @ Stephenís house, courtesy of Armin. Thanks! A touch hazy, golden orange appearance with a cream colored head. Boozy, spirit, herbal woody, light orange citrusy, quite sweet aroma. Tangy, zippy, white grape, somewhat spicy, woody, lemon, orange citrusy, caramel, herbal flavor with some boozy, sweet, woody finish.
arminjewell (8582) - East Lansing, Michigan, USA - AUG 5, 2012
3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Pour out of 750 mL, clear orange pour with white head, aroma has notes of fruit, some hints of sweet caramel, lots of wood, bread, biscuit, some sweet vanilla, touch of booze, hints of orange and white fruits as well. Taste is a mix of tart fruits and acidic malts, hints of caramel, vanilla, lots of oak and woody notes, some heat in there. Its ok, but really thin and empty in flavors, maybe would be age well but not really a fan.
nsquishee (630) - Richfield, Minnesota, USA - AUG 3, 2012
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
I would say this is like a triple or quadruple IPA with slightly less malting and thickness than you would expect. Huge hops and fruity, citrus notes. Very boozy nose and finish. A very pleasurable sipper though, because you know you are getting good flavor combined with the intense waft of booze.
Bacterial (2164) - Twin Cities, Minnesota, USA - AUG 3, 2012
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pours a slightly hazy golden amber with a nice thick white head, a little of which will stick around as you sip. Nose is sweet, tart, fruity and bright. And then the mosh pit of flavors hits you across the face like a strong backhand from Todd (ok, Iím just imagining this, he never actually hit me). There is no style for this beer. Nothing like this has been done. The various woods used come together to balance out the sweetness of this beer/Barleywine. There is some warming, but not hot heat booze. What heat there is gets balanced out by the hops that linger. This beer has some chameleon properties, changing with temperature and with what you happen to be eating. Very unique. Some folks will hate it, some will love it.
ElGaucho (2299) - Minnetonka, Minnesota, USA - AUG 1, 2012
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Tap at Republic. Glad to come across this since clearly not enough was made available in stores. Strong aroma with some sweetness. Mostly clear copper body with a lasting creamy off white head. Initial mouthfeel is a piercing, hot shot to the senses. Some sourness. Quite good. Warming. Needs some time to mellow.
wilnatp (632) - Minnesota, USA - JUL 30, 2012
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle. Orange pour with thin white head. Aroma of caramel, wood, fruit, and bitter. Taste is BOLD bitter almost sour fruit with some caramel and sweeter finish. Me like.
Steasy66 (1086) - Minnesota, USA - JUL 28, 2012
2 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 3/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 6/20
UPDATED: AUG 30, 2013 I thought this beer had some aging potential when it first came out but it just keeps getting worse. Odd wood acidity and ethanol is all I get, dumpster juice.
kbutler1 (1377) - North Carolina, USA - JUL 27, 2012
2.5 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 8/20
UPDATED: AUG 1, 2012 Bottle. Opened with much anticipation. Pours a clear amber reddish color. Slight white head. Very sweet citrus aroma, orange and grapefruit. Medium mouthfeel. Holy hot and hoppy! Sweet start that then transitions to a very hot, alcohol note. Itís like an uber hoppy ipa. Iím not so sure on this one. Iíll have to try again but this one was a mis for me right now. Maybe itíll calm down in a few years but honestly after the hops fade out a bit and booze subsides, I really am not sure what will be left.
DalzAle (2009) - Eden Prairie, Minnesota, USA - JUL 25, 2012
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle. Clear dark golden pour, very little carbonation, plenty of good lacing and an aroma of sweet artisan honey and wood. Flavor is also a very hot boozy meld of honey, wood, toffee and should mellow nicely with time. Still pretty damn hot now, but somehow it still worked for me.
LamarBurton (376) - California, USA - JUL 25, 2012
3.5 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
UPDATED: AUG 12, 2012 After seeing a few high rates, I wanted to get some notes down on this one, from a sample I had at All Pints North (The very first sample of the day, Surly tapped all beers at gate open). Donít take this the bad way: I love Surly, I love (almost all) of their beers, and I will continue to support my local breweries.
After having at GTMW (Previously 3.0) , I upgraded my rate a bit. Maybe it was because my palate was killed, maybe it was because this pour had more carbonation, but I enjoyed this significantly more than the pour at ABR.
~2oz pour to a taster yields a clear copper gold body with no noticeable head, just a few soapy bubbles. Viewed from the side, it is obvious that this beer is THICK, what carbonation streamers there are seem to fight to reach the surface. The aroma is fairly nice, with lots of big caramel and toffee notes, backed with a bunch of floral honey, and a fair bit of booze. Wood is just barely present, not at all what I would have expected for this beer. The taste....well, I really enjoyed the first sip. Lots of liquid caramel (almost like LME), a slug of that same floral honey, with some indescribable wood more prevalent. Some more bready malt character, but really dominated by the caramel, toffee, and floral character. A bit of hop bitterness on the finish. Fair bit of alcohol burn that warns me off that second sip, but what the heck. Second sip is downright cloying, with a weird mix of sugar and booze. Floral and wood character still present, but are being overtaken by the palate coating sugar and booze. By the third sip, I was having a really tough time with this one, and didnít end up even finishing my sample. The mouthfeel was thick and syrupy, with a tongue coating finish and a retro-nasal burn. More carbonation, more restrained alcohol, and a more balanced profile in general would have been nice in this one.
With all this said, I did go out and buy two bottles on the day of the release, and will look forward to seeing if this one sorts itself out in 2-3 years.