AHTOH (101) - San Diego, California, USA - FEB 23, 2011
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
750 mL bottle. Bottled on 10/30/09. Drank 2/22/11. Poured into Duvel tulip.
APPEARANCE: Pours a very dark brown color that is opaque. When held to light, is deep caramel brown with slight hues of ruby, as well as pink and amber.
Thick tan head is 2-3 fingers and has long duration. Head eventually settles in a pillowy fashion.
AROMA: Sour – like an oud bruin – is the most prominent aroma. Chocolate (like powdered light milk chocolate) and caramel. Subtle notes of spices – allspice and nutmeg appear most discernible. Faint hint of chili on nose.
TASTE: Tart and acidic – similar to an oud bruin.
Front of palate is acidic.
Mid palate is some light malt sweetness with notes of chocolate and light caramel. Spices on mid palate as well.
Back of palate has a nice amount of chocolate come through (behind the tart/acidic character).
Finish has pleasant touch of heat from the chili – discernible, though hardly overbearing.
MOUTH FEEL: Lighter body than expected. Somewhat crisp. Lively carbonation.
OVERALL: Oud Bruin (Flanders brown [a sour]) with Mexican hot chocolate notes. Given its classification as Spice/Herb/Vegetable instead of a stout (eg, Ommegang Chocolate Indulgence is grouped as a stout), was unsure what to expect. Hardly expected something this tart. At first thought it was infected. Still unsure if Telegraph was going for a sour with this. Wanted to like this, though must admit: better in theory than in practice. Aroma much more pleasant than taste. Although oud bruin has its time and place, this would have been much better if it had a different style as a base. Furthermore, it seems the sour character mixed with notes of Mexican hot chocolate hardly work well together.
BayAreaBeers (85) - Fremont, California, USA - JAN 13, 2012
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pours a fantastic medium brown with 1 finger. The aroma is of brown sugar and a great Belgian spice! Taste follows the nose. Thus us just a great winter warmer beer.
---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone
Chaseman (50) - Massachusetts, USA - DEC 15, 2011
3.1 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Dark brown pour, smells of cinnamon and nutmeg with slight chocolate. A little funkier than I was expecting (I was expecting something more along the lines of a chocolate stout with some winter spice kick), but it was a pleasant surprise as the cinnamon, nutmeg, and chocolate spice are quite strong and create a unique mixture of flavors, but almost in an overpowering way.
Ndg2e (36) - Arizona, USA - FEB 11, 2012
3.6 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
A lot of flavor. Many spices. Good palate. Resonable drinkable. It has a warming effect
MuertosPorter (24) - California, USA - MAR 4, 2008
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Tasting notes from 1/4/08
Sampled from bottle. Pours a deep brown with a minimal amount of tan head. Aromas of cloves, cinnamon, some burnt wood. I poured this when it was still on the colder side, everything seemed muted. As it reads on the bottle "Be sure to enjoy it cool, rather than cold to fully appreciate it’s complexity". It is true, as it warmed the flavors really began to reveal. Bitter chocolates, spicy chilies, cinnamon, cloves, some vanilla. A really nice warming effect on the back of the palate. There seems to be something very special about this beer. Very original, not like any other winter ale. Outstanding!