Dorwart (2535) - Robbinsville, New Jersey, USA - OCT 18, 2012
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
1 inch thick head of beige bubbles. Very dense and creamy and reduces slowly. Somewhat subdued aroma with some caramel malts, a hint of tartness from the oak and fresh flowers. Color is a rich and dark mahagony brown. Lots of flavor to this brew and very smooth. Roasted grains, vanilla, toffee and some nuttiness which seems strange. Strong bitterness that comes on late with a noticable alcohol presence. My bottle says 9.1% abv. YIPEEEE!! Very smooth and easy drinking. Considerable maltiness that gives it great body and offsets some of the big bitterness. A top notch brew. Only wish I had bought more of them.
dimenhetfield (2486) - , Florida, USA - NOV 25, 2012
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
12oz bottle poured into glass. I was intrigued to try this since it’s oak aged but I’ve never really been too keen on red ales, so I was a bit skeptical on whether or not I’d like this one. The aroma was pretty impressive, with big hints of hops and woody notes, but the flavor/boozyness was just a little too much for me to swallow. The malts just dominated the entire beer, but then again some people like that.
craftycarl21 (2338) - Seattle, Washington, USA - NOV 8, 2011
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
On draft at Churchkey. Beautiful garnet pour with minimal head. Nose holds fantastic maple syrup, brown sugar, vanilla, candied apple, orange zest, and leafy balance. Awesome barrel presence, and reminds me a bit of an American barleywine. The flavor is marked by more bourbon-soaked cherry, wood, and sweetness mixing with citric and earthy hop. Smooth but medium effervescence on the palate. Superb.
drsordr (2332) - Loveland, Ohio, USA - MAR 28, 2013
3.2 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle pour cloudy amber with brown hues. Nose mostly malty barleywine. Taste some initial tannin from the wood, then bitterness and sweet malt. Seems that the hops only add bitterness, no aroma or flavor.
redlight (2318) - Orlando, Florida, USA - NOV 19, 2008
4.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
oaky vanilla with rich caramel aromas. Pours a dark red with a thick off white head. Vanilla beans, caramel, oak, rich malts with spicy, piney hops. The oak mellows out the hops quite a bit. This is an excellent beer! I love what their doing with oak aging.
Itzjerm (2296) - Taft, Tennessee, USA - FEB 9, 2013
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Aroma is boozy. Appearance thin head. Taste is sweet, not balanced... and not hoppy. Palate is okay. Dont get me wrong, this isn’t bad, just not impressive. I wont be looking for it again... there is a slight oaked flavor, nothing special.
Darkmagus82 (2265) - - OCT 1, 2014
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Transfer from BA review on 4-4-14-
Poured from bottle into a snifter
Appearance – The beer pours a very deep copper color with hints of a ruby within, with the overall color bordering on a mahogany color. Upon pouring the brew has a small half finger head of just off white foam. The head fades rather fast, leaving some light foamy lace on the sides of the glass and a few spotty foam islands floating on the surface of the beer.
Smell – The aroma of the beer very bready and heavy of some sweeter aromas of a caramel and toffee nature. Along with these malty smells comes a decent sum of an oaky smell as well as a big dose of a boozy bourbon smell. With a bit of a pine and grassy hop and some aromas of a darker fruit nature, one experiences an overall very sweet, malty and boozy smell that gives one a warming feel from just the aroma.
Taste – The taste begins with a smooth malty flavor with a big bready and slightly doughy flavor. Tons of sweet caramel and darker fruits of raisin, plum and prune are on the tongue right from the start creating a very sweet brew. The sweet and bready flavors create a base for the flavor profile, lasting throughout much of the taste. While not very present at the start of the taste, hop and oak flavors develop more and more as the taste advances. The oak is the first to come to the tongue with it gaining strength more toward the end of the taste. Some hop flavors join the taste at this time as well, with a bit of a light earthy and grassy flavor coming to the tongue. The hop remain rather light throughout the remainder of the taste, not really living up to the “hoppy monster” name. While the hop remains lighter, the oak and sweet are both quite potent at the end of the taste, and with them comes some rather stronger boozy tastes, which with the rest of the flavors, leaves a boozy and sweet warming taste to linger on the tongue.
Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is quite thick and chewy with a carbonation level that is very low. The very thick body and low carbonation really accentuate all the boozy, oak, and sweet flavors of the brew rather nicely, making this one a very slow sipping brew.
Overall – While the “hoppy” in the name was never really delivered to a full extent, the boozy, fruity, and oak were very much big and monstrous, but in a rather nice way. Overall it is big, malty, and boozy with lots of oak flavors which makes for a rather nice slow sipper. Super delicious!!
craftbeerdesign (2254) - Fort Collins, Colorado, USA - DEC 14, 2008
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
on tap at the Crabapple Taco Mac location. dark red in color with no head on arrival to the table. nice licorice, vanilla and subdued hop aromas. medium to full body. very soft over the palate with a strong finish that really brings the oak and vanilla to the front of your tastebuds. some mild citrus notes in linger in the background. overall this was very enjoyable and even better than the plain old big hoppy monster.
arkurzynski (2244) - Combined Locks, Wisconsin, USA - JAN 29, 2013
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle from beernads. Deepest of mahogany/brown pour with sufficient head. Nose of dark fruit, cherry, bread/biscuit, candy syrup, oak tannins, and peppery alcohol. Sweet fruitiness with toasted malt and spicy alcohol with a pretty dry oaky finish. As it warms, even more oak character. Barleywine-esque qualities. A bit too much of the oak and booze, but still an enjoyable brew.
conway (2210) - - AUG 6, 2014
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Bottle. Clear ruby with a thick off white head. Aroma is sweet malt, melon, caramel and malt. Barrel character really comes out in the taste. Finish is really short. Mouthfeel is slightly thin. Not bad.