kmweaver (3200) - Petaluma, California, USA - SEP 26, 2006
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: OCT 6, 2006 Trade courtesy of TurdFerguson. (Tasted directly after a Koff Porter, to normalize things a bit.) Pours a beautiful, big-bubbled head; decent retention and attractive lacing; a pitch-black core with a slight amount of translucent brown along the edges. Huge nose, showing plenty of dark chocolate and coffee, some charred malt and vanilla notes. The mouthfeel is medium-to-heavy; slightly viscous but not completely full; milk chocolate, smoke, roasted malts, marshmallow, and even slightly vegetal, which doesnít serve to detract. Ends with a medium finish: plenty of chocolate, vegetal, and smoky aspects. Very interesting, well-handled brew out of North Carolina. Thanks, Sam! ... Rerate 10/6: Upped the appearance by a point; beautiful head, well-retained. Huge amounts of peanuts noticed this time around, in both the nose and palette.
ross (2008) - weddington, North Carolina, USA - SEP 25, 2006
3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 1/5 OVERALL 13/20
UPDATED: APR 20, 2009 12 oz bottle. Got some at peabodys today. Mega thanks to Brandon for saving me a couple of cases. I was unable to get it in charlotte yet because my regular guy was out of town until this week. Man it was wroth the wait. Pours out very dark with a big brown head on it. Smell is heavy on the roasted malts and coffee with some chocolate added in. Taste is awesome. Smooth, rich, like eating a chocolate filled coffee bar. There is no alcohol even noted in this beer. The best baltic porter I have ever had, hands down, and easily the best brewed beer that NC has ever seen. This is a fuckin awesome porter. 9/5/10/5/18
man, im drinking another bottle of this right now, and i really have to give it another 10th of a point on the overall, it is really really good. easily in my top 10 most favorite beers.
9 5 10 5 19
Update - this new beer is terrible. The previous years are very good but the new batch is virtually undrinkable. Yuck. Ratings changed to reflect this.
DrBayern (1139) - Morehead City, North Carolina, USA - SEP 25, 2006
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
12 oz. bottle. Big brown frothy head develops from an inky black pour, then settles to a thin brown ring over 5-8 minutes. Aromas of roasted grain, earth, a little dark fruit, and some spice add up to an intriguing opening. Rich and smooth on the palate that is both chewy and slightly resinous, just a fantastic mouthfeel. Flavor is intitially sweet with burnt sugar and dark cherry. Balance is provided by the bitterness of dark roasted coffee and some peppery spice. A lingering bitter finish completes the experience. Theyíve hit a home run with this one.
Suttree (4736) - Knoxville, Tennessee, USA - SEP 25, 2006
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Black, tan head. Sweetish, prune and raisin aroma, with some spicy notes as well. Big prune and raisin, with hints of fig, too maybe? Nice background notes of coffee and chocolate that combine nicely with fruitier notes. Very, very tasty. Sampled at Asheville Brewgrass, 2006.
brownaler (378) - Topsail Beach, North Carolina, USA - SEP 21, 2006
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pitch Black appearance with minimal brown head. Aroma of milk chocolate and faint cookie? Incredibly earthy flavor that is sour at first with a strong toffee character accompanied with rich molasses. Very well structed and perfectly balanced.
OldGrowth (2340) - North Carolina, USA - SEP 21, 2006
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: OCT 29, 2006 Bottle, from Whole Foods/Raleigh. though I later picked up a case at Samís in Durham. Real good nose, bittersweet. Roasty. Bitter chocolate, coffee, Dried fruit (plum, date), Little compost, little yeasty nuttiness. Got a little bit of a rubbing alcohol scent in the aroma. Dark brownish black color, small brown head that faded quickly to nothing, little to no lace. Bittersweet flavor, like aroma with the chocolate, coffee being prominent. You also get a toffee/caramel and toasted grain flavor too. Wouldnít of guessed 9% Abv. Thick body, viscous oily creamy mouthfeel, bitter dryish finish. Delicious. Wonderful brew. As an additional note Iíve never got the aroma I called rubbing alcohol so Iím suspecting my glass at the time, when I was in corporate housing and it was a glass that had been cleaned in a dishwasher with some kind of powder I wouldnít of used myself.
GVegasBrewer (1) - Greenville, North Carolina, USA - SEP 17, 2006 does not count
4.8 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
I had this beer for the first time last night in Greenville (GVegas) at Christyís Europub (just a few miles from Farmville where the beer is made). I got to say I was blown away. Very dark, very thick beer which to me had a strong aroma and flavor of good olí North Carolina blackstrap molasses! Wonderful beer. I cant wait to get some more.
tobias (188) - West Chester, Ohio, USA - SEP 17, 2006
4.8 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
12 oz bottle: pours anthracite black with a beautiful dark khaki head. my god the aroma is amazing. the intilal aroma is coffee, sweet creamy chocolatey rich mocha coffee, not over powering. very sensual.hints of carramel vanilla and dark fruit peek though. flavors of of coffee and mocha. vanilla dark fruit caramel, beautiful. silky smooth in the mouth. carbonation is perfect. its very hard to believe this beer is 9 percent abv, very well hidden. all i can say is wow. duck rabbit has outdone itself. i had this on draft about a month ago at the saucer and was like this its pretty good but now as i sit here savoring it fropm the bottle i realize that it is more than pretty good, its amazing.
tronraner (2459) - Walland, Tennessee, USA - SEP 16, 2006
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle. Oh man Iíve been waiting for this one. Pours a deep ebony with a bit of garnet only at the thinnest extremities, and a puffy reddish brown head. Oh wow, this smells delicious. Espresso dominates the nose, accompanied by a lot of fig and caramel, and hints of chocolate and smoke and maybe a bit of blackberry. The taste is incredibly rich. Sweet chocolate, espresso, some raisin, and a few vinous notes hit the mouth first. Then comes a woody bitterness mixed with some faint earthy hops. Toward the finish comes a flavor of toasted nuts, cashews and almonds, perhaps. A vaguely warming aftertaste is the only hint that there is so much alcohol. Iím amazed that a beer this big can be so delicate. A complex and impressive brew. They have raised the bar for NC brewing.
Bigsilky (327) - Charleston, USA - SEP 16, 2006
4.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: SEP 22, 2008 As far as the love thing goes, Magjayran will have some competition. What a glorious brew. I was expecting a watered down porter with an alcoholic bite. What I got was a rich mahogany head with a beautiful cold coffee and licorice nose. A slight buttery toffee hides behind black mission figs, toasted pecan, espresso, and maybe some leather as well? Impeccable balance and poise as the 9% doesn’t seem to answer the phone even though it’s certainly at home. The smooth refreshment found mid-palate says porter, the roasted finish whispers for another sip. Dark Beer Specialists indeed.
2007 Batch. I can understand the gripes about this being an ale porter and not a lager porter. Historically I think that can be considered correct based off the original versions sent to the Baltic States rather than the style in spurned there. Nonetheless, this stuff is amazing aged and fresh. Looking over my notes from last year I still feel the same way. Although I do think the cocoa powder and the espresso notes are a little more prevalent. Maybe I’m just remembering an older bottle. Outstanding.