arminjewell (5586) - Fort Collins, Colorado, USA - FEB 22, 2010
4.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Pours orange with white head, aroma is thick pine and resin hops. Taste up front is a huge blast of pine, resin, and spicy hops with a bit of caramel sweetness in the middle before a big bitter finish. A lot like Masala Mama kicked up a notch, the alcohol is perfectly hidden and drinks almost too easily.
BVery (5443) - Burnsville, Minnesota, USA - FEB 22, 2010
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
UPDATED: JAN 1, 2014 Tap. Nice golden copper pour with a thin sticky white head. Aroma is pine hop. Taste is huge pine hop, plenty of bite. Some caramel smoothness and taste as well. Not much for malt - this beast has an edge to it.
badgerben (4354) - Blaine, Minnesota, USA - FEB 27, 2010
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: MAR 5, 2010 Big Beer, Big Barrel Week. Minnesota Beer #500. Copper color with a large head. Big aroma of oranges. Slight grassy flavor. Very vinous and very acidic. Some caramel malts. Not bad, but this kind of perfectly displays what I most dislike about bombastic IIPAs: all acidic bitterness, little to no hop flavor.
Beerlando (3342) - Orlando, Florida, USA - MAR 8, 2010
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Growler, courtesy 4.4-40. Pours a clear, dark, orange-amber hue with a moderate, spongy head of ivory foam. As the head settles, scattered micro-spots of lace dot the glass. The aroma is fairly well balanced, showing a good portion of bitter orange and grapefruit hops, countered by some slightly cardboardy caramel malt and cereal grain. Flavors are similar, which is to say simple, yet fairly composed. Caramel-toffee and toasty bread show in the malt base, while moderately bitter grapefruit, orange, and grass hops tip the scale back towards the bitter side of balanced. It shows fairly clean, overall, save for the slightly stale grain note on the nose. Medium in body and smooth, slightly drying, the palate offers drinkability, yet ends up slightly papery on the back end. Pretty solid, straightforward brew, but far from special.
iowaherkeye (2684) - Ocean Beach, San Diego, California, USA - APR 12, 2010
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
Growler from Armin--thanks! Clear medium orange with a 1 1/2 finger off-white head, pretty good retention. The hops have died out a good bit, there is still some moderate orange hops and lighter spruce tips, and a substantial sweet caramel malt backbone. Flavor follows suit with the orange, pine a little stronger. Lots and lots of a sweet caramel backbone. Finished with a little bit of graininess. Alcohol was masked well. Bitterness peaked at a 4. Moderate carbonation with a medium full body. Even though the hops have died out a little, there arenít near enough to stand up to the big malt beast behind.
jake65 (2513) - Williston, North Dakota, USA - MAR 15, 2010
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
At brewpub: Shimmering orange amber hue is topped with a creamy sand colored head. Lots of sticky lacing. Sweet aroma with citrus and caramel. Taste is big and hoppy with lots of citrus and faint florals. Moderate piney notes and some more caramel. Very smooth and drinkable. Good stuff.
kbutler1 (1345) - Minnesota, USA - JUN 4, 2010
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Draft. Made with American Hops. Nice strong hops aroma. Fruit rind and slightly piney notes. Tastes exactly like is smells. Strong malt backbone to support the hops. Excellent lacing. Wonder what the IBUís is on this as it has a pretty extreme bitter bite at the end.
Guerde (1135) - St. Paul, Minnesota, USA - FEB 22, 2010
3.5 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
(on tap at Town Hall) Pours dark copper with a medium white head which retains and leaves significant lacing on the glass. Aroma is VERY resinous and full of pine, earth, and little to no malt to counterbalance it. Not really complex, and I think it suffers from a lack of juicy and tropical hop character which I prefer in IIPAs. Taste is an improvement, with still plenty of piney hops, grapefruit peel which provides a shade of citrus, almost veering towards juicy, and a nice counterbalance of caramel and (honey?)-like sweetness present as well. Shades of Hopslam and Double Trouble, but it falls short. Mouthfeel is fairly full and the alcohol is nowhere to be found. Decent, but lacking in complexity.
juiceisloose (1055) - Windermere, Florida, USA - MAY 15, 2010
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Growler, courtesy GoT. This one pours a a dark golden orange color and topped by a small cream colored head of foam. The aroma is pretty straight forward showing bitter orange and grapefruit hops againt a malt base of caramel and toasted bread. The flavor follows suit with the orange and grapefruit citrus hops adding moderate bitterness while the caramel and toasty bread malts balance things out. Medium bodied, fairly smooth with a slight drying presence and decently bitter finish. Nice solid brew, but not one of my favorites.
islay (854) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - MAR 10, 2010
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
10 oz. pour, on tap at the brewpub. Tasted on 3-9-10. Nice, resiny, syrupy, citrusy hops-dominated aroma. It could stand to be stronger. The smell starts out good and gets better upon multiple sips; a very pleasant taffy smell develops over time. Pours a clear copper with a small amount of off-white head. Nice lacing. Excellent taste: Honey, pine, and apricot flavors. This is the all-too-rare beer that tastes even better than it smells like itís going to taste. Fantastic flavor! Long, lingering, briney aftertaste. Also, separately, a good, solid, bitter aftertaste that comes as close to a coffee as Iíve ever found in a non-dark beer. Full body. Crisp in the palate and refreshing. The finish and aftertaste may even exceed the main flavor in goodness. Town Hall Big Ben Double IPA is a really, really, really good beer, as good as any from the brewery that Iíve ever had, and thatís saying a lot. In fact, it was so good that it inspired me to purchase my first Town Hall growler, so I look forward to trying more soon. Awesome!