cladinshadows (49) - USA - DEC 9, 2012
2.6 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 10/20
Aroma is pungently spicy with some toasty/chocolate/roasty malt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Appearance is quite dark with minimal head and minimal lacing. Flavor is sweet, with a root beer/cherry cola impression and a cinnamon and nutmeg finish - it is quite strong in this young beer. Mouthfeel is light and prickly with carbonation (as is the case for many excellent belgian-style ales). Overall this beer is somewhat unbalanced at this time, but possibly with some aging the spice will become more integrated and other complexities will develop. Still a quality beer, just needs some time in my opinion.
stevoj (4033) - Boise, Idaho, USA - JUN 17, 2016
2.6 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 10/20
Bottle share courtesy of Toby. This one didn’t seem to hold up too well in aging. Dark pour with small airy head, seemed kind of flat and dull. Aroma and taste were in the right zone for the style, but it seemed it had started to go down hill, dusty, dirty, funky elements. Too bad...
Banksiz (94) - Sacramento, California, USA - NOV 1, 2015
3.7 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Slight prune-raisin-molasses nose. Medium sweet with a light bitterness. Medium body, slightly warming as it goes down, Smooth finish with lingering flavor and no residual harshness. Nevertheless, not as playing as the 2011 vintage ale.
jandd1983 (3869) - Wentzville, Missouri, USA - JUL 11, 2015
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 12/20
Bottle. It poured a dark brown color with a tan head. The aroma was of belgian yeast with some spices and dark fruits. The taste was similar to the aroma with a sweet malty finish.
djd07 (10591) - Houston, Texas, USA - MAR 4, 2015
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle during RBWG. Pours a dark brown with medium beige head that diminishes quickly. The aroma is brown sugar and dark fruit. Medium mouth, strong brown sugar, raisin, figs, and candy sugar finish. Good.
Ron (3619) - Rochester, New York, USA - DEC 13, 2014
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Bottle. Dark brown pour with a khaki head. Herbal nose with some sweet brown sugar, some light spices and alcohol. Lots of herbal notes to the flavor with roast, some chocolate, caramel, dark fruit, brown sugar and alcohol. I aged this for 2 years in my beer cellar. It did not seem to mellow out to me. There was some malt separation as the 2nd glass was maltier than the 1st.
Patrickctenchi (6105) - Cox’s Knob, columbus, Indiana, USA - NOV 5, 2014
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 14/20
Purple-black, with a minimal beige head.
Cola and cinnamon aroma.
Flavour is cinnamon, black cherry, cola...
Very sweet, and quite tasty.
GG (2332) - NorCal, California, USA - OCT 31, 2014
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
750ml bottle -
Apart from this being an absolute steal at Trader Joe’s ($4.99 for a 750ml bomber of a BSA?? Where do I get in line!) this is a phenomenal beer and while I haven’t rated it side by side to beers in years past, this one was extremely tasty.
Tons of dark pitted fruit in the aroma, lots of mulling spice, Coke mixed with brown sugar...loved it. Lots of clove/all-spice like flavors combined with cherries, plums, Tootsie rolls and toffee with a long, spicy finish. The beer had just the right amount of sweetness left in it to accentuate all these fruit flavors and meld really, really nicely with the spices. Definitely recommended.
fcjack1 (265) - Washington, USA - OCT 24, 2014
4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle from trader Joe’s (of course). Pours very dark brown. Tan head. Scent is a little boozy, red wine. Taste is a little dark cherry, fig and alcohol. Not sure what this tasted like in 2012 but, its pretty dang good now.
shrubber85 (10762) - Greenville, Indiana, USA - OCT 24, 2014
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle (courtesy of NeoHippie2). Cinnamon, pepper, and malt aroma. Black with large tan head. Sweet spicy cinnamon/nutmeg and toffee malt flavor. Very lightly bitter herbal finish. Quite nice - finally a good Trader Joe’s beer.
Darkmagus82 (2273) - - OCT 6, 2014
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Transfer from BA review on 12-26-13-
Poured from bottle into a chalice glass
Appearance – The beer pours a deep brown chestnut color with a big billowy cream colored head. The big billowy head has a good level of retention, slowly fading to leave a fantastic level of foamy lace on the sides of the glass.
Smell- The aroma was slightly roasted and rather fruity. A good dose of a slightly grainy but roasted and toasted malt smell along with darker fruits of cherry and raisin are there. Along with these aromas are some smells of yeast and a little bit of a spicy smells and some hot rum like aromas are there, producing a nice Belgian strong dark aroma.
Taste – The taste begins with a slightly roasted and malty flavor with the darker fruit cherry that was detected in the nose. Some yeasty and spice flavors of a clove and nutmeg later come to the tongue as well as some other flavors of more raisin and fig. As the flavor advances further to the end, the malty flavors dwindle further as the darker fruit and spice seem to increase, combining with a little bit of a boozy rum flavor, which all in all end up leaving a rather nice Belgian dark smell to linger on the tongue.
Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the average side for a Belgian strong dark of 9 % adv. with a carbonation level that is on the slightly higher side. The combo of body and carbonation are nice for styles of the brew as well as in keeping the brew very drinkable but not too drinkable in light of the abv. and the boozy flavors.
Overall – A rather nice drinking Belgian strong dark ale with some nice fruity flavors as well as a good level of roast and booze.