igel (196) - New Mexico, USA - SEP 8, 2004
4.3 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Pours a transparent mahogany brown with a beige head and smooth slippery lace. Head retention is low. Aroma is of malt, caramel, and dark fruits with an earthy/roasty, yet astringent background. Taste is of malt, molasses and caramel with an astringent hop finish. Palate is light to medium bodied with a smooth start and a tart biting roasty finish.
Notes: Lighter bodied than I expected. Smoothes and mellows as it warms.
lliams (196) - Melbourne, AUSTRALIA - APR 26, 2013
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
the aromas are intoxicating... molasses, toffee- sweet malts and some alcohol... pours dark with good head and lacing. the taste is a little lighter than expected. there’s some savoury characters that linger nicely on the palate, as well as the sweet malt notes. not hugely complex but a lovely ale.
GaltScat (195) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - APR 30, 2007
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
An exciting English Strong Ale with not so exciting alcohol content. Bolster the alcohol and the flavor and palate experiences would have been greatly improved. Aroma of hops, yeast, malt, fruit. Flavor was very unique with hints of maple, malt, and rye. Very well balanced. The flavors seeped through my mouth but did not reach the back of my tongue or throat; leaving me taking bigger drinks trying to extract a fuller experience. Overall, however, a very nice Ale. The price, however, was $7.50 for a 11.2 ounce bottle, which puts the cost to enjoyment ratio way out of wack. It was nice to try this unique English Strong Ale, but for the money, I would try something else.
DigitalMan (193) - Idaho, USA - JUN 6, 2009
3.5 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Aroma has a unique character. Lacing is beautiful. Flavor is full and complex, malty, toasty, toffee. A little bitterness for balance. A nice one.
Duffbeer (192) - Pennsylvania, USA - NOV 20, 2002
2.6 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 12/20
Very odd after taste. I didn’t like this partcular ale, but some people obviously do.
rjkreid (191) - SCOTLAND - MAR 2, 2012
3.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 11/20
A malty, caramel aroma. Pours quite thin with a deep brown colour. Taste is a fairly basic malt body, with a fairly quick drop off leaving a insipid, washy bitterness. As the beer warms there is another sour bread flavour which is tantalising but seems to dissipate rapidly and doesn’t last long in the mouth. It is really a surprisingly dry for what has the appearance of a hearty malt. As a result, I suspect that it would do better as an accompaniment to food.
Tomy63 (190) - Clermont-Ferrand, FRANCE - DEC 21, 2013
3.4 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bière noire assez simple mais bien faite, caramélisée, café, qui se boit assez facilement.
dolemite77 (184) - Maryville, Tennessee, USA - JAN 2, 2008
3.7 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Definitely a winner... you can tell that this is a bottom fermented beer, it tastes very clean and has somewhat of a lager "greenness" to it... not very hoppy, but the malt and the oak meld together nicely. Mostly dark dried fruits for flavor, with the oak in the background. The aftertaste really has the peaty flavor that some have mentioned. Does anyone know if this is new oak they ferment in? or if possibly it was once used for scotch? There is definately a hint of scotch (islay mainly) but it doesn’t seem strong enough to be in re-used casks... whatever... good stuff...
keidjxz (183) - Fullerton, California, USA - NOV 24, 2010
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
330ml bottle. Pours dark brown with a thick and lacy head. the aroma consists of vanilla, woody, caramel, chocolate, raisin, and a little licorice. The taste is fairly sweet with little bitterness and a somewhat dry finish.
luvcasks (178) - USA - OCT 13, 2008
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pours a beautiful dark brown with mahogany highlights and a surprisingly almost whitish head which does not last too long.
Nose: sweet malt with some vinous and heather like notes
Taste: Tangy vinous dark fruits and heater like almost comes across like soy sauce and dr pepper combined finishing with a lovely touch of smoke and Hop bitterness and flavor in the background coming across slightly spicy. As the beer warms up some raisin like flavors show up with chalky notes as well
Mouthfeel for the alcohol and malt richness still finishes nice and light with a long lingering raisiny and smoky finish
Overall: Still a classic so much complexity with a such a simple grain bill. The magical smokiness is wonderful a great beer to warm up to on a blustery fall evening