orangesol (681) - Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 14, 2012
4.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Served on-tap at the brewery.
A - Pours jet black with a nice one finger tall khaki colored tan head, dissipating down to a light film and then nothing at all, leaving small streaks of lace down parts of the glass.
S - Smells of milk chocolate, vanilla, coffee, a surprising amount of citric hops and plenty of dark roasted malt. The sweeter aromas die down as it warms up and more of the roasty aromas begin to take over, along with some whiffs of booze.
T - Starts off with plenty of dark roast, chocolate and vanilla slowly giving way to hints of coffee grounds, cocoa powder and the citric hop resin. The booze is ever present, less so at first, growing stronger and stronger as it sits in the glass. Finish is quite roasty with a decent amount of booze, lingering on the palate for quite awhile after each sip.
M - Heavy body with moderate carbonation. Smooth, roasty feel from start to finish. The booze is mild initially growing as it sits in the glass. Very nice balance throughout.
O - One of the best scratch beers in quite some time. It has all the right flavors and while the hops are stronger than average I thought they worked well with the darker base flavors. Get this one while you can, I doubt it will be around for very long.
callmemickey (2574) - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - JUL 22, 2014
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
More than a year and a half later, this is still holding up fairly well. Black bodied with a thin tan head and spotty lacing. Roast, dark chocolate, fading coffee, caramel, and a hint of earth. Medium to full bodied with gentle carbonation and a rounded finish.
Ratman197 (9560) - Arvada, Colorado, USA - JUL 14, 2014
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle poured a clear dark reddish brown with a small lingering brown head. Aromas of roasted malt, coffee, bitter chocolate and dried fruit. Palate was medium to full bodied and smooth. Flavors of roasted malt, bitter chocolate and light coffee with a smooth lingering roasty chocolate finish.
odinstyr (559) - Hamilton, New Jersey, USA - FEB 19, 2014
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Pours a dark brown with a thick light brown head. Smells of chocolate, floral hops. Taste is sweet followed by bitter - intense chocolate, very floral hops - big bitter finish.
Apache (29) - Florida, USA - FEB 8, 2014
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Pours initially with a tan head that dissipates quickly. Roasted grain in the aroma. Slight booziness and coffee in the new taste. Not as thick and rich as Hunaphu, nor as spicy.
ClarkVV (3892) - Allston, Massachusetts, USA - JAN 28, 2014
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
12oz bottle from Kramer, thanks Jason! Drunk on 1/28/14
Dark tan head tops a deep magenta tinged mahogany body. Transluscent around the edges. Head is initially large and creamy, receding to cover and lasting.
A huge wine-like aroma wafts out of the glass as I was pouring, making me wonder if this was wine-barrel aged....Nope, just amazingly vinous! It fades somewhat, or rather, a sweet chocolatiness catches up to it, combining to produce notes of dark fruit and espresso. Some light tobacco/ashiness and very little booziness, with a medium-high to high strength of aroma.
Flavor is right up there with the aroma. I believe this beer is about a year old and it’s in a great place right now. Hops have faded to just a juicy, lightly citric bitterness in the background, not really getting in the way of the bitter roasted barley. Maltiness provides just enough balance without sweetening the beer too much, and plentiful ashiness, vanilla, prunes and dark chocolate dance on the finish. Light carbonation, medium bodied, somewhat watery, which is good for drinkability, but not really something I’m looking for in this style.
Very much like Expedition indeed, I agree. Not quite the body/mouthfeel of that one (this is quite a bit more watery), and without the overall elegance of the best bottles of Expedition (a bit too much alcohol and burnt chocolate notes) but the fact that it’s in that wheelhouse is pretty impressive.
ryanscourt (716) - Latrobe, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 13, 2013
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Nice chocolate finish. Slight hops. Very smooth and creamy. Good fruit like note.
PhillyCraft (3149) - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 13, 2013
3.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Sample tried at Pour House day after event. Poured deep and dark black. Small to medium head and lace. Aromas and flavor are chocolate, roasted malt, coffee roast, toffee, licorice. Lots of sweet and rich notes to this scratch brew. Medium bodied. Enjoyable
Jesterdeal (1814) - Marlton, New Jersey, USA - DEC 13, 2013
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
On tap at the Pourhouse for the Mad Elf party. Aroma is roasted coffee and slight bitter dark chocolate. We thought that there was coffee in here to be sure. Pours black with a small deep brown but dry looking head. Taste is SO roasty. Roasted coffee, walnut shell, dark chocolate, and just a hint of malty sweetness at the end. Very dry and roasty throughout. This was a slow sipper. Love it.
jsmerig (1208) - Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 3, 2013
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle purchased at the brewery in Hershey, PA. Pours black with a dark tan foamy head. Aroma of licorice and roasted coffee. Unbelievably the beer tastes of birthday cake... at first. This is soon followed by a deep gradually building bitterness that becomes more "hoppy" as the flavor fades. The 2013 version indicates 9.1% ABV with 140 IBU. Surprisingly drinkable.
kramer (4866) - Sunbury, Pennsylvania, USA - NOV 12, 2013
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle. Pours a very deep black body with a great frothy and foamy dark brown head that had excellent retention and left lots of sticky lacing. The nose is big and intense with tons of roast and chocolate, some heavy burnt caramel sweetness, and a light hint of alcohol. This is one of the thickest and most intense aromas I’ve smelled in a long time. Reminds me a lot of Bell’s Expedition. The flavor is similar as well, rich and intense roastiness with a nice burnt caramel sweetness in the background. Some moderate burnt malt and hop bitterness on the finish. There’s a bit of alcohol present, but rather well kept in check for such a huge beer. Pretty great stuff, very much reminds me of Expedition. Would have liked to keep a few of these in the cellar for a few years and see what happens, but I drank 5 of these before this bottle I’m rating.