Nuffield (3899) - Roseville, Minnesota, USA - AUG 24, 2003
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
I didn't know the rating of this going into it and I assumed it would be fairly middle-of-the-road since its reputation didn't precede it as with things like the Trois Pistole and the Quelque Chose. Yet, I found this to be a highly enjoyable Belgian Strong Ale. The aroma is driven more than average by the alcohol propelling itself out of the glass. That helps to make its presence known, with an obvious banana but then interesting layers of clove, pepper, mild citrus, and a hint (but not overstated sense) of bubblegum. But the nose perceives the alcohol as a slight burn in the nostril and sure enough, the first sip shows a marked alcoholic presence. Good flavor profile, with a candy sweetness sitting more markedly (than in the aroma) alongside the spicy alcoholic yeast-banana cocktail that this beer provides. The palate is a tough one to figure. It promised a lot, with the beer first starting out with a big, white, moderately dense head over a pale yellow, hazy color--I assumed there would be as much life on the palate as there was present in the body. But it faded midway through, becoming somewhat flatter, though never losing the stickiness provided by the increasingly sweet feel. Very good for its boldness of composition, though without using that sometimes overused word ("balance"), I think it relies too much on the alcohol to drive the aroma and the sense of palate, giving the appearance of spiciness where it might have used more.
beermatrix (1497) - Twin Cities, Minnesota, USA - AUG 24, 2003
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Color is a light pale hazy cloud of yellow with a fluffy white head about a finger high, fades to a skim always present and drippy strings of lace.
Smell is bright and spicy, lots of yeastyness and complex dullish citrus fruits of lemon, orange, pineapple, and banana, has a light bread dough quality coming through which is really nice. The spicy clove comes through quite a bit once its poured but seems to fade in strength as it sits where some bubble gum notes poke through. Its an interesting spicy, citrusy nose to say the least. Almost to complex, if there can be such a thing.
Taste has alot of dulled lemony citrus kinda sugary with layers of other fruits, orange and maybe green apple, kinda like those lemon drop candies but with a kick. Light & sweet frothy malts in the background. Complex yeast and spice flavors abound coming through just past halfway, mostly cloves and a touch of pepper, alot more in the mix that I can't put a finger on as it really starts filling up the spectrum of flavors and the mouthfeel seems beyond full from that point on.
It begins with a favorable medium body feel, and as mentioned, it gains alot of hold and texture just past the midway point and becomes super, super full right into the finish ending with a sharp crispness and lingering notes of citrus and pepper.
Big time sipper with this one. The alcohol is masked wonderfully and really snuck up on me in a hurry. Overall it's not as smooth or as drinkable IMO as the other Unibroue brother/sister brews La Fin du Monde and Maudite. But still its a keeper.
BBB63 (6502) - La Porte, Indiana, USA - AUG 24, 2003
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Hazy yellow hue with a good but dimishing head. Toasted malt, sweet and vinous citrus, spicy and earthy yeast aroma. Standard Belgian Golden Ale taste. Sweet followed by tart and sour taste, finishes lightly dry and acidic. Thin to medium-bodied, soft yet lively mouthfeel, masks alcohol pretty well. An average Belgian Style Ale, which is still better than 90% of the crap out there.
vector (163) - Dallas, Texas, USA - AUG 22, 2003
4.1 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
This brew started off like nothing much more than a champaign. Dry, slightly fruity, with a prominant, but fine effervesence. Halfway through my glass it really opened up in flavor featuring a complex taste of musty, spicy, floral, yeasty, candy flavors. Mouthfeel was dry and smooth. As typical with Unibroue, the high 9% alcohol content was well hidden.
Dorwart (2457) - Robbinsville, New Jersey, USA - AUG 20, 2003
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: DEC 7, 2005 Thin head but great carbonation. Nice plesant aroma of yeast, citrus fruit and a touch of spice (pepper). Color is a medium, cloudy gold. Flavor is very nice with splash of citrus fruit, a touch of alcohol and a bubbly effervesence similar to a champaign. Light, crisp and thoroughly refreshing. Finish is slightly warming from the alcohol content and is slight dry and sour. A very good product from Unibroue (again) and well worth the time.
FtWorthBrew (105) - Fort Worth, Texas, USA - AUG 19, 2003
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Decent brew but not up to the usueual Unibroue standards. High alcohol flavor disporpotionate to the content.
McWhite (108) - Sinking Spring, Pennsylvania, USA - AUG 18, 2003
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Cloudy yellow color with a large head. Aroma was spicy, but not enough to cover the smell of the alcohol. The taste was sweet and fruity.
Drinkingdan (375) - East Norriton, Pennsylvania, USA - AUG 17, 2003
4.1 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
A great Belgian strong ale. Mine was aged a year or so and the flavor was outstanding.
mikeben (355) - Naperville, Illinois, USA - AUG 16, 2003
5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
What a fine beer. It is really a very strong wit. While lacking the subtlety of some of its style due to its triple fermentaion and the high abv, its flavor is great. It hits you in the face with taste but hey thats what makes it so memorable. It comes in a large bottle with a cork. A good thing as if you drink it by yourself a half a bottle will start a pleasent buzz. I bet a full bottle would get you sloshed. As most beer drinkers who would buy this drink for taste, the cork should be welcomed as it lets you enjoy it over a few days. great stuff!
Perkeo (322) - Portland, Oregon, USA - AUG 15, 2003
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Shimmering hazy gold; nice white head but not much lace. Aromatics abound, very floral, geraniums and apple blossom pop up, plus some spices, gingerbread maybe but restrained, slight ammonia vapor to it as well. Nice prickle of carbonation on the tongue, with a mouthcoating smoothness, like mashed bannanas and honey, but with a mineral/talc backbone, with a very slightly peppery finish. Very good, my second fave Unibroue beer after Terrible.