mds (2250) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - DEC 25, 2003
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
A great compliment to the Christmas Feast! Pitch black, off-white head/lace. Aroma of roasted malt and yeast.
Bold flavour, somewhat sweet, with a moderate hop presence.
10.5% alcohol emerges in the end, but it's not too overwhelming.
beermatrix (1497) - Twin Cities, Minnesota, USA - DEC 25, 2003
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pours out a dark chocolatey brown to settle a very deep dark brown, nearly black, very strudy and richly thick substance thats unpierceable by light. Thick, somewhat loose dark cocoa brown head that builds a bit over bundantly, even with a slow pour. Very little lace appears and/or sticks. Aroma is yeasty spiced, cloves and peppery with a light dark fruit-like sweetness and light toffee with a nudge of roasty maltyness. Overall mostly sweet at first but the yeast dominates as it warms. Taste is about what I've come to expect out of these Belgian style dark ales with dark fruity sweetness of some raisin and plum upfront, quick full on spice at the middle with a touch of hops, subsides just as quick to a toffee sweetness and leaves trails of clove and other dark fruits of banana and dark roastyness that lingers with a subdued dryness and yeasty texture in the finish. Mellow but full mouthfeel with some solid carbonation, could be smoother, a little rough around the edges, but gets easier to handle as it warms. A good representation of the style, not to overpowering really, just the right amount of yeast and sweet malts, but lacks some complexity. A fine example by Unibroue but Trois Pistoles is nicer.
Dorwart (2452) - Robbinsville, New Jersey, USA - DEC 23, 2003
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Hmmm. Expected more head than this. Decent carbonation that forms little hotspots of bubbly effervescence. Quite fascinating to watch. Rich aroma of brown sugar and raisins. Color is a nice dark brown. Flavor is dense but smooth. Plenty of malt with a bit of yeast, spice and a nice alcohol kick. Finish is warming and leaves a good aftertaste. A nice dark, full bodied belgian ale that has a lot of character.
1more4dessert (333) - Upstate, New York, USA - DEC 23, 2003
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
don't usually comment on the auditory quality, but a nice snap crackle pop in the glass. Very dark brown -not black, great long-lasting and island forming head. As per the norm for this brewery a palate that can't be beat. ALmost like a good rum and coke taste w. etoh better hidden. fig newton, date, does share the same yeast qualities as fin du monde and maudite but more malty and less fruity.
IPFreely (1470) - Sanborn, New York, USA - DEC 23, 2003
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Very dark brown, almost black, thin tan head, not long lasting. Looked like a Belgian schwarzbier. Dark fruit aroma: plum, raisin, currant, along with dark malts, and the Unibroue yeast. Flavor was slightly fruity, had notes of caramel, chocolate, and sweet dark malt. Full bodied with plenty of alcohol warming. I had a very nice time drinking all 750ml of this.
Eyedrinkale (3213) - Astoria, New York, USA - DEC 22, 2003
2.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 11/20
UPDATED: JAN 18, 2004 As you can see by the rating, I didn't much care for this. Very dark, minimal head, sweetness that masks the alcohol.
Nexxus (261) - Apple Valley, Minnesota, USA - DEC 21, 2003
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: DEC 22, 2003 Dark brown with mahogany highlights and a thin off white head. Aroma of clove, pepper, anice, spice and dark fruit. Medium creamy syrupy palate with very lively carbonation and a nice alcohol warmth. Makes my entire mouth tingle. Flavor is mostly sweet and vinous, with notes of pepper, dark fruit, anise, brandy, molasses and grass. As it warms up, chocolate and roast notes become more apparent. Very good.
DYCSoccer17 (3499) - Woodland, California, USA - DEC 21, 2003
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: SEP 9, 2006 I was kinda wasted when I rated this, so it may not be totally accurate. Pours opaque dark brown with a small light brown head. Aroma is of sweet fruitiness, brown sugar? Start is sweet--maybe apples. Middle is bitter with some hoppiness. Bitter finish.-------& aug, 2006) 2 year old vintage. Nose has some roasty, chocolate notes with some definite anise present. There are also lots of dried fruits, raisins. I detect a slight touch of what appears to be cardboardy oxidation. Mildly transparent dark mahogany color with a disappointingly small light tan head that is listless and quickly dissipating. This may be due to the age of the bottle, though. Sweet, roasty, vinous raisin-like flavor with chocolate goodies. Decadent, rich, warming, smooth. Great stuff. Now I need to rate a current version after the Sleeman takeover...
Nuffield (3892) - Roseville, Minnesota, USA - DEC 19, 2003
4.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Stronger clove/spice flavor than many I've had lately, with grapefruit as well. Very dark chestnut color and all-around goodness. Frothy and life with lots of malt. Yum. (Sampled at Southern Ratebeer Gathering, Austin, TX, December 6, 2003)
BillPierce (22) - Burlington, Ontario, CANADA - DEC 14, 2003
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: DEC 21, 2003 This is truly an outstanding beer, a wonderful dark brown Belgian strong ale with rich chocolate, toffee and dried fruit flavors as well as a subtle spiciness. The finish is sweet, perhaps slightly too much so, and vinous, with a lot of alcohol warmth but also remarkably smooth for a for a beer this big. It's not quite the ecstasy of of a Westvleteren 12 or a Rochefort 10 but it's certainly in that territory and even more rich, the equal of Chimay Grande Reserve. Unibroue has hit a home run this time. Serve it with a dark dessert and dazzle yourself and your friends.