dnstone (2431) - Las Vegas, Nevada, USA - DEC 5, 2009
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Dark malty with a hop balanced aroma. Deep amber with excellent lacey off-white head. Caramalty/chocolate malty with a strong hop, a bit of fruit in the finish.
BillKismet (3658) - Seattle, Washington, USA - DEC 5, 2009
3.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Robust amber body with thick, poofy caramel foam top. Blissfully hoppy aroma ringing with candi malt and a medley of floral and fruity hops. Sharply hoppy flavors bursting with fresh hop leaf flavor and bitterness. Cascade and a hammering of Chinook--perhaps Magnum as hell. Semi-harsh bitter bite along with some sour soapiness. A viciously uneven hop monster with chocolate roast undertones that grate against the hops.
Lyncham (251) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - DEC 5, 2009
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Thisis hard to classify. The flavor is complex. It has hoppy IPA characteristics but also it has some dark roasted malt flavor. There is a slight bit of bit chocolate. It is very interesting.
HopBackDoc (474) - Hatboro, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 5, 2009
4.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Pours a dark mahogany with big tan head that leaves excellent lacing. Aroma is roasted grains and earthy hops. Flavor was roasted malts, sweet malts and big doses of pine and grassy hops. Medium bodied with a delicious finish of caramel and bitter hops. This beer has a lot going on from start to finish, especially as it warms a bit. Take your time and enjoy all the delicious ranges of flavor as this beer sits and mellows. I am also putting a few aside and let them sit for 6 months or so. Another winner from Victory.
ApisAles (1576) - Greenbelt, Maryland, USA - DEC 5, 2009
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Pours a red/amber color with an off white head. Aroma is great big juicy citrus hops with some really nice malt notes in the back. Flavor is similar, really nicely balanced malt/hop action with a good subtle hint of roast throughout. Good beer.
TheAlum (6650) - Aurora, Illinois, USA - DEC 4, 2009
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
12 oz bottle courtesy of the Binnys singles rack (Orland Park, IL). Pours a very dark brownish copper, very light haze, ruby edges, a pretty sizable tan caley head that stays moderate, laces well. Aromas are fresh piney and citrus hops, heavy on the resin and florals, some citrus further underneath, but very piney and floral, with some caramel and toffee malt to balance this stronger brew. A bit toasty, with a bit of a raw earthy feel overall. Initial has a goof blast of piney and floral hops, much lighter on citrus, instead preaching good resiny and floral bitterness, doughy bready malts coupled with some lighter caramel and toffee, the bitterness really sticks as some lemon comes in much further underneath. The bitterness really grows on me, as it is very piney and raw, citrussy lemon and grapefruit plays a significantly lesser role. I’m not a huge fan of American Strong Ales.. But this is very good, displaying a good natural raw earthy hop bouqet, without a thick body and cloying malts.
bigrond (1499) - factoryville, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 4, 2009
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
A very good beer. The catch all ’American Strong Ale’ is hard to compare to others since its such a vague catagory. But standing alone this beer has a nice dark brown hue and a hearty hop filled aroma. The flavor was more balanced than the aroma and the palate was a little weaker than I thought it could have been. All in all, it was very good.
dmac (5086) - Toms River, New Jersey, USA - DEC 4, 2009
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
12 oz bottle from Buy-Rite Jersey City. Pours a reddish/brown with a huge tight bubbly head that after some setteling turns more foamy yet lasts the entire beer. Aroma is loads of grapefruit rind, chcolate and bubble gum. The body is very full with assertive carbonation and a foamy mouthfeel that finishes super bitter. The flavor is slightly smoother then the aroma with lots of big juicy citrus notes followed to a lesser extent by some raosted malts and slight chocolate flavors. Despite being a solid beer once I realized that this was a "black IPA" I once again got my hopes up thinking of Stone XI only to find out that this one pales in comparision.
tastybeer (1853) - Indiana, USA - DEC 4, 2009
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
This is one hell of a beer. Pours brown with a thick light brown head. Tastes like chocolate, spice, and hops. You can taste the alcohol but very balanced with the malt. Very drinkable strong ale.
jeffc666 (1984) - Fairfax, Virginia, USA - DEC 3, 2009
4.1 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Dark burgundy with a dense lovely looking light tan head. Aroma is equall as lovely. Hints of juicy fruit (that’s a brand of gum in case you think I have lost it), caramel, pine and roasted malts. Flavor is quite nice but not as good as the aroma. The biggest surprise to me is the balance of hop-malt-alcohol that is achieved. Rare is the beer that accomplishes this deft balance. The palate is medium, a bit slick in the mouth, but still quenching, in a god-damn its cold outside kind of way.