mreusch (858) - Olathe, Kansas, USA - NOV 15, 2007
2005 bottle, #90/222, with much appreciation to jarspag, THANKS Jared! Pours a dark, dark brown with the slightest of large bubbly head that quickly disappears, no lacing. Aroma grabs your attention from across the room, dominated by bourbon and charred oak, with background traces of milk chocolate, smoked peat, vanilla and some dark fruits. Flavor is bourbon forward, but everything else comes along nicely, so it works very well; great warming on the finish. If you like bourbon this will be very impressive, if you don’t, plan to not enjoy this one a whole bunch... boboski (1095) - Alabama, USA - NOV 15, 2007
2005. Number 16 of 222. The pour from the bottle is a criminally dark mahogany with plum hues, very oily and visibly thinner and more viscous than the unaltered predecessor. Very low carbonation holds no hope of forming a head, but ultra-compact groups of tiny bubbles rest peacefully at the edge of the glass. Bourbon is evident as soon as the cap falls from the bottle, but the impact from the glass, sitting far across the table, is profound and more bountiful than expected. As the glass is drawn to the nose, a multitude of forceful and lighter but striking aromas glide forward from the top of the vessel to the depths of the nose and throat. Stronger and more forward nuances include plums, chocolate, caramel malts, sherried oxidative slivers, roasted grains, bourbon (including oak, vanilla, charred wood), raisins, molasses. Milder scents of smoke, peated malt, blackberry, varied dark red-skinned fruits and tar complete the parade. This is about what I expected. Thus far, it is very strong, relentless and lacks elegance. Nonetheless, it’s intriguing and challenging, not to mention it wreaks havoc on senses eagerly awaiting a good throttling. A descending alcoholic burn opens the nasal cavities and is a steadfast implication of the near-overwhelming flavor that follows. The first sip is roaring with bourbon, but closely followed by a webbed structure unlikely to be encountered in almost any other brewers’ works. Notes of sherry, from oxidation, are lessened as chocolate notes and stewing caramel lash out. Peat notes and smoke share an increased portion of the playbill, now arranged in a compact but straightforward display of spice and fervor. The flavor is immediately warming, a confrontation that arrives unexpectedly. Moderate roasted malt resides within this waming assault, unleashing tannic undertones and more vanilla and bourbon character than the nose. Sweetness is very high and bodes well for the very full body and low carbonation. There is low bitterness and barely any acidity present, furthering the dessert stylings of this ultra-dense concoction. The finish is hot and abrasive but satisfying too. An absolutely monstrous beer from an absolutely terrific brewery, but I can’t think of another beer that’s so good that’s also so potent and warming. One to share. pantanap (3367) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - NOV 12, 2007
bottle (2004 - bottle number smeared unfornately)....big thanks to Drewbeerme for sharing this special brew with us....appearance: dark caramel brown, thin dissipating white head with nice lacing qualities.....aroma: brown sugar, less prominent bourbon, toffee, and dark fruit....taste: roasted and smoky which supplemented the caramel, vanilla and bourbon qualities. a little boozy but still an awesome beer. one of my favorites of the night. very smooth and enjoyable. holdenn (2127) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - NOV 11, 2007
750 ml bottle 2004 vintage sampled at "An Evening with Pantanap #1": thanks to drewbeerme for bringing this hefty beer out. Pours a murky brown with a wispy head. Aroma constitutes tobacco, fruit, oak, Charred, bourbon, oak, red fruit, rich with a little bit of vegetables . Fruit and roasted malts are the flavor base. Tobacco, chocolate, charred, cherry, oaky, and quite rich. Nicely done. drewbeerme (3921) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - NOV 10, 2007
sampled at "An Evening with Pantanap #1": thanks to ughsmash for trading this a long time ago. 2004 vintage, 750ml bottle. pours murky ruby with small off white head around the rim. nose has lots of port-wine, oak, vanilla, and cherries. flavor has tobacco, oak, vanilla, port-wine, some alcohol, caramel, some smoke, and tar. really wonderful blend of barrel infused flavors. only a tad thin. pretty fantastic stuff.
highibus (823) - Vail, Arizona, USA - NOV 9, 2007
750 bottle 81/222 courtesy of CBSchubert first rating. Pours fairly flat and thick. A - dark and murky. Nose of oak and alcohol. Slightly sweet and estery. Drinkable yet considerably strong. hellomynameis (877) - Mayer, Minnesota, USA - NOV 1, 2007
2006 release. First thought is that they could have filled the bottle a bit more. Other than that, it pours looking a bit thinner than the regular version and has no head. Aroma has some alcohol and apparent wood aging. The palate is a bit thin but not too bad. Alcohol up front with the scotch ale coming through in the mid and a long woody after. I think I prefer the regular version. kmweaver (3208) - Petaluma, California, USA - OCT 28, 2007
750mL bottle, 2005 batch, #42/222. Pours a murky, burnt-amber color; slightly yellow at the edges; light perimeter of bubbles. Significant bourbon presence in the aroma; soft sour-mash bourbon, melted butter, and lightly toasted / charred oak; strong emphasis on the barrel, with a very light, dried fruit and toffee core coming through. Medium-to-full mouthfeel: barrel presence is nicely integrated into a chewy caramel and brown sugar core; the beer underneath shows through much more in the mouthfeel than in the nose; toasty oak and butter, loads of soft bourbon and a mild sour-mash note; excellent, excellent bourbon barrel presence, but not a whole lot else; less impressive than some of the other BA Alesmiths. Dense, satisfying, and intense bourbon presence, as expected. Lengthy, buttery bourbon and toasty oak in the finish. Stine (1799) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - OCT 26, 2007
UPDATED: DEC 30, 2007 Poured from a 750 of the 2005 batch. Spirit-like in appearance, the color of rye whiskey. Clear, though deep and very oily. Full aroma of peat, the richest of chocolate moussen and burnt toffee. Earthy, and certainly quite warm; late suggestions of cotton candy and bourbon. Flavor likewise is immediately warming, chocolatey, and bitter. Silky and sweet, with caramel, lively fruit tones, and rich scotch. Full, smooth, and pleasant, but a touch too heated. Spirit character exerts a forceful effect on the palate, uncarbonated and syrupy, though it composes itself well in retaining a soft touch, balancing with skillful ease on the edge of impish and unbridled whiskey imitation. Peppery and port-like finishing tones. It’s nice, but it’s far from transcendent. Thanks for sharing, Ken! mgumby10 (1856) - Jupiter, Florida, USA - OCT 25, 2007
#1000!!!! Beer God finally! This beer is courtesy boboski, which is fitting, considering he is the person who really got me into craft beer and probably almost half my rates have come from him. His overwhelming generosity and willingness to share rare beers, even when he gave up alot to get them is second to none. Thanks again Jason, and everybody else who has shared beers with me, even the 2-3 years or so before I started entering rates seriously. Now to the beer. From one of my favorite breweries, and one I’ve been wanting to try forever. 2005, bottle 16 of 222. This poured a deep, cloudy, almost murky, dark brownish maroon, with a very small, bubbly light tan head. The bubbles hugged the egdes of the glass and left small swirls on the cap. Big caramel, bourbon, toffee, some dark fruit, and roasted malts all come together to form an enticing aroma that just sticks in the nose. The bourbon certainly isnt overpowering and seems to be somewhat balanced well with the other aromas. Can’t wait to try a sip. The flavor is lightly carbonated, almost certainly from the barrel aging, but still enough to give the mouthfeel some tingle. The bourbon is quite pronounced in the flavor, moreso than in the nose. Huge caramel characters, some vanilla, maybe a little oak, and light chocolate all seem to tag-team with the bourbon. The finish is a little bit roasty and very full-bodied. The aftertaste has a light little bitterness to it, with a big bourbon presence and a lot of caramel and vanilla flavors as well. This beer was pretty much what I was expecting, and it certainly didn’t disappoint. Thanks again to Jason for sharing this rairty!! You’re my hero.