Silphium (3224) - Traverse City, Michigan, USA - OCT 19, 2007
Deep orange-brown body, thick puffy cream head. Crisp piney, citrusy hops aroma, backed by bready malts. Toasty body, potent with citrusy, piney hops and a bitter, peppery finish. Bready. Solid, but not entering my Top 50. If an I2PA/ASA isn’t going to deliver creatively, it had better knock the presentation out of the park to reach elite status. TheBeerLover (1027) - DC Metro Area, USA - OCT 19, 2007
22 oz bomber. Pours to a deep amber color, with a thick, creamy, white head, and a good carbonation. The nose on this beer is fantastic, with big aromas of citrus and grapefruit, paired with aromas of fresh pine. The palate is firm, with good biscuit and pale malt flavors, paired with a touch of carmel malt, but this only acts as a springboad to hop flavors. Lots of good citrus and grapefuit flavors and bitterness dance over the tongue. This beer finishes with more really great malt and hop flavors, then ends with a big, zesty, pungent lemon and grapefruit bitterness that lingers. This beer is an IPA all the way. I don’t care if they tossed in a little more malt, hops dominate this beer in a big way, and it is a wonderful thing. This beer makes a phenomenal aperitif, and a great hop coctail of a brew to sip and relax with. Very impressive. TheBeerOrg (2145) - Louisville, Kentucky, USA - OCT 9, 2007
Bottle acquired at Jungle Jims - Pours dark reddish amber with a mostly receding light tan head. Aroma of sweet citrus, grapefruit, and resinous toffee. Taste is extremely hoppy, with the typical grapefruit and pine resins. Notes of spicy citrus, sweet toffee, and moderately acidic. Mouthfeel is full bodied, resinous with lively carbonation. I hate to generalize, but these west coast Strong Ales all taste so similar. 8-10% with a crapton of C hops. That basically describes this beer, Arrogant Bastard, and nearly every beer made by Lagunitas. I enjoy them, but I can’t rave about them. RAYBOY01 (2010) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - OCT 7, 2007
This brew pours a rich robust red with a thick white rocky head, which releases an abundant hop aroma. The initial flavor though is all malt sweetness...roasted caramel, dried fruits, and hints of molasses and brown sugar. The hops are pretty potently pine and grapefruit and really get more resiny as it warms. I actually found the alcohol pretty well concealed...certainly THERE, but not in-your-face about it. A quality product, by all means, but not the opus magnus I’ve been expecting. StefanSD (2468) - Ouray, Colorado, USA - OCT 1, 2007
650ml bomber from the brewer. This is the 2006 winter yulesmith. Pours a cloudy reddish dark brown, with a huge khaki head that lasts forever. The head stands up like thick like a meringue, very nice. The aroma is strong with sweet caramel, anise and hops. Flavor is complex and loaded with chocolate, coffee, black licorice, pine, cedar and walnuts. The hops are well defined and prominent throughout the experience. The palate is full and satisfying. The finish is long with lingering bittersweet dark chocolate. This is a a great brew. Recommended.
beerbill (3619) - Laurel, New York, USA - SEP 30, 2007
22 oz. bomber. Pours a cloudy dark amber with a moderate yellow/white head that lasted through most of the glass and left partial lacing. Very nice aroma of citrus and pine along with a bit of sweet malt. The flavors are strong too with citrus, pine, brown sugar and malt all present. It just doesn’t seem to come quite together though. There’s also a noticeable alcohol burn which intereferes a bit with the flavor. Dry, hoppy finish. MadIndian (2743) - Levittown, Pennsylvania, USA - SEP 28, 2007
Bottle from Julios Liqours in MASS. Sampled with Dennis Bell. Orange pour with thin head with a hop, citrus and caramel aroma. Sweet malt taste with hints of fruit and caramel that were blended to perfection. Absolutley awesome. The cerimonial hump of the bottle was done. mtoast (336) - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA - SEP 26, 2007
UPDATED: DEC 19, 2009 22oz bottle, no dates. Deep amber pour, fluffy tan foam, great retention and lacing. Big pine nose, with some sharp booziness. Big wave of crystal malts with lots of hop notes, spruce, mint, lemon zest; some serious alcohol notes too, but they really work well with the hops to accentuate the flavor rather than kill it. Having had an older vintage and now a newer one, I can’t see any advantage to cellar this. brianjames1 (539) - Northridge, California, USA - SEP 26, 2007
22oz bomber. Not to impressed with the aroma as it smelled more malty than hoppy. The taste was more malts then hops as well with a strong caramel taste.Had a nice crisp balanced bitter afterbite that left you wanting more. ClarkVV (6963) - Boston, Massachusetts, USA - SEP 26, 2007
UPDATED: SEP 27, 2007 I’ve had this one over the years quite a few times. The best one I remember from the DC/VA gathering at Founders back in 2004 as being really intricately malty, with almost all hop flavor/aroma and little bitterness. More recently I’ve had some really disappointing bottles, that were extremely yeasty, catty and intensely bitter (2005 version). The 2006 I’ve had mixed results with, having had some yeast bombs as well, but most recently I had what I think is probably the best it’s going to get this year and decided to rate it. Tons of pine, marmalade and lots of cherry and strawberry esters. The yeast is plasticy and not particularly enjoyable and just gets more intense as the beer wears on and you get closer to the bottom. But the malt is solid enough, with toasty caramel and bread notes, and lightly sweet brown sugar that helps coat the mouth and protect against some of the hop burn. Alcohol is not particularly subtle, eating away at the malt body and really accentuating the rather steep hop bitterness. Pretty forceful overall, and some fruitiness or more "elegant" hop notes would be a relief. As it is here, it’s just tons of pine and citrus and too much yeastiness. Nice appearance, though, of course, with great head formation/retention and plentiful lacing. Texture is sticky, with medium amounts of mostly tight carbonation.
Will pick up a new ’06-’07 bottle when they come out and rerate.