RATINGS: 367   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.74/5   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 330   ABV: 11%
Monster of a beer, shrouded in mystery, brewed once a year. This beer is hopped quadruple-strength, and exoticly spiced.

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   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
hopscotch (10999) - Vero Beach, Florida, USA - APR 24, 2004
Very murky, dark, copper-colored ale with no head. Smells like molasses, caramel and dried plum... malty as hell. I dig that. Fairly well-bittered for balance with notes of caramel and butterscotch. Full-bodied with an oily mouthfeel and light carbonation. Lengthy, bittersweet finish. I really enjoyed this one!

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 10/20
jsquire (4363) - St. Marys, Ohio, USA - MAR 27, 2004
UPDATED: DEC 12, 2005 2004 -- so much better than the other two vinatages of this that Iíve had. Much darker and hoppier. Itís difficult to put numbers on this beer because it is so different each year. 2003 -- murky, lifeless brew. Almost still. Nose of plums, alcohol and grass. Once it warms, the cinoman spicey flavors come out. I also taste cherry, apple, burnt toffee, dust, wood and lots of alcohol. The finish is an odd, syrupy orange rind/orange liquer. Eccentric is one word for it. I tried this back to back with a bottle from 1996. The í96 was better, as all the flavors had rounded into one ball of burnt sugar, dark fruit and alcohol. Lots of sherry and oak in the old one. Thanks to BBB63 for these interesting bottles, but I just wasnít able to appreciate what Larry was going for.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
radiomgb (2686) - Peterborough, Ontario, CANADA - MAR 27, 2004
Murky brown in colour. Aroma was very sweet, alcohol, some hops and oranges. Flavour had lots of alcohol, malt, caramel, very sweet, sticky. Rather young, aging would do this wonders. Finishes with a medium bitterness and too much alcohol. Thanks Michael.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
beerhugger (542) - Oshawa, Ontario, CANADA - MAR 26, 2004
Well this rating is not in the slightest indicative of the potential this beer offers. Sadly it was too young and harsh to be given its full due. A bowl-me-over candy-cane sweet aroma hit me as soon as the cap came off. Very barley-wine like with lots of alcohol and warmth and evident complexity of sweet and bitter and bread and citrus. But it was just too much alcohol in the taste and in the finish for me at this point.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 12/20
Ernest (7596) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - MAR 17, 2004
Head is initially small, frothy, off-white, fully diminishing. Body is murky medium brown. Aroma is lightly malty (molasses), moderately hoppy (resin), lightly yeasty (dough), with notes of alcohol, sherry, oregano/sage, and lemon peel. Flavor is heavily sweet, moderately acidic, lightly bitter. Finish is moderately sweet, moderately acidic, moderately bitter. Medium body, syrupy texture, soft carbonation, lightly astringent, lightly alcoholic. Spicy, but dull in overall effect. Did nothing for me, but then again I'm not as big a fan of Bells as most.

   AROMA 4/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 3/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 8/20
TheBeerCollector (633) - Woodstock, Georgia, USA - FEB 24, 2004
2004 SE Gathering: Pours a cloudy brown with noo head. Spicy aroma that smells like vinegar. Thick, sweet, cloying flavor.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
aracauna (3567) - Georgia, USA - FEB 23, 2004
Eccentric is right. I don't have a clue what is going on here because there's so much to it. I can say that it's a murky medium brown with an ok head. Wasn't much to look at, but the aroma and flavor made up for it. Lemon and oregano, maybe coriander stuff that I don't even now about. Some alcohol, but the rest of the ingredients keep it in check. Thick, slick mouthfeel. Weird, but I like it.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
harlequinn (2744) - Tacoma, Washington, USA - FEB 22, 2004
This is one of the most complex beer out on the market. To be truly appreciated you will not be able to agive this a complete rating one the basis of one bottle. Dark ruby appearance, with lots of fruits, and chocolate covered cherries, rum, toffee and raisins. I cannot wait to try this again, and give it a more complete rating.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Suttree (6296) - Knoxville, Tennessee, USA - FEB 22, 2004
UPDATED: FEB 24, 2004 Cloudy brown. Alcohol, caramel and toast in the aroma. Viscous mouthfeel. Has a sort of English BarelyWine feel to it. Rich and sweet, but with a backbone of nice hop bitterness. Nice. Sampled at Ratebeer Southeastern Gathering, Atlanta, 2004.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
wunderbier (1434) - Tampere, FINLAND - FEB 22, 2004
Sample glass, RateBeer Southeastern Gathering. Very spicy with lots of cookie malt. Extremely sweet and spicy throughout. Heavy body, creamy/oily texture, soft carbonation. The bottom line is: absolutely unique, I know Iíve under appreciated it here; Iíd love to have another bottle to more appropriately study this brew of great depth.

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