jb43 (1695) - Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA - SEP 1, 2011
(bottle courtesy of blutt59, sampled 5/11/10). Clear brown/ruby color. Large tan head. Moderate malt and dark fruit aroma, with light oak. Sweet malty oak flavor, with light fruit character. Long duration. Moderate alcohol finish, as expected. Slick texture. Moderate carbonation. Fair lacing. Jimthechap (2064) - Christchurch, NEW ZEALAND - AUG 28, 2011
Before I write this review, I’d just like to mention that the lovely lady at the supermarket who sold me this couldn’t be bothered to find out the actual price of the bottle when the barcode wouldn’t scan. She charged me NZ$2, actual price turned out to be $28. Win for Jim.
Black with port, rosy notes and a caramel coloured head. I stuck my nose over the glass and picked up Christmas cake, mature fortified wine, fresh spices, cinnamon and caramel. Prickly and then a full-on blast of spice and thick syrup, molasses which settles into a lustrous tasty cakiness. It is full, rich and generous. Although the bitterness is listed as being fairly high, it isn’t tear your head off strong. The finish is long lasting and when you burp it brings back a pleasant flush of allspice, cloves, port and other flavours too numerous to mention. I doubt whether I have given too many 10s for flavour (aroma certainly), but this is thoroughly deserving. This is an epic beer. It shows what beer can be and for that, I love it. dabubbleboy (73) - Virginia, USA - AUG 27, 2011
Poured 12 oz bottle Heavy alcohol aroma, it knocks you on your ass. Jet black appearance little head. With 18.2 alc. you get a heavy alcohol syrupy notes with little else. Benjii (3050) - Edinburgh, SCOTLAND - AUG 27, 2011
Bottle for Meadows Wine. Pours a jet black colour with a thin tan head that looks red in the right light. This is just too sweet for me but it works as a desert beer. Aroma is sweet with plums, rum truffles and treacle notes. Just a hint of diacetyl. Alcohol is fairly present with flavours of plums, raisins, candy sugar and a biting bitterness at the back. Little oily mouth-feel. Long alcohol hum. Overall a very nice beer but just too sweet for me. RasmusOtt (2913) - Aarhus, DENMARK - AUG 16, 2011
Pours almost black with a brown head. Aroma is alcohol, peat, liquorice, spices, roasted coffee,oak, vanilla and woody notes. Taste is huge vanilla, brown sugar, oak, alcohol, allmost like liqueur.. Big and agressive sweet beer.
joeythegreat (4) - North Carolina, USA - AUG 14, 2011 does not count
Bottle at home. Smells of dark fruit and coffee, very little head. Tastes good enough but the alcohol burn made me reach for the pepto about 5 sips into the drink. It would be better if it was more drinkable. When I pay $12 for a beer I would like to be able to get through it without forcing myself. tool2scream (188) - San Diego, California, USA - AUG 11, 2011
UPDATED: APR 20, 2012 Big as hell. It’s as simple as that. This thing was huge, huge, and more huge. Big black malt flavors with wood, char, oak, and brandy. I don’t know if this is brandy aged or bourbon aged, but it is insane. Easily the second-biggest beer I have ever tried. This thing knocks your socks off and you come back for more. Holy cow. In love.
Note - do not age this beer! Re-Rate, 2012: A little over a year sitting in the cellar, now, and the alcohol has - as expected - calmed down considerably. However, this brew needs the alcohol. This thing turned into a big, sticky, sweet, sweet, sweet, mess. This is Port-wine sweet. Too sweet for my taste buds. 3.5 on this go-round. jkwood04 (5472) - Connecticut, USA - AUG 7, 2011
11.2oz bottle in a snifter. Pours black with a lacy, beige head. Aroma of roasted malts, oak, alcohol, and the berries and jasmine mixed in. Flavor strong of the alcohol and cranberries and jasmine. Like a mix between a whiskey and beer because of the strength. Could be thicker though. A really unique and interesting beer. BBB63 (6567) - La Porte, Indiana, USA - AUG 6, 2011
12 oz bottle and served in Bells tulip: Pours deep brown nearly opaque with a small creamy lasting head and good lace, some oily tears. The aroma has notes of heavy alcohol and sugar components, scotch and sherry, chocolate brandy cherry candy, juniper, hint of espresso, leather, tar, and pipe tobacco. The taste is hugely boozy, sweet and in your face. Additionally there is a lactic twang that borders on sourness that I found a bit off putting. Earthy, dark fruits, slight peppery bite and some coffee like bitterness tried in vain to add some semblance of balance to the palate but alas died trying. Enough complexity to make it interesting but just too hot and a still a young brat. The mouth feel is sticky, slick, oily and oh yeah, quite warming and aggressive. Maybe in ... oh I dunno 5 or 10 years this will actually be enjoyable... till then it is a trial in endurance. Holdwine (1240) - Beertimore, Maryland, USA - AUG 6, 2011
Smoky, boozed up fruitcake. Still not sure if I liked it or not, but I did drain it. Tart fruit notes, not sure about the jasmine, but there werea different spiciness floating about. The 18% is a bit offputting, but the beer wins out with the roasted tarty complex mouthfeel. Maybe too much going on.