Cbuk1013 (247) - Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA - APR 18, 2013
I wish they’d make this again! Pours dark amber and cloudy, sherry notes and complex full flavored yet smooth. Medium hoppy, well masked alcohol.
Great beer. StewardofGondor (1934) - Washington Heights - Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA - DEC 9, 2005
UPDATED: JAN 3, 2006 Bottle (12-9-2005) and tap (12-29-2005.) Beautiful, hazy and semi-translucent ruby color with a small grey dust concentration near the center of the snifter to serve as the head. Aroma achieves perfection by assembling a sweet, sugary, red fruit symphony: ripe maraschino cherries, sugary cherry Jolly Ranchers, cherry amaretto cheesecake, strawberry shortcake and raspberry syrup over graham cracker crumble. Freesia, juniper and boysenberries serve as a supporting role to solidify the nose. Thick interlude of flavor, like a cherry almond nougat. Jovial, with the bitterness creeping up post sip and settling in on the back flap of the tongue. Anticipated amaretto from the nose comes to fruition in the flavor. A little swish in the mouth stirs up more bitters and invigorates grenadine, honeysuckle rose and other garden allegories (juniper, again, along with lilacs) and maple syrup over red raspberries. Sticky, thirst inducing and warming the vocal box. Bitterness builds throughout the experience, with a bitter dance of the tongue’s underbelly being most prominent in the finish, as we thirst with memories of brandy, strawberry fields and maple vats chock full of sugar and caramel chews. On tap, the malt profile felt even sweeter and more syrupy. A dream come true on draft. This one is quite delicious. Rich and fulfilling. Dare I say after dinner drink? Dark Horse doesn’t disappoint. In a year, this will be the smoothest of sippers, should I be so lucky to land another bottle. Thanks so much for the bottle, Styles! polomagnifico (1202) - Saginaw, Michigan, USA - AUG 15, 2008
Bottle. Aroma of dark dried fruits, caramel, wood, citrus juice, and sherry. Hazy deep amber brown hue with a small khaki head that mostly diminished and left some spotted lacing. Flavor is sweet caramel, raisin, sherry and finishes with a touch of bitterness. Palate is full bodied and oily soft. A fantastic Barely Wine with the best hidden 15% ABV I’ve ever encountered. This brew feels aged with the hops mostly subsided. Very good and very deadly. wavers1 (916) - Notown, California, USA - JUN 10, 2010
bottle courtesy of tyto, thanks! wow! this stuff is amazing. pours beautiful with a nice head. the aroma is nice and sweet, slightly hot. the taste is super nice, and the finish is just incredible. this stuff is so smooth i down half a bottle like an amber ale before i realized it was 15%! very well hidden alcohol, super smooth. tasty and dangerous stuff! 50belair (3643) - Florida, USA - JUL 3, 2013
Bottle number 1393/1400. The color of blood when you stab a ninja in the liver with an off white head. Caramel malt and huge red wine aromas. Delicious. Huge red wine, followed by rich caramel malts, and finishes with a wonderful port like quality. Undercurrents of wood and vanilla. Great mouthfeel and body. This version was waxed and numbered. I have a feeling it was barrel aged.
11026 (1772) - Alabama, USA - MAR 21, 2005
UPDATED: OCT 25, 2006 Bottle from Styles. Hazy brown color with a ton of sediment. Scant white head. Huge rich malt aroma with tons of dark fruit, alcohol, tobacco. Very nice!! Full bodied. Smooth. Suprising hop bitterness is still present. Alcohol is abundant. When will they make more???9/3/8/4/17Pailhead (6539) - Rochester Hills, Michigan, USA - MAR 21, 2005
2005 12oz. bottle from Silphium consumed Oct. ’06. Ruddy mahogany in color, clear. Fast fading light beige head that becomes just a ring of foam at the edge of the glass. Decent lacing. Strong malty/fruity aroma mixes with moderate doses of alcohol and is quite pleasant. Full bodied and coating. Nice carbonation. Very tasty, malty and sweet but more than adequately balanced with the hop bitterness and flavor. Alcohol abounds but never becomes abrasive or harsh. Bitterness balances oh so nicely in the finish. Very nice and bumping up the original score on this bottle.
UPDATED: OCT 4, 2005 Bottle: Great caramel and banana bread aroma with a nice hop balance. Pours an orangish-reddish-brown with an insignificant tan head. Lots of sediment and no transparency. Nice balance of malt up front and hops in the finish. Lots of caramel, toffee, light banana bread with an excellent balanced hop finish. Would really like to know how old this bottle was. Thanks to Styles for a sample and a bottle of my own.
Styles (2014) - Lincoln Park, Michigan, USA - APR 17, 2005
It’s finally been released again 3 years later and now I get to see what it’s like fresh. Lots of caramel in the aroma with some citrus. Pours a transparent reddish-orange with a small white head that fades quickly to a ring. Flavor has lots of caramel up front and some sugary sweetness. Banana bread is barely there. Finishes with lots of citrus hops and alcohol. Nice, but not as nice as the ’02. With 12oz bottles for the ’05 release, it will be easier and more affordable to stock up on several bottles to age, and I plan to do just that. Ratings for a fresh bottle would be 8-4-7-4-15.
UPDATED: MAY 23, 2007 Re-rate from a 12oz, Sep. ’05 bottling. Brilliant mahogany color, beige head, turns to film/ring. Aroma has all kinds of dark fruit, huge mollasses/burnt toffee, faint alcohol and plenty of pine resin still hanging around. Flavor much the same, huge malt bomb, fig/raisin, chocolate, plenty of biting hop character and some faint warming alcohol character. Mouthfeel is perfect, oily liqour like body. Well done IMO. Just hitting their prime right now. Inveigler (371) - Ferndale, Michigan, USA - DEC 10, 2005
Truly a very nice representative of this style. The cloying malt, the oh so bitter hop counterpoint. The trademark flavors: toffee, citrus, raisins, dates. The alcohol is evident but not conspicuous. A very easy drinking big beer. hippie4beer (162) - Indianapolis, Indiana, USA - DEC 20, 2005
Bottle. Pours a deep ruby color with a thin slightly off white head. Aroma is sweet with malt notes, chocolate, and alcohol. This smells great! Flavor is strong with caramel, chocolate, and molassas. Strong alchohol that is aggressive, but not overpowering. Full syrup like body. This is truely amazing.