Dogfish120 (143) - Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA - SEP 30, 2005
Tap at darkhorse... upon talking to the locals who have had this beer for years they said it was too bitter, here is my thought... beautiful dark charcoal color, nice head, sweet malts with hints of toffee and maybe a slight malt place on the palate, maybe a bit biter but very enjoyable. highly recomended. rlgk (18850) - Göteborg, SWEDEN - AUG 18, 2012
Bottle at Mumsig Miniprovning, Göteborg. Cloudy grey/amber beer with no head. Malty fruity aroma, nutty notes, figs, raisins, leather notes. Malty leather flavor, toffee, spicy notes, horse blanket, figs, some plums, nutty notes. tjthresh (1873) - Greenfield, Indiana, USA - MAY 30, 2006
12 ounce bottle poured into snifter. Ruby red with a short lived tan head. Aromas of toffee, cherry, all very blunt. Very very alcoholic. Very sweet finish. Long alcohol burn. Rich full body. You really need to let this one get some age on it. Suttree (6385) - Knoxville, Tennessee, USA - DEC 9, 2006
Cloudy brownish orange, no head. Very nice aroma - caramel, toffee, maple, peppery, perhaps some hints of fresh bread, too. Surprisingly thin bodies - raisin, rum, molassess, some honeyn then a resiny, piney finish. More alcohol in the finish, too. Thanks to Silphium for the trade! lukin013 (215) - Columbia, Maryland, USA - JAN 25, 2007
Bottle thanks to hopdog. Dark amber body. Aroma and flavor were very sweet of brown sugar and dark dried fruits. Perhaps it needs to age but it seemed way too hot for me. Finish had a very whiskey-like feel to it... way too harsh. It could have potential if it hid the alcohol better.
pintsize (1042) - Austin, Texas, USA - JUL 13, 2008
6-18-08 bottle shared with lb4lb thanks to masonjer and d0b madvike (3264) - Middleton, Wisconsin, USA - SEP 18, 2010
Hefty amber brown thick pour with a thin creamy beige head. Smellis nice light malt. Flavor is hot and thick almost syrupy alcohol. Medium body and syrupy finish.
Bottle from Silphium...thanks Brad! - Pours ruby amber, clear with an thin off-white head. Nose still with some a lot of heat, but I guess not bad for 15%. Raisins, a bit of caramel, candi sugar, but the smell is kind of vaguely sweet under the booziness. Taste is caramel and butterscotch, with some dark chocolate, booze, and bitter roast. Pretty watery, though slick and smooth. Expected way more out of this. Maybe I should have put it in the cellar longer. Marsiblursi (3076) - Göteborg, SWEDEN - AUG 18, 2012
(Old bottle) Pours hazy reddish brown with no head. The aroma holds leather, sour candy, ripe cherries/cherry lemonade, figs, raisins, grainy bread, caramel, milk chocolate, old hops and light touch of wet cardboard. The flavour is medium to heavily sweet, medium bitter and light acidic with notes of cherries, dark fruits, woodsy alcohol, robust malt, old hops and oxidation. The mouthfeel is numbing, round and sticky with a light carbonation. Numbing alcohol, cherry candy and malt on the finish. Medium to full bodied.
FlacoAlto (4182) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - DEC 28, 2007
2005 release, Sampled December 2007Adverse2Bitter (35) - Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA - AUG 10, 2008
A somewhat vigorous pour only produces a scant, quarter-finger thick, tan colored head. The beer is a brilliantly clear, cherry red color when held up to the light, but otherwise is a very red tinged, deep amber color. Aromas of aged hops and aged malts produces aromatic components of berries, caramelized citrus notes, light sherry, concentrated, caramelized malt and a super malt character that is almost umami like in its richness. Heady alcohol aromatics provide similarities to Brandy and even Scotch aromas.
Sweet, thick and extremely chewy, there is a ton of residual malt sugar left in this brew. The mix is rich enough that the sweetness is not cloying, but man is this a viscous brew. Toasted malt flavors, richly caramelized sugars, richly nutty dark malts and a warming alcohol note in the finish. This is a huge beer, it even tastes a bit like not quite diluted malt extract. I am glad this is only a 12oz bottle, but I could easily see this being one of the few beers deserving of a nip bottle sized serving. Fruit flavors of raisins and prunes combine with the alcohol to give this beer a sort of brandy-like finish. But I keep coming back to how thick and viscous this brew is; it sits on my tongue like it weighs a ton, and it almost seems like I have to work to cram, even a small sip down my throat. Underneath all of this malt, the beer is actually quite hoppy too; it plays a secondary role here and can sometimes get lost in the malt, but I do taste a herbal, sweet citrus character that is clearly hop derived.
While this beer is tasty and complex, it is just a bit too much. The amount of residual, unfermented sugars left in this beer is crazy; it is just so thick and so viscous that it makes it hard to even swallow. This beer is not bad, but it just ends up being too much. Perhaps another ten or twenty years of age would make this more drinkable.
As a self confessed Barely Wine freak and life long Milwaukee resident, I was pleased to pick up the 12once bottle. The title and the wax seals conjurers up images of a killer long lived work of brewing art. The reality is not to fare off.
Not as complex or as thick as some others. Brown sugar and baking spices come over the glass, but the beer is not very aromatic. Sweet! with low carbonation. Almost no hops. The alcohol is well hidden. A well balanced (boring) barley wine.
If you are looking for something’s really off the hock try the lighter but more hopy Pilgrims Dole from new Belgium or thicker almost Cognac like Dogfish head’s Olde School. Both have quality’s this one lacks.
Nice try Dark Horse