BlackForestCO (978) - Aurora, Colorado, USA - OCT 30, 2008
UPDATED: MAR 23, 2009 Bottle thanks to StFun, thanks dude. Poured a deep caramel-amber color with a thick, yellow-tinted off-white head that slowly faded to a thick layer and left nice lacing. Aroma of pungent, earthy hops with some light pine resin, a bit of citric fruitiness (orange peel, grapefruit), and some undertones of sweet caramel malt. Smooth, moderately sweet entry with some caramel malt softly transitions into a spicy, piny hoppiness with some floral undertones and hints of grapefruit and orange. Soft carbonation, slick and full on the palate. No sign of alcohol. For what it is, this is really enjoyable. Perhaps not the traditional American IIPA, but good. Thanks Josh! grimreeser (797) - Minnesota, USA - OCT 27, 2008
A gift from Brewso. Thanks Aaron! Pours a reddish amber with little head. Alcohol is there, but I never would have guessed it was 13+%. Aroma is pine and spicy hops, a lot of caramel and toffee. Nice and sweet, some bitterness left to back it up. A little too under carbonated. Has become a hoppy barleywine. illkarate (115) - Phoenix, Arizona, USA - OCT 27, 2008
2007 12oz bottle. Pours amber red with almost no head. I had to splash the final few ounces to get some froth. Surprisingly low carbonation, gives this a syrupy mouthfeel - something that I don’t really care for in a IIPA. Sweet, with moderate hoppy bitterness, caramel, malt, tofee, and honey. Just not balanced enough for my taste... seems like a barley wine to me. Definitely can’t hang with the IIPA offerings from FFF, Russian River or Bells. kosko20 (352) - Bemidji, Minnesota, USA - OCT 26, 2008
Way too much stuff. Palate is humongously bitter. Looks good, dark gold, white head. Aroma is spicy hops and some malts. Flavor is balanced decently of hops and malts but then on the palate, extremely bitter and very alcoholic. Pastor (799) - Skowhegan, Maine, USA - OCT 25, 2008
Thanks JVD for this want
Green waxed bottle poured into a tulip glass. Hazy amber in color with slight fine sediments floating around toped of with an off white head that goes to a thick lace.
Aromas of this brew is sweet malts and piney. It is towards the barleywine in its nose.
Flavors of bitter hops hit the tongue first but then a slight sweetness ensues from the malts it is thick on the tongue and dries in the finish. I didn’t taste the alcohol at all but its effects are evident.
This brew is a sipper and not one that you would drink more than one of in a sitting .It was an enjoyable experience and I do it again
fidelis83 (2441) - Clinton, Iowa, USA - OCT 24, 2008
UPDATED: JUL 21, 2009 Pours hazy mahogany with a 1.5 finger beige head that lasts a long time, slowly fading and leaving some lacing as I drank. Aroma starts with a huge burst of grapefruit and alcohol as soon as the bottle is opened. Upon pouring the alcohol is somewhat sudued, grapefruit is still present, dried orange peels, a tiny hint of pine sap, creamy caramel, toffee, biscuit, melon and some spiciness, a good helping of honey, sweet cereal grains and new leather. As huge as this beer seems in my sinuses the flavor is oddly smooth and light on hops. Right away its a little grapefruit, and tons or caramel and toffee malt flavors, as those linger a hint of anise, and some spicy hops lead on to molases cookies, cherry cordials, bitter leafy greens, and bitterness- like tree bark round out the finish. Palate is oily and sticky and warm like bourbon. The flavor profile is interesting enough to earn high marks from me but this is a very strange IIPA. At the risk of sounding a little redundant it really is alot like a barleywine in alot of respects.
Update-07/21/2009: Added a few notes above. This 2009 bottle must be a little more fresh, or the recipe was changed a little. It has alot more hops presence and a lighter mouthfeel, quite a bit better this way. Tastes a little more like an IIPA, but is still just as much of a huge, hoppy barleywine. Raised rating from 3.5 to 4.0 GAManiac (1944) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - OCT 22, 2008
Bottle courtesy of Monger. 12oz green wax-topped bottled poured into a tulip.
Pours a hazy golden amber with a solid off-white head that left great lacing as it receded.
The aroma was dominated by citrus hops up front with grapefruit and some orange peel opening things up. There was also a serious malt sweetness that I wasn’t expecting in the aroma.
The taste takes the malt sweetness to a different level. This one isn’t fresh but I imagine that, even then, the malt profile was a major player in the taste. The sugar sweetness of the malts give way to a slight citrus hop kick up front on the palate with some bitterness in the finish as well.
The mouthfeel is crazy smooth and sticky with sugar due to the massive malt backbone. Bitterness is at a minimum.
This one is bordering on a barleywine for me, even with the minimal amount of aging on it. It’s a great beer, but I would have loved to see the hops when it was fresh. Swolf3 (262) - Elkton, Maryland, USA - OCT 20, 2008
Bottle thanks to GMCC2181. Poured cloudy amber in color with nice off white head. Aroma of alcohol, hops and caramel. Taste was hops, caramel, malts. The 14 % is covered up nice and finished sweet with niec texture. Enjoyed. doubleo (1432) - San Diego, California, USA - OCT 5, 2008
12oz bottle from RaverJames. Pours cloudy brown with virtually no head. Smells sweet and dark caramelly malty with just a hint of hop spice. Tastes like a sweet and hoppy barleywine. Lots of sweet malts with some slow building spicy hop flavors and bitterness. I guess some of the sweetness is a a syrupy, hoppy sweetness as well. Full body, good carbonation. beerbill (3619) - Laurel, New York, USA - OCT 4, 2008
UPDATED: DEC 15, 2013 Updated Rating - Bottle sampled at Dave’s tasting. Pours a lightly hazed reddish amber with an off-white head. Very pleasant aroma of caramel, sweet malt, and pine. The flavor is a lovely combination of sweet malt caramel and resinous pine. Mild-moderate bitterness at the finish. Rich and luxurious on the palate. I’m very glad I had an opportunity to update my rating for this beer. Excellent!
Original Rating 10/4/2008 - 12 oz. bottle courtesy of a trade with yem25. Pours a clear reddish copper with a thin off-white head that lasted until mid-glass. Super strong aroma of alcohol with notes of sweet malt and leafy hops. The flavor is super sweet malt up front, to the point of being sickly sweet. As strong as this initial flavor is, it is then joined by equally strong leafy hops and jet-fuel alcohol. Very hot on the palate with an overload of alcohol vapors filling the nose with each sip. Thick, sweet, and down the drain it goes...6 22.214.171.124=2.1