csbosox (1229) - Prairie Village, Kansas, USA - AUG 3, 2006
I was nearly finished with my review when our power died and my review was erased. Here is the gist of it. Aroma was earthy, spicy hops, a bit of citrus and some caramel maltiness. No discernable alcohol in the aroma. Taste is malty with earthy, spciy, and flowery hops at first followed by alcohol and bitterness. The alcohol exits your nostrils and is felt in the throat. The finish is lingering alcohol and hops flavor. The alcohol is not overpowering, but there. This bottle is at least 1.5 years old, maybe 2.5. The beer lacks some of the finesse, extreme bitterness, or over the top hops taste and aroma that are exhibited in the best examples of the style, but this is a fun beer nevertheless and I am glad DFH makes it. Possibly more of a big american barleywine, but sometimes it is toough to tell the difference between some of the more hopped american barleywines. Phatz (225) - Paradise, Pennsylvania, USA - AUG 3, 2006
I am a bit conflicted on this beer. I really do like it but maybe it is just all the build up and the year of anticipation; but it was not quite everything I was hoping it would be. Maybe I was just expecting the wrong things... I did taste this side by side with the Golden Shower (a little experiment comparing DFH sugar levels in the various beers). So maybe I will try it again not next to and Impy Pils. Still, on its own merit this is the largest ABV beer I have ever had (WWS is 18%) and I did love the fact that it drank like a smooth light rum. MMM Jamaican Rum. =)
Appearance: Pours a dark gold cloudy orange color with a fluffy white head.
Smell: SUGAR sweet grain, alcohol, RUM and port fill the nose with a whirlwind of aromas, and triggers of liquor. There is a hint of some fruit but I was really digging to find the *big* hop I expected. The nose seemed to reveal more of a pale malt and breadiness.
Taste: The flavor is *big*. The first thing that came to my mind as the 21% alcohol hit my lips is aged rum. I had a bottle of 15 year rum from Haiti (thanks froggyfrog) and this brought back memories. Now I know it is not the same but that is how mental triggers work. Delving further into the flavor I found suggestions of vanilla, fusel alcohol, earthy citrus floral hop character, more sweet malts and dark fruits on top of raw sugar. All this but swirled into a nicely balanced very warming body of alcohol.
Mouthfeel: Much more thick and almost chewy than I would have expected but still quite slick and smooth.
Drinkability: This is definitely a sipping beer. I had it next to a hot grill on a hot day and I won’t do that again. It is one to treasure on a cool evening in the fall, after you have put on your slippers for the evening pour it into a snifter and sip.
Hope this is helpful.
Cheers! dhlesq (233) - Thousand Oaks, California, USA - AUG 2, 2006
Aroma of fermented figs over caramel; I get notes of floral hops but they are definitely overpowered by the malt aromas. Apepars a hazy orange-yellow with no effervescence and no head. Flavor is intensely sweet at the start, like candy syrup. Thereafter, the hop monster rises up to wrestle and reign the cloying sweetness. At the finish, Papa alcohol comes in with the belt and forces everyone to behave. I am left with a sense that there is an uneasy truce between malt, hops, and alcohol, yet no peace and harmony. Palate is thick and syrupy. Overall, an intense brew that is equal to or greater than the sum of its parts. JJClark (551) - Roscoe, Illinois, USA - JUL 30, 2006
UPDATED: AUG 14, 2006 Bottle from trade with FrumptyDumpty. Pours a nice orange hazy color with a nice frothy head that dissipates quickly. Nice lacing on the glass Delightful aroma of citrus and yeast. This is a big complex beer that intially gives a sweet taste and finishes a very noticeable high aclcohol snap. One bottle is about all I can drink in one night due to the nice buzz it gave me. This is a very good IPA just a little sweeter than I am accustom to. Thanks for the great trade Ryan!
nhorween (645) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - JUL 29, 2006
Bottle. Standard IPA aroma, nothing too exciting but some nice grassy notes. Hazy, honey colored appearance and almost a thin head. Super syrupy and sweet with a lack of bitterness. Tons of dark fruit and candy sugar with pear notes. Very thick and a bit oily on the palate with very little carbonation. Not bad, but I was expecting more.
victory (45) - Pennsylvania, USA - JUL 27, 2006
Despite being excellent, i think that 90 minute is the better beer. Certainly cheaper. Very thick beer with almost spiritesque alcohol content. Massively hopped but very well balanced. lordeche (479) - Quincy, Massachusetts, USA - JUL 26, 2006
Pours a dark, golden orange with not much head. Alcohol is extremely present in the aroma, but is complemented by notes of floral hops and caramel malts. Flavor hides the alcohol very well. Not very bitter, but the hops are definitely present in the finish. Orange and grapefruit hop flavors are balanced well with malt flavors that are hard to define. A bit on the syrupy side, but that is to be expected with a double ipa. I wouldnt drink this beer often, but its great for a change of pace. tomxcs (321) - California, USA - JUL 24, 2006
12oz. bottle, unsure of its age. IIII....am not sure what to think about this beer. Although I was disappointed and didn’t enjoy it very much, I was also amazed by some of the weird flavors in this beer. Way too sweet for me, extremely syrupy. Some oxidation evident. Tons of hops but almost no bitterness. Very strange, fruity flavors. Aroma was unexpectedly subdued. Alcohol obvious but does not seem like 21%abv. Completely ruined my tastebuds and gave me a headache. Wow. Much respect, but no thanks. anders37 (26156) - Malmö, SWEDEN - JUL 22, 2006
Bottle. Pours a clear amber colour with almost no head. Sweet malty aroma with hints of alcohol and some fruitiness. Only weak hints of hops. Very sweet malty flavor with hints of caramel and alchol. Has a thick mouthfeel and the finish is sweet malty. awaisanen (1304) - Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, USA - JUL 22, 2006
From 12oz Bottle, Brewed 03-04-05. Hazy, golden orange pour with shades of glistening apricot flesh and a thin layer of banana creamsickle foam that quickly recedes to a fluffy ring of head. Very fruity aroma - presumably the result of the exceptionally high alcohol content. Scents of freshly sliced peach, over-ripe asian pears, and muscato grapes caress my nostrils gently, calming my nerves verfore the inebriated storm thats sure to follow the completion of this high octane beverage. Surprisingly, not much hops detectable in the aroma; only a smidgen of sweet orange citrus even seems to be suggesting a hops presence. An underlying backdrop of apricot brandy is the only "bitter" dimension discernable to my nostrils, but only because of the alcohol astringency that lingers. Deep breath, as I ponder the next day results of my past WWS 23% and Raison d’Extra tastings. Mentally ready, I take my first sip. Wow, thats a full bodied syrupy mouthfeel. The hops are now making themselves blatently obvious to my palate as well. Honeyed spruce resins and white cedar pulp pucker the tongue, before the sweet alcoholic notes of apple pucker and gin erase that fleeting glimmer of hop heaven happiness. Hot finish. This beer has me beat - while impressive in its sheer quanitity and complexity of its brewing process, it successfully forces me to retreat timidly from the IIPA frontlines.