blankboy (7689) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - DEC 12, 2005
Bottle shared with HogTownHarry & tupalev -- courtesy of Dave B. I had heard this beer was good but never did I imagine it was this good! Pours a clear, slightly bubbly, orange-amber with a small lasting foamy white head. The aroma: hopjuice baby! Oh yeah, I friggin’ love it -- I am going to just sniff this all night. Sniff. Sniff. The flavour: Holy Sh!t! Can a beer taste better than this? the following superlatives come to mind: Excellent! Impessive! Delicious!...you get the idea. If I must describe it further then I would say the flavour is a wonderful blend of juicy hops and toasty malt and is surprisingly well balanced. I freaked when I saw this was 21%, I exclaimed loudly "There’s no way!", hell I’m still shocked as you would never know it by the taste. Palate is syrupy and has a Barley Wine texture. Quite simply one of the best beers I’ve ever had and I’d argue one of the best beers period. Gorbalev (3000) - Ontario, CANADA - DEC 12, 2005
Bottle graciously shared by Hogtown Harry with Blankboy and GregClow. I was just flipping though some other ratings of this - why in the world are people so hung up on style here? BarleyWine, Double IPA, I don’t care, all I know is that this is a beer that I have been waiting to try for some time. I was a little cautious, as the World Wide Stout was massively disappointing, all alcohol and nothing else. So I sipped this with the aforementioned caution. First off, it looks amazing. Dark intense orange, lots of streaming bubbles, thick foamy white head - I can’t see a beer like this looking any better, so 5 there. The aroma- wow, it is actually quite mild! At 21% and these hops, I had insulated my nose hairs in case of fire, but it isn’t there. What is there is a mild hop aroma with tons of bready malt - it smells formidable, but there really isn’t any alcohol to speak of. The taste: WOW. I never thought I would use the word balanced to describe a 21% hopped all to hell beer, but here you go - it is remarkably balanced (more so than their 90 Minute I would argue). I get lots of hops, more really bread like malt, and alcohol for sure, but maybe more like an 8-10% beer - this is remarkably restrained. More importantly, it is the most balanced big Double IPA I have ever had. Medium silky mouthfeel. A nice sweet fruitiness in the background as well. Way more accessible than the World Wide Stout, this is truly heaven in a glass. Thank you Harry for sharing this. 120 Minute: Welcome to my Top 10. LilKem (1213) - Marietta, Ohio, USA - DEC 11, 2005
Hot damn. This was more like a barleywine with hops than a IIPA. Way overkill on the alcohol, felt like i was taking shots. still had a few distinguishable flavors, but most ofthem were covered up by the alcohol burn. I think it’s safe to say that this one pretty much knocked me on my ass this weekend. porterhouse (1580) - Boothbay, Maine, USA - DEC 10, 2005
(Bottle) Poured a light amber with a thin fizzy off-white head that dissipated quickly. Aroma not pronounced but detected breadiness and flowery hops. Weepy lacing. Mouthfeel is fairly syrupy, sticky at end. Must be pretty carbonated, am burping up hops about every 20 seconds. Flavor is a combination of honey, rosewater, flowery hops, malt and alcohol sweetness. Well this is cool, will give you a buzz quickly. Sweet and hoppy. JoshuaB (476) - Detroit, Michigan, USA - DEC 10, 2005
2005 Bottle. Pours a deep copper, rather translucent. Damn filtering. A thin layer of white head remained throughout. Amazing aroma. Smells of grapefruit, grapefruit, and more grapefruit. Maybe some toffee as well. Flavor starts out with a huge blast of malty sweetness. This is followed by a huge blast of spicy and grapefruity hops, to the max. Oh man. My first thought was, is this Hawaiian punch? Ends rather sweet, borderline cloying. Alcohol is well hidden considering the magnitude. Ive seen lesser beers in the 10-11 ABV range show more alcohol (eg. Dulle Teve). First few ounces were amazing, the next few not so much, and the last few were hard to finish. A crazy concoction worth a try, but in the end, lacking a bit of complexity, and the sweetness becomes unbearable at the end. Will need another bottle to cellar. More of an American Strong Ale than a IIPA.
HogTownHarry (6823) - Toronto (Harbourfront), Ontario, CANADA - DEC 6, 2005
UPDATED: DEC 12, 2005 Bottle (12oz). Shared with blankboy and tupalev, courtesy of Dave B. Poured hazy deep orange with an average diminishing off-white head. Aroma - wow, incredible rich hops - dry hops, resiny fresh hops, oily hops - mmmmm - also woody solid malt backing, a bit funky and lactic too - nice. Taste - this is 21%? Really? Lovely rich sweet malt, resiny hops that build slowly and really stay with you. Sticky, full-bodied mouthfeel, really really nice. Thanks Dave! gsteph (325) - knoxville, Tennessee, USA - DEC 2, 2005
I would find it very difficult to place this along with other double IPAs’. The explosive hops aroma I was looking for isn’t there like I hoped for. Hops are present but have been overshadowed by a sweet, caramel, sugary fruit aroma. Not unlike another favorite of mine...barley wine. Beautiful clear amber pour. Smaller head than on a typical IPA. It has a close, compact, and thin off-white head. Lots of lace. Be careful...that first sip will knock your ass off! Not what I expected. Definitely smooth for a brew this potent and with IBU’s so high. Sweet and syrupy. Dried, candied fruit...peaches, plums and pears. Alcohol burn up front that blends with the fruit on the way down. The alcohol is masked wonderfully. I love it...however, this falls way out of line from an IPA of any kind. In my opinion this will always be a barley wine. tattooscott (6) - shepherdstown, West Virginia, USA - DEC 1, 2005 does not count
This shit will knock you down. No joke, @21% it’ll put on a hurtin. But beyond that it doesn’t taste like it will kill you. Still extreme alcohol taste with a sweetness that attempts to hide its crazy side (think ex-girlfriend) Goes down smooth but you’ll never remember. Crazy hoppy. jimbowood (1036) - Freeport, Georgia, USA - NOV 23, 2005
Not the huge hop aroma that you would expect. More alcohol aroma and flavor that hop aroma and flavor. High alcohol almost has a sweetening effect on the hops. Needs some age to cool down the alcohol. Interesting.
WisconsinBeer (716) - St. Paul, Minnesota, USA - NOV 22, 2005
This beer is definetely as advertised. BIG flavors. Big hops and big malt. Alcohol is noticable at the beginning, but as you get further down the glass it fades into the background becoming unnoticable. The hops are obvious but a huge sugary malt background keeps them in check. Beer is quite warming with all the alcohol. Tasty? Yes. Over the top? A little. I like it, but in an IPA I like a little more citrus fresh hop profile. Not amazing, but very good.