Marc (486) - Yokosuka, JAPAN - DEC 9, 2002
Coating the glass dark. Deep dark pit from which there is no return, traces of wet animal lull you to question what kind of brew this is and then you are hit full on by Plums, dark cherry and hints of alcohol. Sweet coating cheeries, ripe plum, raison, dark chocolat rub sholder to sholder like an NFL definsive line barly leaveing enough room for the little coffee roastyness that hides in the blackhole. As it bends light and your mind flavors start to mutate and transend to toffee, sherry, port, and honey.......heaven and hell in a little glass. dolemike1 (1288) - Jeannette, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 9, 2002
#500. Am i giving this a perfect score because it is #500? ... NO. I am giving this a perfect score because i can find nothing wrong with this beer. All the same outstanding flavors as last years version, and surprisingly no burning feeling from the alcohol. Utterly brilliant. The entire bottle was delicious. My new #1. jaymobrown (1845) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - DEC 9, 2002
Super thick and dark, it stains the side of the glass brown. Absolutely no head. The alcohol really gets pushed through here. Plums, raisins, thick malts, caramel, and dark roasted wooded flavors. The alcohol is so dominant though. As the beer warms it jumps out and controls everything. Also had the pleasure to do a side-by-side sample with the 18% and the alcohol in the 23% is really powerful. Good, but watch out. beerdedbastard (22) - Willoughby, Ohio, USA - DEC 8, 2002
I will echo all the other "WOWs" I heard from people who have tasted this.
This was a draft sample;
Huge vinous nose of sweet and sour cherries and dark fruit,grapes and sweets.Huge explosion of flavor on the palate with a continuation of a cherry-port or brandy smoothness and a warming yet not overpowering(yea right!)alcohol follow-through. A crisp,fine carbonation.Huge residual sugars evident in a brandy-like coating of the glass,post sip. Aromas and flavors intensify as it warms. NOT meant to be served too cold.
It’s an awesome experience. Not for the un-suspecting user(I can only imagine "joe six-pack" getting this by mistake and pouring it out);but something to savor. JCW (1278) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - DEC 8, 2002
UPDATED: JAN 19, 2003 Drank this a cellar temperature. There was a pretty strong aroma of alcohol. It taste like combination of alcohol, malt and coffee. I"m not sure I"d call it beer, strong stuff to be sure.
Suttree (6415) - Knoxville, Tennessee, USA - DEC 8, 2002
Drank at cellar temperature. Alcohol is apparent in the nose. It taste like, hmm - Take a quality port, mix with your favorite coffee, and add a touch of dark chocolate. Incidentally, I put the remainder back in the fridge and drank the next day (i.e. right now) and cold seems to mute some of the vinuosness and highlight the malt flavors. Non-playin’ grown up beer here. Racegoer (354) - Indiana, Indiana, USA - DEC 8, 2002
UPDATED: DEC 31, 2003 12-08-02 & then updated on 2-21-03 Ok, we did a side by side by side tasting with 3 Floyds Dark Lord Imperial Stout ,WWS 18%, & WWS 23%,Insane alcohol, you can actually feel it going down,like liquid fire,coffee,cocoa, malt, lethal if taken in huge doses.I will say I thought 18% was a little bit better, only time will tell if this one improves.Vertical tasting (I have 5 bottles left) 12-31-03 its been a year since I had one of these and they have been aging in my cellar, they have mellowed nicely quite a significant change over the past year rich rudy robust coffee, chocolate covered cherries and molasses, warming and a perfect fit for the new year. and the alochol has subdued, Really I am amazed at the difference over last year's tasting, The 18% is still better and I have not yet had the 21% so I can't compare that one. Score improves from a 4.0 to the current one, can't hardly wait till next year! Recommended ! herbjones (742) - Orange, California, USA - DEC 7, 2002
Big huge brew. On Tap at the strong ale fest 2002.Nose is a big malty brew with so much going on. More like a port than a beer. Great brew, huge potential not for the light of heart. JohnC (3008) - Mission Viejo, California, USA - DEC 7, 2002
Enormous! on tap at the strong ale fest 2002. flavors of dark cherry, chocolate & port. Jet black w/ creamy mouthfeel. apoptosis (1317) - Denver, Colorado, USA - DEC 6, 2002
UPDATED: APR 19, 2003 How can this be called a beer? It's unbelievable how well 23% alcohol is masked, but it's equally unbelievable how much sugar must be put into the wort. Definetly for dessert. Very heavy. Brown sugar, maple and coffee - but mostly molasses. Nice, very nice. I will buy more to keep around for special occasions, and when I want to sleep really well. If only it wasn't so syrupy and heavy.