StewardofGondor (1933) - Washington Heights - Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA - JUN 16, 2005
Translucent, deep copper color with a tan and thin head, transitioning from some stiff bubbles to more of an oily overlay. Aroma is delicious - grapefruit, papaya, tropical Kool Aid mix and orange blossoms. Flavor is sour grapefruit, mango and pineapple. Some maple, caramel and honey account for a sticky, intimate relationship between the tongue and roof of the mouth. Some stinging citrus shines comes through like orange extract. Alcohol is discernable. Thick, full-bodied and f*cking chewy. Bitter and hopped to kingdom come, with more than sufficient malt support. Reeks havoc on the palate, with a tongue chafing that continues long after each swallow and into the night. Finishes with hops and tree bark, like a redwood surrounded by lilies. Follows through on every aggressive promise. Believe it, this bitch is a mouthful. Thanks to tpkenned for the bottle! Sregnar35 (1033) - Rotterdam, New York, USA - JUN 15, 2005
This may be the finest liquid ever crafted by the hand of man. I want a beer that kicks me in the face and then pee’s on me while I’m picking up my teeth, this is that brew. Hops, malt, alcohol all on overload, gotta love it. fordest (2469) - Santee/San Diego, California, USA - JUN 15, 2005
Wow, what a beer. 22 oz bottle. 2004 release. Poured deep, clear amber color. Decent head that made a ring that left nice lacing all the way down the glass. Aromas of hoppy citrusness, and some caramelly vanilla. Flavors were great. Hoppy, and malty and just greatly balanced. Flavor of alcohol came throgh too. Excellent beer. Cletus (6368) - Connecticut, USA - JUN 11, 2005
UPDATED: JAN 17, 2011 Re-rate 1/1/11: 2004 from the same case the original reviewed beer came out of. Pours ruby red with a lingering, tan head. Smells of burned licorice, cognac, chocolate, figs, molasses, some smoky malt undertones. Tastes of toffee, caramel, chocolate, some underlying hoppy bitterness, spicy, peppery. As the beer warms, some dark fruity undertones give way to more intense, layered chocolate. Mouthfeel is velvety, thick, and unwavering. Carbonation is slightly understated vs. this same beer fresh. Ages well and my original impressions still hold up after all these years. Truly a work of art of a beer.Burninhell (2) - Brooklyn, New York, USA - JUN 11, 2005 does not count
Original Review:Poured out of a 220z 2004 vintage bottle into a double bastard glass purchased from the brewery. Pours out amber with a creamy 1/4 finger head that is off-white and dissipating. Smell is of grass, pepper, yogurt, lemon, and brown sugar. Taste is of sugar, pepper, caramel, and rose hips. Bitter astringent metallic finish. Excellent mouthfeel with lively carbonation that tickles the tongue and lasts after that taste for some time. Light lacing was present throughout the tasting. Overall one of the better American Strong Ales I’ve had.
beer that can do no wrong, drink this beer in the czech manner: pour into a snifer, inhale deeply, sip, have beautiful, loving woman nearby, then inhale deeply from her hair,,, will add to the experience,,,,,,
Ray1975 (251) - Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, USA - JUN 10, 2005
Pours a clear ruby red color with a medium white head that shrinks to a small ring around the glass. Aroma is sweet malt, spice, orange and alcohol. flavor follows suit with heavy sweetness and a bit of nutty flavor.. The orange and alcohol finish it up nicely. Medium to thick mouthfeel.. Probiere (992) - Pennsylvania, USA - JUN 8, 2005
Malty, chewy, hoppy, balanced, relatively unfruity, thick mouthfeel, sippin’ or gulpin’, big-headed, dark red, smooth, typical, tasty, big barleywine. What else is there to say? CAmes (32) - Snohomish, Washington, USA - JUN 6, 2005
Thank you sir, may I have another?
Actually had DB before ever try regular Bastard, which would be about the only thing to make AB seem a let down. Marketing aside, very aggressive, almost mouth numbingly so. Stew41 (2117) - Phuket, THAILAND - MAY 31, 2005
One of those rare ’whooaaaa f$%%$’ beers that seduces upon the first sip. Styled in the strong ale mould. Packaging and etched label is A1. Ultra clear toffee brown in the glass. Powerful malt nose, a sweet liquored feel and a little alcohol lift. Massive palate with big malty alcohol sweetness driving a big palate. Does an about-turn on the finish with sharp hops...very interesting. This beer might not please the technocrats but quite obviously extreme beers have their place. The DB reminds me a lot of of the ultra ripe and equally powerful shiraz from the Barossa Valley and McLaren Vale in South Australia. These wines are alos heaps of fun, possibly challenging yet many question their varietal character. I wonder if the traditionalists feel this way about Stones? (buggered if I know the answer to this ? being in Oz). OhioDad (2492) - Hilliard, Ohio, USA - MAY 27, 2005
Bottle 22oz - I’m tired of crappy little beers tonight.. time to get a big boy out of the cellar - Pours cherry red with a beautiful tan head that almost overblew the trappist glass then settled back to about an eighth of an inch. The nose is of plums and raisins and a touch of smoke over big malts. Flavor is much the same as the aroma, plums, raisins, sweet malts, and a distant smoke flavor all come to the forefront. Very complex and tasty and the alcohol is covered quite well in this beer. On the palate this is medium bodied and quite sticky with a fine bitter dry alcoholic finish that warms you right up. This is really a terrific beer and quite worth it’s rating. Seems an aweful lot like a barley wine to me though. Delicious!