phaleslu (10750) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - OCT 20, 2009
Bottle at Atlas Beer Cafe in Queenstown. Batch 244. Pours a dark, opaque brown color with a small tan head. Aroma of dark fruit, chocolate, malt, and alcohol. Flavor is more of the same, with some wood and spices. Warming alcohol, smooth. Medium-full bodied. Very good, but I bet it improves with some age. DonBirnam (108) - Wellington, NEW ZEALAND - SEP 30, 2009
Bottle @ Hashigo Zake. Star anis all over, both the aroma and flavour are dominated by it. Also has a strong dark fruit character and alcoholic character. I definitely think it will improve with time. Stew41 (2104) - Phuket, THAILAND - SEP 22, 2009
As others have noted this is a big flavoured interpretation of the style and indeed is built more in line with a dark Belgian ale. Aromas are very sexy; sweet cloves and poached fruits, subtle in some respects but very complete. Some aniseed as well, but this might be the alcohol speaking. Flavours arer equally impressive, showing more sweet clove and spice, licorice, some alcohol warm and even some sweet vanilla oak-like characters. Another world class beer from Emersons and perhaps the best Belgian inspired beer made in Australasia. nate2g (1548) - Boomtown!, AUSTRALIA - AUG 22, 2009
UPDATED: DEC 5, 2009 Bottle. Pours dark brown with a small brown head. Rich aroma of dark roasted malts, chocolate, anise, melon, coffee, fruit...such a diverse mix going on. The flavour is also unique, roasted and chocolate malt with fruity esters, anise and herbs. Medium bodied and soft carbonation. Good bitterness and malty, fruity finish. No sign of the abv and masked well behind the malt. A wonderfully complex beer and very unique which grew on me as the beer draw to an end. Another great beer from a classic brewer. A big thanks to Stew & Chris for the bottle..cheers lads! BeerChaser0078 (909) - Melbourne, AUSTRALIA - AUG 15, 2009
Bottle. Pours almost black with a dark ruby edge and a beige head that doesn’t last long and leaves no lacing. The aroma is tangy and quite appealing with hints of espresso, dark chocolate and concentrated yeast. The flavour is less sweet than the aroma suggests but has lively grains, a touch af cherry, clove, mocha and the faintest suggestion of aniseed. Very nice cold but as it warms the flavour becomes more complex and compelling. A very fine beer from a great brewery.
DiscoForever (72) - Dunedin, NEW ZEALAND - AUG 10, 2009
Obviously I really like this one. AROMA of luscious fruity goodness. Creamy chocolate, sweet melon and tropical fruit, pear and some yeasty spice. TASTE is full-on and zingy. Sweet, alcohol, roasty, tangy, creamy dark chocolate. Balanced toward the tangy/alcohol side with a long dark, roasty, spicy finish. Will age very well and needs time to pull in the alcohol a bit. LOOKs like the darkest opaque brown with a massive bubbly choc-tan head that slowly pops back to a dense half cm. BODY: Creamy mouthfeel with tingly carbonation on the tongue. Here again, aging will assist in mellowing. Great winter warmer fireside with rich chocolatey desserts, or as a gift. Keeping some for years to come. Try with a hefty marinaded steak or thanksgiving turkey (in USA!). Chrism86 (294) - Melbourne, AUSTRALIA - JUL 30, 2009
Great looking beer, not unlike any other emersons beer. Quite dark for the style, almost porter/stout like. Dark, dark brown body with nice, creamy tan head. Nose has big yeast spice notes with alcohol evident but funnily enough disguised by the aniseed notes. Palate has dark malt, chocolate bordering on coffee notes. Some dark figgy fruit notes thrown in aswell. Finish has big spice notes, aniseed obviously most dominant. Overall a great beer,it’s near impossible to find non Belgians of this style with as much complexity. Star anise adds alot, without dominating too much. Emersons can do no wrong, seriously a world class brewery. DuffMan (10732) - the land of bitumen, beef & beer, Alberta, CANADA - JUL 25, 2009
Bottle. Hazy brown pour with ruby highlights and a thick light brown head that shows excellent retention. Very spicy nose that is hard to qualify completely, but brings to mind the Italian soft drink Brio in its herbal spiciness and sweetness, but with elements of mace, clove, and chocolate as well. Nice flavours of chocolate, strawberries, and heavy spices as in the aroma. Slightly medicianl finish with pleasant alcohol warmth at the back of the throat. Another excellent beer by Emerson’s, complex and very enjoyable. SorenE (168) - , NEW ZEALAND - JUL 16, 2009
dark dark reddish brown, tan head, inviting, good lace. I’m getting cloves and liquorice/anise on the nose. flavour is sort of the same, the liquorice is a bit stronger and the flavor is sort of sweet with a pretty dry palate. Reminds me of liquorice gum I used to chew as a kid, which doesnt sound that inviting for a beer but I am aqtually quite enjoying it. greig (253) - Hamilton, NEW ZEALAND - JUL 14, 2009
Rich brown shot through with red and a dense creamy tan head. Agree with bozoNZ below in that the aroma and flavour both remind me of Taeri George, though I’m not a fan of that beer and I do like this one. The spicyness is a little too dominant for my tastes, though to be fair, is fairly subdued - I just don’t much care for spiced beers. There’s a beautiful hint of smokeyness, almost like there’s German rauchmalt present - that same sort of bacon smokey sweetness. Tasty. I have a case and will re-rate in a year or so when I fully expect it to knock my socks off.