rateyourpoison (198) - chicago, Illinois, USA - NOV 22, 2010
12oz btl. Pours a clear copper with a minimal white head. Great unique aroma of strong dark fruit, caramel malt and spice. Huge dark fruit notes and candied caramel sweetness. Has a nice spice laden hoppiness towards the end and a kind of boozy finish.Smooth fruit and candy sweetness. Another solid founders brew. jkwood04 (5463) - Connecticut, USA - NOV 22, 2010
12oz bottle. Aroma of roasted malts, chocolate, and strong hops. Flavor about the same and very thick texture. A great beer like most founders beers. someviking (132) - old bridge, New Jersey, USA - NOV 19, 2010
aroma is alcohol and fruit. moderately cloudy appearance with stuff floating around. deceptively smooth. ChadPolenz (1847) - Lakeland, Florida, USA - NOV 14, 2010
Poured a 12oz bottle into a snifter.BeerBaboon (2125) - FINLAND - NOV 7, 2010
APPEARANCE: burnt umber/mahogany color. Very hazy, mud-like. pinkie-size head. This is why I say appearance is a rather arbitrary aspect.
AROMA: plenty of dark fruit and rich syrup.
TASTE: Very robust beer with a dark fruit basket palate covered in caramel, toffee and butterscotch. Rich and sticky to be sure, but it’s not a sugary, candy-like sweetness. Becomes more bitter as it warms. Oh-so-subtle alcohol presence holds everything together and doesn’t overshadow the palate.
MOUTHFEEL: tepid, but bitter and intense. Bitter aftertaste increases as it warms. Might want to drink this a little cooler than you might expect.
DRINKABILITY: The first half of the glass is borderline chuggable, the second half is sips only. Finishes remarkable clean considering how sticky and intense it is in the mouth.
OVERALL: This would more accurately be classified as a barleywine than an old ale. Very tasty and surprisingly drinkable. Ugly complexion, though.
355ml bottle emptied into a 41cl snifter. Amber colour with almost no head at all. Little floaties inside the glass. Aroma of sweet malts, chocolate, caramel, vanilla and berries. Spicy and sweet in the mouth. Just a little bit of yeast. Caramel and vanilla.
MacDouglass (88) - Illinois, USA - NOV 5, 2010
Aroma: being as the rating guide indicates that "aroma is one of a beer’s most complex features," I wish I were better at rating an aroma, unfortunately, even with the appropriate glassware, I had tremendous difficulty getting any strong whaft whatsoever, only subtle sweet, it is as if this beer holds in its aroma in exchange for its wonderfully complex taste; Appearance: hazy, light brown bordering on tan, looks rather unfiltered, thin tan head on pour that quickly dissipates; Taste: just fantastic, right off the bat, it reminded me of the Chimay series, but I think this one has a better balance between the up front sweetness and the bitterness that lingers on the palate only after the swallow, also, it is easy to pull out the bready, more doughy actually, aspect that the malt gives it; Palate: as said, the bitterness lingers in a wondeful way, it hides and waits its turn, in no way getting in the way of the sweetness and maltiness that you get to enjoy with each swallow; Overall: this beer is wonderful, as my first beer from Founders, I must say I am absolutely impressed, after inspecting the ratings given to several other Founders offerings, I am eager to give this line of brews more attention, find a curmudgeon and share a draught of this fine beer with him! rores1985 (9) - USA - NOV 4, 2010 does not count
A beer of good quality, however not one to my personal taste. The sweetness is way too aggressive for me to the point that it would be hard for me to finish even just one glass. bjt512 (292) - Athens, Georgia, USA - NOV 2, 2010
I poured a 12 oz bottle into a snifter. There, it sat virtually still in its opaque reddish glory, obscured by a number of floaties and raising a tiny head that dissipated almost immediately. The aroma is sweet with brown sugar, grade b maple syrup, and aged wood. The flavor follows suit, with an overpowering and complex sweetness that fades into a mildly bitter finish. The texture is sweet, viscous, almost syrupy, but the body is lighter than those notes imply, making it drinkable despite the high alcohol content. I’m not a great fan of old ales, but this is a great old ale. Capa (3440) - Kitsap, Washington, USA - NOV 1, 2010
Dark orange with a thin head. Aroma of dark ripe fruit, booze, sweet malts, light citrus, caramel malt. Full bodied. The alcohol burns the tongue as it goes down. Sweet caramel malt, deep, ripe fruit, light wood, and some bright fruit, too. Finishes with hot alcohol. While the booze is pretty intense the full flavor of this beer makes it really a great brew. Brigadier (3750) - Chagrin Falls, Ohio, USA - OCT 31, 2010
12 oz bottle
Like a true curmudgeon this sat stubbornly in the back of the fridge for the better part of a year. Finally while cleaning out old stock I decided to give it a shot. Once again Founders has done a great job with a style that would be all too easy to go over the top with. The result is an above average old ale that exemplifies many of the traits that set apart the best from those where people just went by the book.
Aroma / Appearance - Caramel / mahogany liquid oozed from the bottle into the glass like a river of warm syrup. A nice white head was like a sheet of icing over a rich decadent brownie. Chocolate brownies with heavy caramel glaze mingled with the smell of a fresh carton of hardcover books waiting to be shelved. There is enough depth and heaviness that the booziness is no surprise but it doesn’t overwhelm at all.
Flavor / Palate - Caramel chews, rich chocolate creme pie, and dried pine cones interact well. Next come figs and maple along with a heavy malt presence. Finally the dry finish warms the throat like standing near a fire on a cold winter day. Solid and well balanced this has everything you would expect to find in an old ale. If there were more of these in the cellar I wouldn’t be disappointed. Perhaps I will pick some up the next time it hits store shelves.