NobleSquirrel (3438) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - NOV 13, 2012
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Cask pour at Half Acre. Pours a deep brown, nearly black with an off-white head. Nose is a good amount of chile, subdued and faded hops, faint oxidation and cocoa. The chiles are quite fruity and fresh. On tasting, this is really well integrated. The hop flavor is subdued with more cocoa coming out. Then the fruity chile notes come through, along with some char. Nice level of heat coming out that is balanced overall. Really great pepper beer.
TheAlum (7041) - Aurora, Illinois, USA - NOV 10, 2012
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Cask pour at the new taproom (Chicago, IL). Exciting treatment. Pours a nice deep brownish pour, some darkness in the body, frothy loose tannish head atop stays as a small layer, laces ok overall. Nice blackish brown play, good glow, mellow haze. Lighter elements but nice look. Aromas preach some growing hot earthy pepper, mild at first, capsacian, gentle toasty and biscuity malts. Earthy and citrus slanted hops give some nice life, resiny and florals. Gentle toastiness grows, synergy with the peppery spice and slowly growing heat makes the nostrils flare a touch. Initial is gentle pepper bite up front, trailing into a toasty brown biscuit and bready malt element. A bit smooth and creamy, the citrusy and earthy hops jump in as we get past, the pepper element disappearing for a bit. Florals, green lushe arthy hops, firm bitterness. Florals, touch of pine, mellow slowly growing fruit and citrus. Toasty malts and a growing returning wave of peppery spice comes in, smokey chipotle, earthy yet firm heat slowly increasing to a firm peppery flavor lingering on in the backend and finish. Not overly spicy, but flavorful. Nice firm hops, dry and bitter, toasty and peppery life play really well together. A mellow lighter body on the palate, but peppers are quite pleasant matched with a firm growing hop presence. A touch cool, firm spice, dry, a touch toasty, smooth. Too drinkable for the pepper crowd. Perhaps a touch thin, but I like that on this one. Nicely done.
pantanap (3366) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - NOV 9, 2012
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Thought I would beat Adam to the entry but no luck...On tap at the taproom... Pours a deeper mahogany non-transparent toffee-like pour and topped with a creamy film of medium beige head that slowly fades away.. Aroma of semi-assertive chile pepper upfront with a fair amount of roast and cocoa to coincide with the aforementioned. Light citrus hop accents on the backend... Flavors follow suit to the aroma with semi-roasted malt, light choco-cocoa along with a chile pepper component that nicely marries the flavors. Nice malt bill with a bittersweet profile throughout. A touch of citrus hop that evolves halfway through and extends through the finish. Medium bodied with adequate carbonation. Warmth from the pepper is held in check but slowly grows as more of it is consumed. Once again I’m a fan of pepper and this doesn’t disappoint as enough if the base remains while adding another layer to its complexity.