StewardofGondor (2088) - Washington Heights - Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA - JUL 6, 2005
UPDATED: SEP 30, 2005 Hazy, rustic copper in color with a thin, shadow-cast tan head. The most beautiful lacing I’ve ever seen, and a beauty in the trappist glass. Aroma is absolutely delicious: cinnamon, nutmeg and dry milk chocolate lead the charge, gradually enveloping accents of cloves, chocolate covered bananas, curacau and pepper. Simply resilient. Rich, smooth oak flavor is in full artesian display. "Spicy" doesn’t even scratch the surface. Invigorating cinnamon and curacau ignite a substantive - yet delicate - chocolate complex. Orange peels seem to interject a brief citric sense and then we smooth over everything and revisit the oak. Other flavors bring in the likeness of sweet caramel and toffee. Finishes with bitter-sweet chocolate and mild, earthy tobacco.
Lively, comprehensive and slick on the palate. The hard water and artistic interpretation in this single bottle has achieved the most delicate and impressive working balance of the farmhouse brewing tradition to date. I could write for miles...
<h6>(Note: this rating was bumped up from a 4.9 to a 5.0 by giving the palate all 5 points – like the brewery’s other ales, the high effervescence, which I at first considered out of balance, is now seen by me as a key contributing element to the many complexities of this beer. Again, I don’t think a beer can get any better than this, and if it’s one of my favorites, I feel that the rating should reflect that.)</h6>