jmikolich (1477) - North Ridgeville, Ohio, USA - AUG 21, 2007
22oz bottle, smells like an IPA but tastes like an IPA which switches into something different a balance of maltiness and some other taste. this one could do with some aging i feel to mellow the hops, no detection of the 9.28% abv, seems like a supercharged ESB, but nothing too special gws57 (1276) - Saint Charles, Illinois, USA - AUG 21, 2007
Had this one on draught in Wheaton, Illinois. Hazy copper pour with a filmy, white head, very piney and rosey nose, hoppy as hell, finished very strong. Another excellent example of the style from a great craft brewer. jeffc666 (1984) - Fairfax, Virginia, USA - AUG 20, 2007
(Sneak Release version not the 12th anniv. version)Dorwart (2589) - Robbinsville, New Jersey, USA - AUG 19, 2007
Amber, leaning towards golden. Spotty white and bone head. The aroma is strong on citrus and pine, leaning a bit towards cleaning solution, but still this side of good. The flavor, unfortunately is more like cleaning solution then the aroma, i.e., it has leaned over to the dark side of things and is not so good. The palate just furthers the illusion of drinking cleaning fluid, thin and harsh. Alcohol is evident top to bottom. A huge disappointment from a typically fine brewer.
UPDATED: MAR 11, 2008 Decent sized dense and creamy head of fine bubbles. Light carbonation. Big hoppy aroma with lots of piney hops with a strong malt backbone. Some caramel and spices. Color is a rich orange amber. Lots of hops and bitterness in the flavor. Roasted malt backbone which offsets the strong hops presence. Noticable alcohol presence. Finishes bitter and sticky malts. I don’t know. Slowly I am being tuned away from these american strong ales. Guess my tastes are changing. This is still a very good example of the style though. elnadeau (786) - Laguna Niguel, California, USA - AUG 19, 2007
Bottle, "Sneak Release". Nice copper pour with an off-white head, sweet malty, hoppy nose. Big caramel malt flavors, thick with bread and bisquit.. and bitter, yes sir... just the way I like it, with good balance. Not the most complex of the style, but very enjoyable.
jasonp (1581) - Ashburn, Virginia, USA - AUG 17, 2007
Bottle, 9.28% abv. Pours an attractive dark copper with a medium but tight off-white head. Nice piney, citrusy hop nose of medium intesity with light touch of toffee. Very bold and flavorful. Big bready caramel toastiness to start followed by a rush of piney/sappy grapefruit-laden PacNW hop goodness. Ends with a touch of pepper. Pleasant moderate malt sweetness lies beneath the prominent yet very very smooth bitterness. Alcohol content extremely well-hidden - dangerously drinkable. Full, round and oily on the palate with perfect medium carbonation. Very good stuff - get ya some. TheBeerGod (6216) - Newport News, Virginia, USA - AUG 17, 2007
Bottle. Listed as 9.28% ABV. Hazy amber pour. Thick tan head leaves pretty but spotty lacing on the glass. Aroma smacks of citrus oils and peels dancing in caramel. Taste seems to echo this. Lots of citrus peel and citrus oils bathing in luscious caramel and sweet malts under pine trees. The hops seem very dominant here and for a West Coast beer, it’s expected! Body is firm yet chewy without being over-carbonated. Oily in spots with lingering bitterness. Finishes like it began - citrus, citrus, CITRUS! The caramel takes an even more subdued role whilst the malts linger in the background to the finish. Some evergreen in spots but mostly citrus makes up this beast. the alcohol is barely noticeable as well. Very nice! padrefan98 (854) - (San Diego) Santee, California, USA - AUG 17, 2007
22 oz Bottle, poured a clear reddish color, with a nice head. Some lacing. Aromas included hops, and some orange/lemon peel. Very good tastes which included some sweetness. afterglow (1047) - Florida, USA - AUG 16, 2007
Bottle. Pours a clear amber with a small but lasting off-white head that leaves good lacing. Aroma of pine hops, citrus hops, sweet malt, light alcohol, and light caramel. Taste is the same as aroma with a huge focus on the bitterness. Medium full resiny mouthfeel that finishes slightly sweet and heavily bitter. Nice alcohol warmth but never hot. Needs a little more malt sweetness to balance out the bitterness but still a vey good ASA. iowaherkeye (2703) - Ocean Beach, San Diego, California, USA - AUG 14, 2007
22oz, no date. Clear copper brown with a small creamy light beige head. Pine and grapefruity hops up front with some spicy hops, brown sugar, scorched caramel, and a bit of alcohol. The alcohol is quite a bit stronger in the flavor, and the hops almost get astringent, but not quite--otherwise, the flavor is the same as the aroma. The sweetness iis moderate only for a short while before the bitterness kicks in. Bitterness peaks at a 6-7 (out of 10). Dry finish. Full body with moderate carbonation. Nice lacing clear to the end of the glass. Pretty good beer.