tlind2 (1692) - Helsinki, FINLAND - MAY 19, 2008
3.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 12/20
Deep copper color, big head. Beautiful aroma of pine needles and sap. The piny hops come through in the taste as well, along with juicy malts and some alcohol. A well-crafted beer, but not a personal favorite.
FlacoAlto (4176) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - MAY 17, 2008
3.5 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
A reasonably vigorous pour produces a four-finger thick, darkish tinged, tan colored head in my Tripel Karmeliet tulip. The beer is a deeply concentrated, burnt amber color that just shows a deep, clear, concentrated ruby hue if held up to the light. This smells of sticky hop character even as I am pouring this beer. A closer inspection confirms this with notes of candied citrus peel, sweetened berry notes, sweet pine sap, orange blossom honey, a soft herbal reek that can lean towards garlic chive at times as well as a touch of menthol aromatics. As is typical with my experience of the new breed, hoppy northern European beers there is still a substantial malt backbone here that contributes a deep toasty grain character, and nice whole grain bread aromatics.
Hoppy from the first taste, this has a bracing bitterness that becomes more astringent and aggressive through to the lingering, bitingly hoppy finish. Lingering herbal notes, menthol, concentrated pine sap, bright bergamot, ruby-red grapefruit, tangerine, ample lychee form the biggest part of the flavor profile, but supporting hop-derived notes of light cured leather, some tobacco flavors, garlic chives and milkweed are also noticeable at a much more subtle level. The malt contributes lots of chewy, viscous body to this brew as well as some light toasted-almost-roasted touches in the finish, hop supporting caramel character, and some malty crushed cracker flavors in the middle that get drowned out by the caramelized malt sweetness by the finish. As the beer warms up in my glass it smoothes out just a bit with some of the harsher hop notes and the bitterness becoming a bit softer and a touch more integrated.
Definitely on the thick side of a double IPA, indeed more in line on this front with a Barley wine, but it certainly plays the hop card in spades as this is clearly the dominant character, even despite the interesting malt depth. This is one of those beers that really needs to warm up (even though it only started at 50°F / 10°C, it was still a bit too cool) and perhaps even breath a bit in order to lose a bit of the sharp, astringent hop edge. This really is just insanely hopped, though I find it quite enjoyable. I definitely am enjoying the depth the mares otter malt adds and even the slight roasted note from the chocolate malt is a nice addition.
Purchased: <a href=http://www.ratebeer.com/Places/ShowPlace.asp? Liquors, Tucson AZ
slimchill (1044) - Austin, Texas, USA - MAY 16, 2008
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle. Very sweet nose, light alcohol, figs. Dark pour, thick bubbly creme-colored head. Great balance, sweet with some alcohol and smoke, finishes very clean. Very nice palate- creamy with a dry finish.
Taverner (1100) - San Ramon, California, USA - MAY 16, 2008
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: DEC 28, 2008 Amazing! The bottle said BW, and when I poured it, it looked like a BW. But when I smelled and drank it, it was a roasty Double IPA. A very good one at that. Pours dark with minimal brown to tan head that receded quickly. There’s a little caramel malt there, but the flavor is all hpps. Very resinous, piney hops take front stage, while the citrus types take a backseat - but they’re there! Very good, and yet very different than the American styled ones. Hard to say why - could be because they bring out the hops without going too far. Notes of pine, grapefruit and even smoke. ON SECOND ANALYSIS: Damn this good! Aggressive pour gave me fluffy clouds of head, and the flavor is so piney, yet smokey.
Viper666 (3283) - Richelieu, Quebec, CANADA - MAY 12, 2008
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bouteille 500ml, courtoisie de Hogtownharry. De couleur brune-rouge assez foncée et légèrement voilée. Nez malté de caramel sucré et moyennement rôti, de houblon citrique (pamplemousse), légèrement herbeux, résineux, floral et aux notes terreuses, moyen de chocolat et de fruits (raisins aux petites notes vineuses, léger de cerises, notes d’agrumes et d’abricots) et de vanille avec des notes d’alcool. Moyenne-ronde en bouche avec un pétillement moyen et une texture riche, crémeuse et aux notes résineuses et huileuses. Goût fruité (raisins, léger de cerises, notes de dates, d’agrumes et traces d’abricots) accompagné dun goût amer de houblon citrique (pamplemousse), moyennement floral et légèrement résineux (une amertume présente toute la gorgée) ainsi qu’un léger goût de vanille lors de l’entrée en bouche auquel se rajoute un goût de malt très rôti (légèrement brûlé), moyen de chocolat noir, léger de caramel sucré et avec des notes de biscuits, de pain grillé et de blé. Parallèlement l’on retrouve un moyen-léger goût d’alcool aux notes réchauffantes ainsi qu’un léger goût de fumée de bois jusqu’en finale, où l’on assiste à un regain d’amertume plus asséchante de houblon plus herbeux, légèrement plus résineux et aux petites notes terreuses ainsi que des traces de noix et d’épices (poivre). Post-goût long et moyennement sec, assez amer de houblon citrique, résineux et herbeux, de rôti-brûlé, moyen de chocolat et d’alcool ainsi qu’un léger goût fruité (zest d’agrumes, léger moût de raisins) et des notes fumées.
awaisanen (1304) - Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, USA - MAY 8, 2008
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
From a 500mL Bottle. Pours a mostly transparent, garnet tinged cedar bark brown color with a thick layer
of well sustaining, fine bubbled, light mocha head. Bold citrusy hop aromas. Beneath the hop shroud, some cocoa
and biscuity malts slowly emerge. Hints of caramel, vanilla, and sticky grain sugar complexities try to come out,
but are overwhelmed by the hops. Moderate alcohol presence in the nose. Medium full bodied, creamy
carbonated mouthfeel with a moderately sticky texture. Moderately sweet caramel, cocoa, and light raisin bread malt
flavors up front, but these are overwhelmed by a heavy, pithy, grapefruit rind hop bitterness. The beer has
definitely improved a bit with age; fresh, the hops were so overwhelming the malt was barely noticeable. Now, the
hop flavors have retreated, allowing an apparently rich malt body to come through, but the perceived bitterness is
still too pithy and strong to make this feature stand out, and has also started to develop a bit of a scratchy flavor.
Molasses glazed pumpernickel bread, but then, more hops get in the way. I desperately want to try this beer with
a different hop schedule and see what it tastes like because it indicates near amazing. Skillwise, the carbonation, texture, color, and mouthfeel are perfect, a testament to some truly talented brewers.
Vas19 (313) - Maryland, USA - MAY 6, 2008
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Pours dark brown with a medium tan head. Aroma of hops, caramel, and sour citrus fruit. Good texture. Taste is malty and hoppy with some alcohol on the finish. The flavor of this one just didnt do it for me. First Nogne I’ve been disappointed by.
DocHop (278) - Baltimore, Maryland, USA - MAY 5, 2008
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Pours a very dark brown with a tall and extremely creamy tan head. Aroma is a mix between malty sweetness and overpowering hops, caramel, chocolate, alcohol, and wheat. Wheat gives it an unbelievably creamy texture. Taste represents a strong beer. The caramel malts and chocolate flavor overwhelm the hop finish which really just ends up being a slightly dry and earthy alcohol taste which heats up as it lingers.
beerguy101 (5360) - Newark, California, USA - MAY 3, 2008
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Tasted at the April Northern California Beer Tasting. This Imperial IPA pours a deep amber brown color from a 22oz bottle. Medium sized white foamy head. The aroma is caramel and malt, with a fairly pronounced citrusy hop finish. A medium bodied 2xIPA. The malts are caramel and sweet. The hops are grapefruity and citrusy. Hey, it’s a west coast IPA… what do you mean its from Norway? Well, it’s not quite that hoppy, but you get the idea. Mouthfeel is full. Finish is clean and crisp. Aftertaste is slightly bitter.
Bragesnak (5394) - Aarhus, DENMARK - APR 30, 2008
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
From Superbrugsen, Aarhus, DK.
Very bitter hopped with grape fruit flavor. Alcohol is balanced to sweetness