bluejacket74 (1995) - Reynoldsburg, Ohio, USA - SEP 2, 2012
750 ml caged and corked bottle. Served in a chalice, the beer pours a dark ruby red/brown color (when held to the light) with about an inch tan head. Head retention and lacing are both good. The aroma is nice, it smells like dark fruit, chocolate, sweet spices, vanilla, and some coffee. It tastes like dark fruit (cherries, raisins, plums), chocolate, sweet spices, oak, tart fruit and a little bit of coffee. However, it is a mostly sweet tasting beer. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it’s a bit creamy and coating with good carbonation. I think this is a good overall brew, I’d buy it again. It was better than I was expecting it to be so it was a nice surprise! I’m pretty sure it was just $6.99 a bottle, I don’t think it was any more than that. beerbastard (844) - Mesa, Arizona, USA - SEP 1, 2012
Has a deep dark red look, with nice tan head. Aromas of wood and some sour funk, followed by fruits and sweet malt. Flavor has a upfront sweet and sour mix, again followed by dark ripe fruits, with a continued background of a slight degree of sourness, nothing acetic. Little alcohol burn in the finish. Pretty good beer. Ron (4109) - Rochester, New York, USA - AUG 26, 2012
Bottle as pictured. Pours a black color with a small off-white head. Has a fruity roasted malty chocolate and dark fruit aroma. Fruity roasted malty slightly vinous chocolate and dark fruit flavor. Has a roasted malty chocolate finish. Great beer to celebrate my 53rd B-day with. rougeau13 (3157) - Richmond, Texas, USA - AUG 26, 2012
Black with a small khaki head that laces nicely. Aroma kind of weak, but roasty, with sour yeast flavor and some wood. Taste is sweet, roasted, and woody, and very lightly bitter. Medium bodied and a little sticky. ThisWangsChung (836) - Leonardtown, Maryland, USA - AUG 25, 2012
Cool-ass 750mL bottle poured into a tulip. Not pouring in the sediment.
A: Pours a very dark burgundy color with vibrant carbonation for where I can see through the body. The head is a two finger heavy cream color with very thick bubbles. Eventually, it settles down to one finger high, and the texture becomes a little creamier.
S: There’s a nicely subtle sour note of tart cherries on the aroma that I find appetizing, playing shockingly well with the chocolate, darker malts, and lighter fruit esters. If it were stronger, it would be outright amazing, but it nonetheless smells great.
T: To start, there’s a light sour component, which also pops back up right before the finish. The transition between this lactic sourness and the chocolate midtaste is pulled off well, not coming across as an infected stout, instead reminding the palate almost of milk chocolate at times. Every once in a while, a big strike of funk will explode on the aftertaste, bringing notes of wet hay and horse blanket. Rather than overwhelming the palate with 3,411 different notes, this beer picks just a handful of flavor profiles (tart cherries, chocolate, cinnamon, dark fruits, and funk), and cohesively shuffles them around in a three act manner. In layman’s terms, it’s complex enough to keep the palate guessing. Not a steamroller of flavor, but it doesn’t need to be.
M: This is where the oak barrel comes through, providing a lot finishing tannic dryness. The body itself is rather coarse, prickly, and slightly syrupy; due to the heavier texture, drinkability isn’t particularly high. On the plus side, it’s not particularly flabby or bloated feeling in terms of carbonation.
O: A classic "all 4’s" kind of beer. It’s great, but with a few tweaks here and there, it would become incredible. I couldn’t have a lot of this (I pretty much had about 10 oz and corked the rest up), but it’s a nice after dinner conversation piece. Great to see Sam Adams coming out of its comfort zone with a beer like this.
kathouse (1932) - LAS VEGAS, Nevada, USA - AUG 25, 2012
Beer is black but can see red all the way thru. Head is a khaki foam that thins out but clings to the edges. Oak and cola aromas with some spiciness. Good carbonation levels and mouthfeel. Yeasty spice predominates followed by dried dark fruits. Pairs well with chocolates. Palate is light with more of the fruitiness. Good complexity. Daytonbeer (730) - Ohio, USA - AUG 24, 2012
Pours black with a red hue. Brown foam with some lacing. Aroma of dark fruit, cocoa, and spice. Taste is plum, soy sauce, cough syrup, alcohol, yeast and chocolate. Not bad. scottw86 (1178) - Maryland, USA - AUG 23, 2012
Poured a very dark brown with a touch of red. Aroma has some Belgian yeast with chocolate and some alcohol. Some plums and raisins with a little brown sugar. Taste is a little thick and syrupy with chocolate, caramel, and some fruits. Finish has some alcohol with a touch of wood and plums. Overall it’s a little boozy tasting, and the balance of the flavors is ok. Not bad. SphinxTX (2875) - Mata Gorda, Texas, USA - AUG 21, 2012
750 ml bottle. Pours black with a somewhat fizzy tan head. Aroma of dark roasted grain, some coffee, hints of chocolate, fruit esters and a touch of funk. Flavor is actually much the same with a light tartness and very light sweetness with hints of alcohol and spices. Mouthfeel is medium body with fizzy carbonation, on the slight watery side. Overall, I really enjoyed this brew! libertine (433) - rochester hills, Michigan, USA - AUG 20, 2012
pours black with a large tan head.very little lacing on my glass.when the beer was first poured the aroma was a little sour.that aroma decreased as the head went down.definitly picking up the spice,chocolate,licorice and the oak is very faint as well with the coffee.flavor is chocolate,coffee,slight oak and licorice.medium body with heavy carbonation.oily fizzy mouthfeel with a bitter astringent finish.alchohol is well hidden but is warming in the finish.overall this beer is unique but not well balanced.the astrigency of this beer seems to take center stage throughout drinking it.