JPDIPSO (6300) - Wauwatosa, USA - MAY 1, 2002
95 Vintage - Dark rudy color. Yes I do smell soy sauce and maple syrup, burnt fruit, oak - like ragu 'its in there'. inital sweetness hits the tongue followed by flavors of tar, charred oak and dates. While I'd much prefer a Port next to the fire it's still fun to try this one, if not just to figure out all the flavors without having to drink to much of it. Rib Eye (148) - USA - MAY 1, 2002
UPDATED: JUL 8, 2005 UPDATE TO THE BELOW: I’ve now had the opportunity to try this beer three times; a fresh 1994, a four year old 1997 , and a ten year old 1995. This is the final word on this beer: It gets worse with age.
The fresh ’94 was by the far the best sample and the one that the commerical description nailed. As this beer gets older, it gets fouler. The soy, vinegar and salt tastes really come forward as the beer ages. Everything else fades toward the back. Aging this brew was a bad idea Jim. I’m saving the final third of this old bottle to marinate steaks though.
While I can understand the ’soy sauce’ comments some have posted here since I’ve had that impression too on occasion when tasting this beer, more often than not I have enjoyed it a great deal. Complex beyond belief with maple syrup, malt and vanilla dominating SA3B has to be consumed in a proper contex to be enjoyed. Try it as a winter after-dinner sipper in a sherry glass and come to it like cognac and not beer. I think that you will enjoy it. Lovers of barley wines, stong ales and wee heavys owe it to themselves to try this stuff. Drunk in a proper context the cough syrup tastes should recede well in to the background and let the gentler more pleasant flavors dominate. PSUJason99 (96) - Montclair, New Jersey, USA - MAR 30, 2002
nice presentation and appearance, to much like wine!!!...................... Choke (96) - Massachusetts, USA - MAR 21, 2002
SA this is not your best work taste more like wine and at 17.5% why shouldent it erway (1004) - Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA - MAR 17, 2002
One of the finest presentations of any beer I've seen. That's where the compliments end. The smell was like soy sauce and the taste was overwhelmingly sour, with hints of maple syrup, mint, and vanilla. I struggled to even drink this stuff.
argo0 (14127) - Washington DC, USA - MAR 3, 2002
As other reviewers suggest, this beer isn't for everyone. Think more of brandy than beer, and you're likely to be less surprised by what you'll find. sweet, alcohol flavor with element of vanilla. no carbonation, no hops flavor, but maltiness is present. i can't say i love this beer, but i certainly respect it. JoeM500 (1909) - Crown Point, Indiana, USA - MAR 3, 2002
UPDATED: DEC 20, 2004 The bottle, the hype, the deep color...
whoa! Soy sauce and whisky!
Why am I so excited to find the Utopia then....
First bottling edition...aged TEN YEARS:
I just knew this was going to change my mind on this beer....
...nope, it was a disgustingly soy and mapley mess, completely undrinkable. Sorry, we poured that crap right down the sink. Disgusting. estoppel (1028) - Buffalo, New York, USA - FEB 22, 2002
UPDATED: OCT 3, 2008 I sort of liked this, but it’s probably less like beer than Zima is like beer. RERATE 8/07: 1997 vintage. Dark reddish-brown body, no head, no carbonation. Overwhelming nose, with sweet chocolate and raisins as the primary aroma. Thick mouthfeel, boozy, chocolate, cherries, raisins, woody, vinous, very sweet. Much nicer after a decade of aging. Davhgbrew (948) - Seattle, Washington, USA - FEB 16, 2002
It smells like soy sauce, it tastes like soy sauce, and it looks like soy sauce. I am angry I spent 3.50 on one bottle. I have never poured out a beer before I had this one. This is one of the worst beers I've ever had, if you want to call it a beer. Ringo (963) - Loveland, Colorado, USA - FEB 11, 2002
This stuff is crap. I have been tasting beer for over 20 years. I am not missing anything here. My palate is developed. There comes a point when you have to admit that something sucks, and to stop looking for some 'higher meaning' that you are just not getting. If it walks like a duck, and talks like a duck, then it must be a duck. This tastes like rotten maple syrup mixed with rubbing alcohol. I had to drink two of them (not at one time) to make sure I was correct in my opinion. I kept an open mind for it. The second one had the honor of being the only beer I ever poured out in over 20 years of tasting. Actually, my dogs drank what was left, but they eat their own feces too. It ruined my whole afternoon of tasting with its putrid aftertaste. PS - sorry Doug, mine is just one opinion! I hope you enjoy yours.