johnnnniee (4405) - Bedford, New Hampshire, USA - JAN 29, 2011
I was privileged to have a few samples of this at the Extreme beer fest in 2008. This is definitely one that is hard to rate. Its listed here as an American strong ale, I’ve seen it classified a barleywine, it reminds me of a cognac. It definitely is an extreme beer.
So anyways I got my sample my SO got hers too, smelled it and I now had 2 samples. :) This scenario actually played out a few times that night.
This pours a dark red/burgundy with no head at all, its served still. Looks thicker and almost syrupy compared to any other beer ever. Smells of cognac, port wine, alcohol, maple, some chocolate in there as well. Tastes like it smells, more alcohol in there. This one is a sipper for sure. Sweet sticky mouthfeel with a slight alcohol burn and a thick body. This is one of those brews that truly breaks ground. The cacao nibs in this were subtle I thought. Maybe adding a slight chocolate bitterness to the taste, but with everything else going on here it was hard to find. Great brew nonetheless I wish I could afford to drink this more often! Rciesla (5499) - Exit 15W, New Jersey, USA - MAY 29, 2009
Draft at EBF. What can i say i didn’t think the cacao nibs imparted anything special on this beer. So i will give it a slightly lower score than Utopias. soicanbreathe (13) - Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA - JUN 29, 2008
This is an amzing beer, high alcohol content, more like a sipping beer if you will. Its got tons of cocoa, carmel, it reminds me of a good brandy. Very rich, and suprisingly smooth kkearn (1165) - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - APR 28, 2008
Originally had this combined with my rating of the original Utopias. I enjoyed the cacao version slightly more than the original:
ajm (1072) - Los Angeles, California, USA - FEB 29, 2008
Sampled again at the EBF NOTB on 2/15/08. Aged with Cacao nibs. Poured hazy reddish-brown without carbonation. Aroma with primarily alcohol and vanilla, with some subtle cocoa complimenting the usual aromas. Cocoa adds a nice dimension to the flavor of the beer as well. Unique concept that worked out well.
EBF V - NOTB, Boston, Mass 2008. How a 26% beer is this drinkable is beyond me; however, what makes this unquenchably special is the sheer depth of drink. I am unsure if this beer is quite different because of the cacao nibs included for the festival, but my notes included roasted coconut, chocolate, coffee, very rich bread pudding, pie crust, caramel of allsugar, pepper and at least ten more I could not get from a 2-ounce glass. A very truly one-of-a-kind beer. I am lucky to have had it.
lordeche (479) - Quincy, Massachusetts, USA - FEB 27, 2008
Night of the Barrels: Had a wonderful cocoa aroma from the aging that complimented really well the abundant vanilla, caramel and slight dried fruit notes. Flavor was amazingly well balanced. I was expecting to feel as though I was drinking a liquor, but the flavor hid the alcohol extremely well. The cocoa seemed to mellow out the sweet malts and turn this into the most surpisingly good beer at the festival. golubj (1377) - San Mateo, California, USA - FEB 27, 2008
I had the aged on Cacao nibs version at the Night of the Barrels. Not sure if it deserves its own entry; I’ll leave it here until that happens. Aroma of cocoa powder, caramel malt, vanilla; similar to some kind of cognac. The flavor is intensely sweet malt, a hint of chocolate, and there is not much alcohol in the initial flavor (it shows up as warming shortly thereafter). This is a unique beer; the flavor is amazing. alexanderj (3605) - Branson, Missouri, USA - FEB 26, 2008
I had the aged on Cacao nibs version at the Night of the Barrels. Strong smell, that was not overly alcoholic (taking into account the alcohol content). Similarly, the alcohol, while present, was more warming than burning. That was a bit surprising. Aroma was a nice blend of chocolate, vanilla, roasted malt, bourbon and alcohol. Flavor was very much the same; well balanced for such a strong beer. What I liked best was the cookie dough like finish of the beer. Best in show for me...by far. Definitely one to have in moderation though fredandboboflo (1570) - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA - FEB 26, 2008
EBF V NOTB. The aroma was definitely on the strong side. When I first smelled it I wasn’t really sure if I wanted to go ahead and drink the thing because it really felt like some sort of new liquor. Once I got used to it, the rich caramel malt did start to come through, and it’s classification as beer was re-established. The flavors were across the board bold. Huge amounts of caramel, vanilla, butter, of course alcohol, and fruits that I can only describe as genetically engineered super fruits. I was getting visions of enormous melon-sized plums and grapes, something of that nature. If that doesn’t make sense, so be it, it makes sense to me. The cacao nibs were definitely present, particularly in the aroma, but they seemed very distinct from the other, better integrated aspects of the regular beer. Overall definitely something I’m happy I got to try, but I must admit it rather defeated me. LilBeerDoctor (4128) - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA - FEB 26, 2008
Extreme Beer Fest 2/15/08: Dark amber in color. Aroma and taste of alcohol, vanilla, cacao nibs. Very syrupy and sweet. I enjoyed this initially, but as I continued to drink more, it became a little too much! An interesting beer to try, but I wouldn’t have it again.