JCB (3999) - Durham, North Carolina, USA - DEC 4, 2009
On tap at Tyler’s, Durham. Ruddy dark brown pour with a surprisingly lively head. Soft aroma of dark fruits - figs, plums, and so forth - blend in with sweet toffee and dense malts. A bit of fresh cut wood in the scent too. Slightly too thin to sustain all these rich flavors, but a decent mouthfeel. A bit too boozy and sugary in its center, with not quite enough bitters and hops to balance (I’m tempted to say there’s too much DFH and not enough SN). But overall a nice brew that I’d like to try again (if only there were bottles still remaining). BMan1113VR (7929) - Los Angeles, California, USA - DEC 4, 2009
Bottle thanks to blutt59 (sad I missed out on Limb and Life when I was back home). Pours with a fading tan head and a brown body. Aroma of brown sugar, maple, alcohol and birch. Taste is alcohol, candi sugar, chocolate and maple. Light bubbles. fidel (1302) - Livermore, California, USA - DEC 3, 2009
Poured dark slightly reddish brown, caramel malts, licorice, little chocolate, little dark fruits, bitter finish. theisti (4206) - Kansas, USA - DEC 3, 2009
24 fl oz bottle purchased at Zipps in Minneapolis, Minnesota for me by my Dad. Pour is deep cordovan brown with a one inch light tan head. Head falls with some light lacing. Aroma is dirty, a bit syrupy chemical, some sharp lactic sweetness. Taste is big and sweet, maple sugar, light soy, some more dirtiness - just really big full flavor. Some alcohol burn in the back. Just a beast of a beer. Palate is full bodied, syrupy, coats the mouth with a viscosity. Decent carbonation. I had about 10 oz of this, and that was about the right amount. I can not imagine sitting down to a full 24 oz of this beer. The syrup in this beer is really the main story - I wonder how much they had to use to make it this dominant in the nose and taste? This was interesting, but not really my thing. Tmoney99 (14983) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - DEC 3, 2009
Bottle shared by shigadeyo. Poured a dark brown color with an average frothy brown head that was mostly lasting with good lacing. Moderate toasted chocolate malt aroma. Medium to full body with a smooth texture and flat carbonation. Medium bittersweet flavor with a medium bittersweet finish of moderate duration. This is a below average beer for style and I don’t get it.
beerguy101 (5364) - Newark, California, USA - DEC 2, 2009
Sampled on 11/13/2009. This American Strong Ale pours a dark brown color from a 24oz bottle. Small sized white foamy head. The aroma is fruity, sweet, caramel, brown sugar and maple sugar. A medium bodied American Strong Ale. The malts are caramel and fruity, with lots of maple sugar/molasses/brown sugar flavors. Touch of birch, wood and some tannin. Very smooth taste. The taste mixture mellow as it warms. Very interesting and slightly odd beer. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is slightly sweet. RCL (2032) - Waltham, Massachusetts, USA - DEC 2, 2009
Fairly tight, closed aroma - a bit of birch beer soda and light molasses with just a hint of hops. Flavor is very lightly sweet and echoes the aroma closely. I just looked up at the ABV and was shocked! There is no way you would guess the higher ABV other than the thicker mouthfeel. Super smooth and well integrated. cstuartj (1020) - Washington, USA - DEC 2, 2009
Dark, murky, very smooth, no hint of the high abv. very drinkable. but just a bit sweet, i’d like a bit more bitter like a Double Bastard Ale. poisoneddwarf (2647) - Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho, USA - DEC 2, 2009
24 oz bottle. In my first Trappist glass: not too much aroma here. I do smell maple (birch? what does birch syrup smell like??), caramel, cinnamon, alcohol faintly. Second whiff: definitely maple bar here. Pours dark, dark brown--almost porter black. Minimal head, decent lacing. Tastes like a maple bar! A maple bar dipped in liquor, that is. I taste a strong alcohol presence which lingers on the back of the tongue, raisins. Carbonation is just right. Full-bodied; a little oily. Finishes bitter with that aforementioned alcohol lingering on the back of my tongue. Second glass: aroma has opened up considerably. The maple bar aroma is definitely stronger now. It’s obvious this is a well-made beer by some of the greatest brewers in the world, but it’s still young. I bought an extra one to try again in a year. I’m sure it will improve vastly. durhambeer (2585) - Durham, North Carolina, USA - DEC 2, 2009
On tap at Tyler’s in Durham. Admittedly, I didn’t expect much from this beer, thinking it would likely be a sugar bomb or something not all that great. But this was good... nose not showing as much, perhaps from the weird glass they served it in... some caramel, light molasses, birch, baker’s chocolate. These elements came out sweeter on the palate, but with some bitterness as well and more yeast. Sort of like a quadrupel, but not exactly. I could tell that it was strong, but didn’t feel boozy. Surprisingly good.