TheAlum (7164) - Aurora, Illinois, USA - NOV 9, 2009
Sampled at FoBAB 2009. Pours a pitch black opaque pour, small brooding dark brown head, dies to a small head. Aromas are chocolate chip cookies, caramel, some smoke, faint hopping, light bourbon oak and sweetness. Thick, initial is thick, full, sweet, brooding. Chocolate, coffee, cookies, caramel, bordering cloying but the oak and bourbon pull it back a little, sweet, hops have faded, coats well. Vanilla, full, smoke on a smaller level. this grows on me and the big pour doesn’t hurt. Warming, bourbon comes in fuller further in. This is nice, coats and sticks well, but is far too sweet for normal consumption. HonkeyBra (4044) - Lemont, Illinois, USA - NOV 8, 2009
The first beer I tried at FoBAB 09. Thick, dark, ugly pour with little head. Aroma of chocolate, bourbon and smoke. Sweet god this is delicious. I get some hops, dark chocolate, smoke, earth. Creamy, boozy, an absolute beast of a brew. This beer could make me a religious man. Only while I’m drinking it, though. sleestak (226) - Williamston, Michigan, USA - NOV 8, 2009
On tap at FoBAB ’09 (#3) Poured very dark brown from the pitcher with a substantial frothy brown head. Aroma was burnt sugar, coffee, vanilla and chocolate. Flavor featured all of the above, but was cloyingly sweet. Almost undrinkable. Thick and creamy mouthfeel. I actually enjoyed the non-BA version of the ’08, but was incredibly disappointed with how this turned out. Perhaps the hoppier ’09 will fare better. SrSilliGose (3324) - pouring bus, New Brunswick, CANADA - NOV 8, 2009
UPDATED: AUG 31, 2012 FOBAB - 2nd beer tasted- 2008 vintage tap. Pours a deep brwon with a small tan head. Notes of bourbon, vanilla, sweet malt balls, black locorice, spoiled milk, molasses. Dry. nice body. This was okay, but there was some moldy character to the taste that was a little offputting. MatSciGuy (924) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - APR 18, 2008
[tap] Poured jet black with a small, creamy brownish head. Aroma was candi sugar, bourbon, vanilla, and chocolate. Flavor was surprisingly sweet. The bourbon doesn’t overpower the beer, which is nice. The alcohol is not hidden at all, but doesn’t detract from the brew in the least. There are very little hops present, and the bitterness has faded, which would have to be my one complaint about this otherwise fantastic beer.
Stine (1801) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - APR 15, 2008
Happy Gnome Surly dinner: pour of thin oil. Viscous demon blood. Huge tangy aroma of seared venison and chocolate, with fruit impartations of blackberries and burnt pineapple; withering spice of cinnamon, leaving a near-dominant and enormously intriguing note of aged balsamic to coat the senses, given some breathing. Citric, bitter hops have faded to the dominance of oak. Chewy, burly roast and bourbon flavor; charred beef, toasted coconut, vanilla. Bourbon is noisy but can’t dominate. Like honey marinated rare red meat in its impression. All milk chocolate in the mid palate with hints of sweeteners and some greenness of roasted sweet vegetables, though again the piney hops of the fresh version are noticeably absent. Smoothness of oats abundant and caressing. Finishes on a long, sweet, marinade and caramel pulse that turns to wet leather after a bit. Stellar, balanced example from start to finish. WeeHeavySD (3387) - Portland, Oregon, USA - APR 5, 2008
6th Beer of the Beer Spot Tasting Sunday March 30th, 2008. Bottle provided by Tiptop, via the brewers at Surly. This is a rare treat. Pours black like oil with a light brown ring. Nose of bourbon, oak and sweetness. hops absent from this version. Taste is sweet, chocolate, big bourbon and aggressive, very very nice. Awesome!! Gurst (338) - Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA - MAR 16, 2008
On tap at the 2007 Great Taste:
Worth the line! Dark chocolate and coffee dominate, but lighter flavors keep coming up: toast, cherry, vanilla, wood, charcoal, brandy, burnt sugar, avocado. Very complex. Alcohol makes itself known in the nose and finish, but toherwise clean throughout. Full body and smooth, but a little cloying towards the end. dm9831 (1512) - Monee, Illinois, USA - MAR 8, 2008
pours dark, dark deep brown, with a thick, thick tan head. coffee and alcohol in the nose. flovor was chocolate, alcohol, chocolate & alcohol. finished kinda creamy. an after dinner brew. csbosox (1229) - Prairie Village, Kansas, USA - JAN 22, 2008
On tap at 2007 GTMW Black color with a cappuccino colored head. Aroma is roasted malt, vanilla, bourbon, and oak. Taste is oak, bourbon, dark fruits, roasted malt, and cola. Light carbonation. Nice mouthfeel. Nice beer, but a touch too boozy.