arkurzynski (2460) - Combined Locks, Wisconsin, USA - JAN 29, 2013
Bottle from beernads. Deepest of mahogany/brown pour with sufficient head. Nose of dark fruit, cherry, bread/biscuit, candy syrup, oak tannins, and peppery alcohol. Sweet fruitiness with toasted malt and spicy alcohol with a pretty dry oaky finish. As it warms, even more oak character. Barleywine-esque qualities. A bit too much of the oak and booze, but still an enjoyable brew. craftycarl21 (2338) - Seattle, Washington, USA - NOV 8, 2011
On draft at Churchkey. Beautiful garnet pour with minimal head. Nose holds fantastic maple syrup, brown sugar, vanilla, candied apple, orange zest, and leafy balance. Awesome barrel presence, and reminds me a bit of an American barleywine. The flavor is marked by more bourbon-soaked cherry, wood, and sweetness mixing with citric and earthy hop. Smooth but medium effervescence on the palate. Superb. redlight (2325) - Orlando, Florida, USA - NOV 19, 2008
oaky vanilla with rich caramel aromas. Pours a dark red with a thick off white head. Vanilla beans, caramel, oak, rich malts with spicy, piney hops. The oak mellows out the hops quite a bit. This is an excellent beer! I love what their doing with oak aging. Darkmagus82 (2303) - - OCT 1, 2014
Transfer from BA review on 4-4-14-
Poured from bottle into a snifter
Appearance – The beer pours a very deep copper color with hints of a ruby within, with the overall color bordering on a mahogany color. Upon pouring the brew has a small half finger head of just off white foam. The head fades rather fast, leaving some light foamy lace on the sides of the glass and a few spotty foam islands floating on the surface of the beer.
Smell – The aroma of the beer very bready and heavy of some sweeter aromas of a caramel and toffee nature. Along with these malty smells comes a decent sum of an oaky smell as well as a big dose of a boozy bourbon smell. With a bit of a pine and grassy hop and some aromas of a darker fruit nature, one experiences an overall very sweet, malty and boozy smell that gives one a warming feel from just the aroma.
Taste – The taste begins with a smooth malty flavor with a big bready and slightly doughy flavor. Tons of sweet caramel and darker fruits of raisin, plum and prune are on the tongue right from the start creating a very sweet brew. The sweet and bready flavors create a base for the flavor profile, lasting throughout much of the taste. While not very present at the start of the taste, hop and oak flavors develop more and more as the taste advances. The oak is the first to come to the tongue with it gaining strength more toward the end of the taste. Some hop flavors join the taste at this time as well, with a bit of a light earthy and grassy flavor coming to the tongue. The hop remain rather light throughout the remainder of the taste, not really living up to the “hoppy monster” name. While the hop remains lighter, the oak and sweet are both quite potent at the end of the taste, and with them comes some rather stronger boozy tastes, which with the rest of the flavors, leaves a boozy and sweet warming taste to linger on the tongue.
Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is quite thick and chewy with a carbonation level that is very low. The very thick body and low carbonation really accentuate all the boozy, oak, and sweet flavors of the brew rather nicely, making this one a very slow sipping brew.
Overall – While the “hoppy” in the name was never really delivered to a full extent, the boozy, fruity, and oak were very much big and monstrous, but in a rather nice way. Overall it is big, malty, and boozy with lots of oak flavors which makes for a rather nice slow sipper. Super delicious!!
craftbeerdesign (2254) - Fort Collins, Colorado, USA - DEC 14, 2008
on tap at the Crabapple Taco Mac location. dark red in color with no head on arrival to the table. nice licorice, vanilla and subdued hop aromas. medium to full body. very soft over the palate with a strong finish that really brings the oak and vanilla to the front of your tastebuds. some mild citrus notes in linger in the background. overall this was very enjoyable and even better than the plain old big hoppy monster.
ROGUE (2216) - Lewes, Delaware, USA - MAR 20, 2013
12oz bottle. Pours a deep amber color with a white foamy head that left some spotchy lacing. Aroma has lots of citrus and pine with a big grapefruit character with oak and a touch of vanilla and spice. Taste has a nice initial hoppy bitterness with a clean citrus bite. A bit of sweetness with oak and vanilla flavors prevalent throughout. A hoppy grapefruit finish with a lingering bitter aftertaste. Medium to full bodied moderate carbonation.
conway (2210) - - AUG 6, 2014
Bottle. Clear ruby with a thick off white head. Aroma is sweet malt, melon, caramel and malt. Barrel character really comes out in the taste. Finish is really short. Mouthfeel is slightly thin. Not bad. wchesser (2160) - Denver, Colorado, USA - MAR 21, 2014
Nice extra from Westmeister-thanks, Wes! Copper colored. Nose is caramel malts, light wet oak. Taste is malty, with enough hops to cut it, earthy oak, lightly astringent wood tannins. Full bodied and smooth. Westmeister (2127) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - JAN 23, 2014
Pours dark clear amber with sticky off white lacing. Smell is sticky sweet caramel, pine hops. Taste follows suit but oak really pokes through. Reminds me more of an american barleywine. Good.