davesarman (159) - Waconia, Minnesota, USA - MAY 7, 2004
4.6 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
Sampled from a limited release growler Iíve had maturing in my cellar for a month or so now...Incredible woody, tobacco aroma. Definte alcohol and bourbon notes as well. I actually had quite decent carbonation and head in my pours, contrasting with a couple of the previous raters. Nice mocha colored dense head that thins out, but leaves a thin layer across the surface and Brussels lace on the sides of the glass. The taste? Well, what can I say? I wonít even attempt to be as poetic as Pigfoot. It is a sublime beer experience. Rich, dark, powerful. Tobacco, oak, vanilla, sweet bourbon, chocolate....complexity is amazing. I find the heft to be quite adequate. If it were any more, I would have a hard time putting away this growler...I may be in tough enough shape the way it is...Iím giving myself the whole weekend to polish it off...I was able to have some of this on the "I Love Beer" pub crawl a few weeks ago as well. A friend of mine agreed with me...this is the finest beer that Minneapolis has to offer.
Pigfoot (2268) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - MAY 4, 2004
4.9 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
UPDATED: MAY 20, 2004 A stranger walks into a bar, a traveller, rough from the road, in need of relief. The liquid kind, something to melt away the rigors heís endured and embolden the spirit for the travails ahead. He walks the length of the bar in search of a stool, and all patrons eye him with awe, reading the depth of his experience etched in his countenance.
He shuffles into a comfortable spot and the barman pivots to meet his gaze, and fulfill his needs. Anything can be had here, whiskey, wine, or cognac, foo-foo drinks and fizzy nonsense. But thereís one thing that will do the trick. He needs a beer, and asks the man for the best in the house.
To the strangerís surprise, it comes not in yellow color, in a frosty, frothy mug, but a shorter vessel cast in the darkest hue. He looks skeptical at first, but on meeting the barmanís eye, this distrust withers away as he divines the serverís sincerity and wisdom, and he nods, accepts the brew, and casts his gaze at the glass.
A stark black body, so deep it seems to encapture all sins, and shows only a reddish light at times, the head is a tight ring around the edges, cocoa brown.
He brings the glass to his lips and is caught short...leather, blackstrap molasses, brown sugar, sassafrass, but unmistakably whiskey, kentucky bourbon. He stops and wonders if the barman got his order wrong, and figures thereís only one way to find out.
Flavors converge en masse on the tongue, smothering the palate with deep, rich, darkness, they bob up, mess around, and set the palate purring. A thick feel occurs in the mouth, rich and sweet, tangy, yet comforting. Perhaps this is a side-effect of the liquor, creeping into the character of the brew. Itís flavor is full and the feel of it lingers on, never leaving the mouth. Somehow, an oatmeal stout was transformed into this wicked, wonderful elixir, and it was doing wonders for the stranger, too. His demeanor changed, a smile struck out upon his features, a thing unseen on his face in some time. A wide smile, that accompanies a widening of his spirit, and he looks around at the crowd, some still rapt by his world-weary appearance, and they smile, too. And they laugh. The stranger laughs, looks into his glass and wishes that it would never end.
His travels, he knew, would continue, and take him far from this place and itís magnificent brew, but in spite of all the trouble and woe that may face him on the road ahead, he knew he had found, at least, paradise on earth in a glass of beer.
beermatrix (1497) - Twin Cities, Minnesota, USA - APR 3, 2004
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Was able to snag a growler in a very limited availabity. Color is super dark brown, black in most light, razor thin highlights of amber at the edges when available in stronger light. Barely any head came about from any of the pours, just a very thin skim was produced. However it does keep a nice thin and foamy little collar, some lacing sticks in globs and spots but dissolve from the surface within a bit.
The aroma behind this is beastly awesome with a great bourbon wafting nose. Deep, lush, full, sweet bourbon alcoholic twinge on the nose, very refined and strong. No denying that this was made within a boubon barrel. Some cedar notes, chocolate, and vanilla baking sweetner sneak past as it warms.
Taste is wonderfully smooth and even a bit soft with a relaxing feel of light carbonation. Calming soothe chocolate tones upfront with a nice little bite of sweet bouron in every corner. Not overly complex by any means, just a sleek, refined taste of chocolate and sweet bourbon mixed together. There's a light cedared spice and alcoholic burn that comes through in the finish which really kicks it off with a lovely sweet chocolatey finish that really sticks around for a long while and gets a whole lot better as it warms hence floating away the some of its bourbon character.
Feel is quite low on the carbonation table, keeping a soft and yielding smoothness just past a medium body and an ever present amount of sweet bourbon warmth and kick that never leaves. It has a great smooth and deeply rich bourbon character always keeping it really interesting and quite yummy. The finish is fabulous! Love that chocolate! A heavenly concoction! I will however agree with Brewso that it lacks some heft and body. Some thickness would make it beyond worldly delicious.
Brewso (238) - Mt Kisco, New York, USA - MAR 30, 2004
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Limited edition growler release. Pours with a few bubbles but no head. No trace of the oatmeal sweetness it once had- this is a smokey bourbon/whiskey stout with a bitter cinnamon bite at the end. There are also notes of vanilla and alcohol vapor. The taste is wonderful but the consistency lacks heft. Treating an imperial to the bourbon barrel aging process would probably result in the same great taste but add that velvet consistency that would put it over the top.
ElGaucho (2400) - Minnetonka, Minnesota, USA - FEB 8, 2004
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Sampled at 2004 Winterfest in St. Paul. Rich dark chocolate aroma. Deep dark red (black cherry), thin off white head, nice lace. Very attractive. Tastes like a chocolate covered cherry liqueur. Very rich chocolate.