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Review by flyingtaco on 02/20/10  
 
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
80 2 10 16 4 8 2010
Originally reviewed 2/28/2008...

There's a staunch 2-finger melting toasted marshmallow/bubble bath consistency on the head with decent lacing. A little carbonation with natural honey-colored, moderately colored body. Cloudiness in the bottle dissipates a fair amount when pouring into the chalice of Cooperstown's finest. Looks extremely natural and rustic.

Update: after a couple of pours, the head has reached puffy spotty glacier proportions. This is some crazy $#!+.

Heavy aroma of banana, honey (recurring theme), apple, a little bit of regular white grapes, and a slight menthol burn. Nothing like I've smelled before. Slight skunky floral hoppiness is there too with some weird soapy sweetness (gardenia? Mental note - no recording tasting notes after 11 PM). At this point I'm confused but totally intrigued.

I have to admit - a lot of beers I tend to taste too cold. In a desperate effort to remediate this, I take this from cellar and refrigerate only minimally. HUGE mistake. Anything that tastes as German as this does HAS to go in the fridge longer than you'd expect from a 9.0% ABV Belgian powerhouse. It has a cold taste to it - first thought is German Pilsener and the label mentioning the Saaz hops confirms it after tossing me for a loop. A lot of honey and the Saaz - doesn't necessarily work for me in beautiful chemistry. There's a strong alcohol burn here hanging out on it's own. But it's interesting. WEIRD but interesting. I am glad that the components of heavy honey and menthol don't blend and balance as well as they should, because I can get that combo in the "cough and cold" section at CVS for a buck a bag. Not my thing but $#!+ dog, it's still wicked interesting.

On the mouth this is a star system beer - there are a lot of tastes and sensations with huge egos and presences working by themseleves trying to muscle each other out. A whole lot of the coating sweetness with the weird soapy bitterness of the Germanic hops along with the heavy alcohol. Doesn't taste like a dubbel, a tripel or an IPA; this $#!+ is funky.

Must try this again at the cold end of the range (45) vs. the warm end (55). I appreciate the quality of the individual components of this deal but feel like the guy in that bad SNL "Appalachian Emergency Room" skit with the railroad spike through his head - "My head ain't hurt 'dis bad since I did one of 'dem Su-do-ku puzzles..." I really want to have this without the Saaz and replacing them with something like, dunno...Columbus? This is very well made but stands the palate on its @$$ end something fierce. Impressive.

Price: $10.00 Served In: Snifter