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Old 10-03-2007, 06:51 PM   #726
MrWookie
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

Better than other tripels and wits that have been reviewed?
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Old 10-03-2007, 07:43 PM   #727
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

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Better than other tripels and wits that have been reviewed?
Their witbeer is my favorite wit. Better than Allagash and Hoegaarden for sure. However, your review of Southampton Double White sounds pretty good. I should try that.

The tripel is just a very good solid tripel offering that everyone might enjoy. It has great smell, in particular. I'd say it's on par with La Fin Du Monde.
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Old 10-03-2007, 07:51 PM   #728
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

Well, Allagash is a tough act to beat. I'll look it up.
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Old 10-08-2007, 03:43 AM   #729
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

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It ran me just under $9 for a 22 oz,
Brutal.. it runs me $4.50.

Also, after 2 or 3 more bottles, I'm somewhat in agreement with your review. The maltiness wasn't as intense on subsequent tastings as it was in the first. The roasted coffee flavor is still present, but again, not as intense. Maybe I just picked up on it and got too excited the first time? Not sure.

Anyway, let's talk about pumpkin ales. I love 'em, but I don't know jack about 'em. This season I've tried Buffalo Bill's and Shipyard's offering. I like Shipyard's more.
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Old 10-08-2007, 11:00 AM   #730
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

The best I've had is the one from Post Road, which is actually being put out by the Brooklyn brewery. I doubt you can get it out your way, unfortunately. I haven't heard of your two.
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Old 10-08-2007, 03:22 PM   #731
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

We've had a couple Stone 11 reviews lately. So, when confronted with the choice, I decided to pick up Unibroue's 16th Anniversary offering instead.

The beer came in a 750mL and poured a medium-light sort of amber. It is cage-corked, and there were no hijinx necessary to get a good head. Plenty foamy right out of the bottle. Taking a whiff, I thought it was pretty fruity. My first thought was "white grapes," but there seemed to be a ton of other fruit smells in there as well, including apples. My gf thought more white grapes than apples, but I may have biased her.

On first sip, my first thought was that the taste was way more yeasty than the smell. The fruit flavors are definitely still there, but a lot of yeastiness/breadiness comes through, along with a bit of malt. The alcohol - the bottle lists at 10% - warms the taste, but isn't nearly as noticeable as you'd think from a beer this big. As the beer warmed, I think the alcohol started to become a bit more present, although it gets a bit hard to tell with a beer this big in a bottle this big. In any case, its really drinkable. It finishes pretty crisp. I have no idea how they hopped it, but it works, whatever it is.

Overall, I liked this beer. Even though I'm not super familiar with Belgians, this seemed like a really solid offering. For $7.99 for the 750, and for a unique, one-time issue, I think its a really nice special occasion beer. Complex from the open to the finish, its definitely enough to keep you alert.
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Old 10-08-2007, 03:36 PM   #732
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

I looked through the index for other reviews of Belgians from you, and I didn't see any other than the Don De Dieu. Does this beer bear a resemblance to any others you've had? How do you like it compared to any other Unibroue beers you've had?

I think for me, the Unibroue 750s are about the same price as yours, with the anniversary ales being a little pricier than their regulars like the La Fin Du Monde, Don De Dieu, Maudite, and Trois Pistoles. I was pretty let down by an earlier anniversary ale from Unibroue, so I didn't bother with any others when I could get one of their regulars that I liked more for less money.
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Old 10-08-2007, 04:05 PM   #733
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

I know I've had LFDM and liked it, and I could swear I've had Tres Pistoles as well and thought it interesting but didn't like it as much as LFDM, which I loved. I guess I've had a decent range of Belgians, but its something I rarely buy at the store to bring home, so my impressions are less focused than styles with which I'm more familiar. I definitely like the characteristics of typical Belgian yeast strains, but its not something I'd pick out to watch an afternoon baseball game, ya know? I think I'm with you in that LFDM is my best option, but the difference in price is so slight that I wouldn't shy away from the 16th Anniversary just to try it out.

I'm going to the cheapest place in Nashville tonight so I'll check prices there, but at the place down the street all Unibroue 4-packs are 10.99. On a side note, Dickel #12 is 26.99 there and Beam 4 year is something like 23.99. What a no brainer.
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Old 10-08-2007, 05:49 PM   #734
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

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The best I've had is the one from Post Road, which is actually being put out by the Brooklyn brewery. I doubt you can get it out your way, unfortunately. I haven't heard of your two.
Shipyard is a Portland, ME brewery. I haven't tried much of their stuff. Just this and their Chamberlain Pale Ale, which was fairly solid. Buffalo Bill's Brewery is somewhere here in CA and I don't know much else about them.

I'll be back east the first week of November. I'll keep an eye out for any pumpkin ales I can find and report back. I'm generally not a fan of "flavored" beers, but for some reason the pumpkin really does it for me.
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Old 10-12-2007, 11:56 AM   #735
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

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BeerAdvocate is hosting a Belgian Beer festival Oct 26th-27th in Boston.
I went last year, it was a blast (I'm away on vaca this year). don't worry too much about tickets, last year I went and scalped. it took me mb 15 minutes, but I found people selling. I paid just below "face value".
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Old 10-12-2007, 08:25 PM   #736
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

Hello all. I thought I might join you in your reviews. The main reason that I haven't done so in the past is that I have no camera and wouldn't know how to include a picture even if I did have one.

Here are the beers that I've had over the last week:

Founder's Blushing Monk. Labeled as a Belgian Ale with Raspberries. I thought this might be like Ommegang's Three Philosopher's which I quite like. It really was more of a fruit beer to me, so that's what I'll compare it to. 12.3% alcohol. A scandalous $17 for the bomber bottle. Pours a dark pink, almost red. Sweet raspberry smell. Surprised me by the taste, which I expected to be much sweeter. This is pretty tart and dry taste. I'll give it a 4/5. New Glarus Raspberry Tart would be a 4.5/5. If you'll let me go to cherry instead of raspberry, then New Glarus Belgian Red is a 5/5.


Bayhawk Chocolate Porter. 5.4% Alcohol. Bomber bottle was 3.99, I think. This beer is foul. Stay away. Vinegary tasting. I thought it was spoiled. I have no idea why they call it a chocolate porter. It didn't taste like chocolate and it didn't taste like a porter. I thought that the bottle might be off. I looked it up on ratebeer afterwards to see how they felt about it. Similar reviews made me think that it wasn't spoiled...it's just a bad beer. 1/5. My 5/5 for porters is Fuller's London Porter. A 4.5/5 would be Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald.

Samuel Adams Hallertau Imperial Pilsner. I have no idea why I bought this...7.99 for 4 pack of 12 ounce bottles. Advertised as an intense hop experience. Well, it was intense. No taste other than hops. Ridiculous. I was in a room with 7 other people who all like beer. I passed the glass around trying to get somebody to like it. Everyone declined. I brought the other three home. I did find a friend of mine who liked it and gave her the other bottles. Be warned that you had better really like hops before you buy this. It doesn't feel fair to rate this, since I should have known better than buy it in the first place.

Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale. $10.99 for a six pack of 12 ounce bottles. Alcohol 9.6%. This is a lovely beer. 4.5/5 for me. (Great Divide's Old Ruffian is the 5/5 and my favorite overall beer). This is a seasonal winter beer. This represented the last sixpack at my local good beer store. (I had long ago depleted their supply of Great Divide.) Maybe I should have rated the Sam Adams Imperial Pilsner, since the Bigfoot is a beer with a lot of hops taste to it that I actually like. The malt is also very evident. I like the bitter, intense flavor. The only slight problem is that you can clearly taste the alcohol, which is a touch offputting. Beer-snobby friends have suggested that this is a great beer to cellar...but I never seem to have the self-restraint to leave it.

Avery's The Czar Imperial Stout. Bomber bottle, 11.04% Alcohol. Don't remember my price. I decided to give this brewery another chance. I've got a couple of friends who rave about it, but I've never been overwhelmed. I give this a 3.5/5. This one is too sweet for me. Maybe some anise flavor in it? This one needs to be cellared. Seemed highly carbonated, big head that took a long time to settle. (My 5/5 is Great Divide's Oak Aged Yeti. a 4.5/5 would be Sam Smith's)
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Old 10-12-2007, 09:10 PM   #737
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

Pictures in reviews are strictly optional. You're more than welcome to post w/o them.

These are some good reviews, though. You seem to like a very broad variety of beer, and you've definitely noted some of my favorites as your favorites. My kind of guy .
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Old 10-15-2007, 10:23 PM   #738
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

Hey Skip, what year was your Czar? I've heard that it needs some time before opening and I have a 2006 in the fridge.

As for actual beer ratings, I have a few quickies from my most recent bar trip, where they were having "Hoptoberfest," with all sorts of hoppiness abound. I had 3 double IPAs, the first of which ended up being the best: Lagunitas Hop Stoopid. Don't think this one is in bottles, but it was $6 for a goblet, as were the other two I got after this one. No doubt about the style of this beer. Big grapefruity hops in this beast. A nice golden cloudy color with ample white head. The taste was just a big hop bomb, but had enough malt in the back to keep it from being too unbalanced. I truly can't believe my personal taste transformation since I started posting here. I'm a full-fledged hops fan now. This was a solid IIPA and one I'd certainly try again if it ever came back around these parts.

Second was a personal and local favorite of mine: Captain Lawrence Captain's Reserve IIPA. For whatever reason, the bartender decided to put a hop flower in the glass along with the beer. My friends took turns smelling it and I couldn't smell a thing; wonder what that means? As for the beer, not quite as big in the hops department as Hop Stoopid, and slighlty tilted toward the malt side of the spectrum. Piney hops in the taste and finish, with a relatively thick mouthfeel. A solid IIPA from Westchester, NY. 3.75

Last was Stone Ruination, which I've never bought before, but certainly has ample opportunities to do so. Well, if you know Stone, you know they enjoy their hops, and this is most definitely not an exception. This was just short of Hop Stoopid in the extreme hops department, but definitely welcome as the capper to my bitter evening. At this point I think my tastebuds may have been shot, but I do know I enjoyed this beer quite a bit. Until I buy a bottle for real rating, I'll hold off on the hearts for this one.
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Old 10-15-2007, 10:32 PM   #739
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

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For whatever reason, the bartender decided to put a hop flower in the glass along with the beer. My friends took turns smelling it and I couldn't smell a thing; wonder what that means?
Wow, I can't imagine a bar even keeping those around. That's pretty cool. If it didn't have much odor, it is probably just a bit old and/or not stored cool. Hops, especially whole flowers, do go "stale" after a while. I think its something to do with the oils evaporating. If you freeze hops they can last a good while, and hop pellets generally last longer than whole hops.
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Old 10-15-2007, 10:56 PM   #740
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

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Quote:
For whatever reason, the bartender decided to put a hop flower in the glass along with the beer. My friends took turns smelling it and I couldn't smell a thing; wonder what that means?
Wow, I can't imagine a bar even keeping those around. That's pretty cool. If it didn't have much odor, it is probably just a bit old and/or not stored cool. Hops, especially whole flowers, do go "stale" after a while. I think its something to do with the oils evaporating. If you freeze hops they can last a good while, and hop pellets generally last longer than whole hops.
Yeah, I know breweries and brewpubs keep them around for show, but I've never seen that in a bar. As for the flower itself, it looked pretty yellow and old, but my friends said they could get a pretty good whiff of it. I didn't get a damn thing. Still interesting though. By the way, for any New Yorkers, definitely search for Captain Lawrence beers. The ones you'll see in stores are St. Vecent's Dubbel and Xtra Gold, their take on the hoppy tripel.
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Old 10-15-2007, 11:07 PM   #741
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

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Hey Skip, what year was your Czar? I've heard that it needs some time before opening and I have a 2006 in the fridge.

Bottled in 2006.
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Old 10-20-2007, 12:57 AM   #742
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

I like the Belgium beer "LEFFE"... (pretty sure it's Belgium). Awesome!

Also Abbaye de Maredous is good.

Last but not least... ANYTHING, ANYTHING, ANYTHING FROM STONE BREWING! The newest release Stone 11th Anniversary Ale... DANG! And Top 3 Favorite- Stone Ruination IPA.
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Old 10-20-2007, 10:23 PM   #743
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

Went to the awesome Foodery store in Philly and picked up an expensive Japanese beer - Hitachino Nest Beer - XH

Hey look - the O-RLY owl!!!



Stock photo - This is a strong Brown ale or even perhaps a barley wine style that is aged in sake casks for 3 months. No head at all, very dark and sweet flavor with a slight bitter aftertaste - could this be the sake coming through? A very unique beer that makes you say "wtf" after the first sip, but grows on you bigtime.

I'm very impressed but at $7 for a 12oz bottle and like most "strong" ales, it's a beer to be enjoyed once in an evening and you really have to be in the mood for it. At least 3.5 to 4 on the scale. Can't wait to try their White Ale.
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Old 10-21-2007, 12:11 AM   #744
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

Huh. I think the section at Beers of the World for Japan only has the various Japanese pale lagers, but I'll look for this brewery next time I'm there. Their white ale was given a great review here. However, at $7/bottle for this one, I would probably skip it. I could get a bottle of St. Bernardus Abt. 12 for less than that, so if I'm going to pay that much, I expect to be blown away by the flavor, or at least knocked on my ass from a higher ABV than 8%.
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Old 10-21-2007, 04:53 PM   #745
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

Can't say I've had anything from Hitachino, but I've heard good things about their newest release, Espresso Stout. I was curious about the XH, though I think in New York it runs for about $4.50-5 a bottle. The Foodery is indeed awesome, but Pennsylvania alcohol laws are definitely not.
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Old 10-24-2007, 10:48 PM   #746
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

Ok - well it's time for another unique beer from Heather Ales Ltd. from Scotland. The Alba Scots Pine Ale. stock photo - (I'll be getting a digi cam soon )




I reviewed the Ebulum Elderberry Black Ale earlier and was very impressed. This brewery rocks. This beer is a triple style based on an old viking recipe. Dark copper color, almost no head, not too much carbonation. Medium heavy body yet very drinkable with a rather strange aftertaste that for me was very, very sweet. Others have mentioned that it is a rather "strange brew". Definitely worth a try and for me a solid Around $4.50 and 7.5 ABV

This ain't Bud light folks.
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Old 10-25-2007, 08:48 PM   #747
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

It's been a while since I've done a proper review in here. But, I was back at Beers of the World, and there were several that caught my eye. The first I'll review is Sierra Nevada's Harvest Fresh Hop Ale. It weighs in at 6.2% ABV for a 24 oz bottle that ran me $4.55.



The beer pours a clear reddish brown with a goodly head. It laces my glass nicely. I would have thought this was a slightly stronger beer.



The hop aroma of this beer is good, but the flavor is a bit of a let down. The beer most similar to this one would probably be Arrogant Bastard, and it doesn't live up to that standard. The hops are a little more bitter tasting and not quite as flavorful, and the malt isn't quite as rich and sweet. It's a good beer, I like beers in this style, and it's not a bad price for a single 24 oz bottle, but it's not a best in class. I'll give it a rating that's a little on the low side. Maybe I should consider going to quarter heart ratings and give it a 3.25.
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Old 10-27-2007, 08:31 PM   #748
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

For tonight's review, I'm returning to a brewery I haven't sampled in a while: Avery. They seem to have made a decent name for themselves, but I've been underwhelmed with their beer compared to their competitors, such as North Coast, Stone, and Great Divide -- the larger US microbreweries with national distribution. A new brew from them caught my eye, though, and a unique style: a so-called Imperial Oktoberfest that they've dubbed The Kaiser. I generally like Oktoberfest beers, and I'm a big fan of almost any ueber-beer, so I decided to give this one a shot. I paid $7.59 for a 22 oz bottle of beer that packs an unexpectedly precise 9.37% ABV.



The beer pours a clear amber with a decent head. It dissipates almost completely saving a ring of carbonation right at the glass, though.



The smell of this beer is unique and interesting. I smell a strong malt mingled with apple cider. The flavor is quite good. It's sweeter than I expected from the smell. The first thing that hits me is that strong amber malt. Second is the fresh apple cider, and third is alcohol, followed by a light herbal hopping in the finish. It all works out to be an excellent combination. This is my favorite brew from Avery that I've tried, and it's certainly something that sets them apart. With most of their other beers, there are comparably priced options from other breweries that I've enjoyed quite a bit more. With this, I only have standard-strength Oktoberfests to measure this against, and I like this better than any of them (I think I overrated Ayinger's Oktoberfest by about 1 full heart). I'm awarding this beer . With the apple cider character, this could be a good beer to drink all winter, so I hope it isn't about to vanish.
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Old 10-29-2007, 10:48 PM   #749
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

Alright. Continuing my theme of "Unusual Imperial Fall Seasonal Ales from Breweries I'm Lukewarm About," tonight's review is the Imperial Pumpkin Ale from Weyerbacher. Ran me a modest $5.89 for a 22 ouncer of 8% ABV beer.



The beer pours a reddish brown. It has a decent head in the photo, but that's mostly due to an aggressive pour on my part. The head dissipates almost immediately.



When I sniffed this beer, there was only one thought going through my head: "Spice!" The bottle advertises cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, and cloves prominently on the bottle, and it seems that it delivers. Yes, yes it does. This is one of the spiciest beers I've had yet, right up there with Stone's 070707 Vertical Epic. The malt behind this is a perfect match. Just sweet enough and toasty. I'm going award this beer .25. I'm going to have to bust out the quarter hearts again for this one. I highly recommend this for anyone who's a fan of spicy beer or pumpkin ales in general.
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Old 10-30-2007, 10:11 PM   #750
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

Inspired by cwswiggy's adventures with the Williams Bros. Brewery, I decided to pick up a couple of their beers myself. I tried their Fraoch Heather Ale last night, actually, but I forgot to review it here. One 11.2 oz bottle ran me a rather steep $2.95 for a fairly modest 5% ABV.



The beer pours a cloudy darkish gold color. It has almost no head to speak of.



I was expecting a more floral smell from this beer, it being made with heather and all. Instead, it smells slightly woody and earthy with a hint of the flowers. The flavor is very earthy and sour with hints of the wood and so little flower flavor that I'm not sure I'm imagining it. The sourness of this beer combined with the earthiness is unique and interesting, but when it comes down to it, I probably wouldn't ask for a second bottle of this. I'd like to give it some points for originality, but if I don't really want another, it's hard to give this beer higher than a rating. It's too pricey, too. I can't advise anyone to buy this one.

I'm going to review the Eblum Elderberry Black right now. It was the same price for the same size, but it's a hair stronger at 6.5%.



I'll have to apologize for the pics. I forgot to take them right away, so I have an empty bottle and a partially consumed glass. The beer doesn't look much different after a few sips, though. Anyway, this beer pours jet black with a minimal tan head. It again dissipates quickly down to almost nothing.



The smell of this beer.is like a porter with a hint of the fruit that I have to presume is elderberry. I've never had elderberries myself, so I'll take the bottle's word for it. Taking a sip of this, I'm going to have to say that I respectfully disagree with swiggy. To me, this tastes like a fairly hollow porter without enough of the elderberry flavor to make up for it. There's a hint of the coffee and the dark malt, but not as much as I'd like. The sourness of the berries doesn't make up for the light hopping I'd like. To this beer's credit, as I'm nearing the end and as it warms up, the berry flavor is coming through more and it's tastier. Not quite enough to earn another half heart than I had planned on giving it, though. I'm awarding it and a half .
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