Updated Review 09/12/10 – 2010 vintage
Having been totally convinced in the past that the smell and the look of this beer were always better than the taste, in 2010 with the higher ABV, I feel a few things are quite different than they have been in the past.
Firstly the beer still has a lovely color, but the head, retention and lace are not quite as good as they once were.
Secondly the smell is not quite as aggressive (or pleasant) as in years past. Plenty of brown sugar and some pumpkin spice, but it is VERY reminiscent of a pumpkin candle above everything else – you may find it in your bathroom! As far as the smell goes, this is a step in the wrong direction and it is nowhere near as potent as it has been in years past.
Having said that, what we lose in the aroma we gain elsewhere. The beer drinks very nicely with some creamy notes, sweetness upfront and nice, soapy bitterness in the back end. The lingering end is also a feature that I enjoy. MUCH more drinkable than in years past for me.
A tremendously interesting beer, but not one I can get a handle on very easily. This is definitely a beer that I strongly suggest that you try and work out for yourself. Opinions are likely to be all over the place on this one.
Original Review 01/10/09 – 2008 vintage, before this was available in GA
Original Scores; 3.5, 5.0, 3.5, 3.0, 3.0, 1.5
22 oz bottle, thanks go out to cashew70 for the chance to try this one. Cracked amongst friends at The Brick Store on a Friday afternoon.
Pour is a mid-orange, clear bodied beer with a nice, simple, white head. Lacing is minimal.
Nose? MADNESS! A combination of cumin, cashew nuts, salted peanuts, cinnamon and spice. It is absolutely exceptional (hence the “5” score) but it is not really to my liking; exceptional most certainly not “good”.
The taste is an odd combination of experiences that eventually evens out to some kind of pumpkin pie taste, but it takes some time to get there. This should not be too old, but it is a few weeks into its life.
A very, very odd beer. As one of the guys said, “this is the kind of beer that after a heavy night of drinking is the one that send you over the edge and makes you vomit”. Not sure what that really means, but at the same time it made sense – CRAZY beer!
I did NOT like this as much as the score suggests, but the smell IS a “5”.