BeerCritic


Mikkeller 黑
Mikkeller Black Stout

Mikkeller Black Stout

Style and Glass: Imperial Stout; Snifter
12.7 fl oz * 17.5% = 222.5 / 60 = 3.7 beers * 150 = 555 C est.
Purchased at: Canal’s Lawrenceville, NJ for $18.99

Neither of those (17.5 or 18.99 or 12.7 fl. oz. ) are typos.

Aroma: amazing, coffee, cocoa, hay, barnyard, oak, alcohol, ether.

Visuals: world class packaging, blackness, midnight, deep woods, solid, thick, viscous, staying tan head, intricate lace.

Taste: nicely balanced, off the charts in malt and hops, a new level of strength. Superb.

Palate: highest quality, syrupy texture, long dark finish.

Overall: The DFH 120 minute IPA of the world of imperial stouts. All others pale. It is without a doubt the best beer I have ever tasted in my life. I will go and clear the shelves of it, whatever the cost. It’s not only a favorite, it is my new superlative standard. Highest value for the highest craft. Mikkeller is only posing as a human.

A second tasting: I often say that this beer or that beer is ‘one of my favorites’ but this beer is, by far, my favorite brew. I forst had this in November of 2008, and wondered when I declared that it was my favorite how long it would hold the title. Many beers since have been very good, very complex, flavorful, and rewarding, but this one has all of that, plus personality, style, and an aroma, that is at once chocolatey, peppery, and full of booziness. The complex mixture in the flavor and texture includes maple syrup, alcohol, vodka, coffee, licorice, candy, dust, and chalk. The heft is intimidating, and the alcohol effects about halfway through makes you respect and quietly sip and contemplate it. This is an amazing brew, and would pair well with the most powerfully spicy or sweet dishes. It would overpower almost anything else, and for me, that’s right on. Play on, Mikkeller, you rock it hard.

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Great Divide Hibernation Ale
Great Divide Hibernation Ale

Great Divide Hibernation Ale

Style and Glass: American Strong, Trappist
ABV, Volume & Calories: 8.1 % in 12 fl oz. estimated at 200 C
Purchased at: Canal’s Lawrenceville, NJ for $1.83

Aroma: caramel, syrup and roasted malts. Some pepper, spice, and citrus.

Visuals: Beautiful packaging, recently redesigned cohesive brand from Great Divide.  It does the beer within the bottles justice. The ruby mahogany body is deep and contemplative. hard to see through, but clear rather than hazy. Thin tan head is long lasting, lace is intricate and shows this brew’s freshness.

Taste: Well balanced flavor starts with roasted malt, follows with a rush of crispness from carbonation, and finishes long with a dark roasty deliciousness. Sugar overtones, followed quickly by a light sourness. Easily drinkable. Alcohol is quiet and well hidden.

Palate:  Smooth, crisp, drying, and long fantastic finish add up to a wonderful session brew, despite the high ABV, so beware!

Overall: A beautiful, enticing, delicious beer, affordable, from a great brewer, and entices the senses. I’ll have it again, for sure.



Bear Republic Big Bear Black Stout

Style and Glass: Imperial Stout, Snifter
ABV, Volume & Calories: 8.1 % in 22 fl oz. estimated at 400 C
Purchased at:Canal’s Lawrenceville, NJ  for $4.89

Aroma: hefty, hay, corn, marshmallow, syrup, very nice.

Visuals: beautiful packaging, fort knox, black, opaque, thin tan head, intricate lace.

Taste: well balanced, low malt, high hops, medium strength.

Palate: high quality, smooth texture, longer finish.

Overall: Hard to tell what this even tastes like after the Mikkeller Black, but the quality shines through. A repeat, could even be a favorite. high value. Medium high craft.



Smuttynose Smuttonator

Style and Glass: Doppelbock; mug, stein, stem glass
ABV, Volume & Calories: 8.5% in 22 fl oz. estimated at 400 C
Purchased at: Canal’s Lawrenceville, NJ for $5.89

Aroma: nice, syrup, maple, mold, rose, citrus.

Visuals: interesting packaging, iced tea, reddish brown, slightly hazy, off white long lasting head, intricate lace.

Taste: well balanced, high malt, medium hops, medium high strength.

Palate: high quality, spicy, scratchy, dry, longer drying finish.

Overall: A very well done beer, and one of the few doppelbocks I’ve truly enjoyed. If they were all like this, I might like the style more. I’d have this again, though it’s not what I’d call a favorite. High value for a well crafted brew.



Rock Art Magnumus ete Tomahawkus ESB3 Ale

RateBeer Rating, Style and Glass: 88, American Strong Ale, trappist
ABV, Volume & Calories: 8% in 22 fl oz. estimated at 400 C
Purchased at: Canal’s, Lawrenceville, NJ for $2.99

Aroma: bitterness, grapefruit, pine, very nice. 10 out of 10.

Visuals: interesting and funny label, good unique presentation, clody orange color, staying white head, intricate lace. 5 out of 5.

Taste: some barley, mostly hops, very strong, master craft. 10 out of 10.

Palate: high quality, sandy texture, bitter, delicious finish. 5 out of 5.

Overall: It’s all about the hops. Perhaps my perfect beer. I can’t wait to have it again. It’s a favorite. It is without a doubt, one of the best values I’ve encountered. Master crafted. 20 out of 20.



Mikkeller Draft Bear ESL

RateBeer Rating, Style and Glass: 93, European Strong Lager, Lager Glass
ABV, Volume & Calories: 8 % in 22.4 fl oz. estimated at 400 C
Purchased at: Canal’s Lawrenceville, NJ for $14.99

Aroma: heavy malt, syrupy, coke syrup, caramel. 10 out of 10.

Visuals: cloudy, misty bronze, beautiful white long lasting head, intricate lace. 5 out of 5.

Taste: hoppy, roasted grains, dark, beautifully crafted. 10 out of 10.

Palate: solid, heavy, long bitter finish. 5 out of 5.

Overall: Makes me think of what a lager could be if any attention or care was put to it. Absolutely beautiful.  I’d have it again in a second. It’s not a favorite because the style isn’t a favorite, but if more lagers were like this, I’d seek them out. Beautifully crafted. 18 out of 20.



Smuttynose Barleywine Style Ale 2007

RateBeer Rating, Style and Glass: 91, barleywine, snifter
ABV, Volume & Calories: 10% in 22 fl oz. estimated at 400 C
Purchased at: for $4.99

Aroma: sweet, nice, inviting, maple. 9 out of 10.

Visuals: deep but clear opacity, ruby color, limited clarity, tan, persistent head, intricate lace. 5 out of 5.

Taste: heavy malt, roasted, bitter, nicely crafted. 9 out of 10.

Palate: coating, drying, buzzing, long, strong finish. 5 out of 5.

Overall: Lighter and crisper than Old Ruffian. I’d have it again in an instant. Nicely priced, and great flavors. Get it. Well crafted. 18 out of 20.