St. Bernardus Prior 8

Style and Glass: Belgian Strong, trappist
ABV, Volume & Calories: 8 % in 11.2 fl oz. estimated at 200 C

Purchased at: Canal’s Lawrenceville, NJ for $17.00 as a part of a gift pack complete with glass.

Aroma: sour, fainter, flowers, metallic, mold

Visuals: inviting, dark, moat, deep brown, nearly opaque, thin, staying, off white head, tight lace.

Taste: well balanced, maple, syrup, sour, woody, fruity, plum, cherry, orange, slightly bitter.

Palate: whole tongue active, sweet, bitter, delicious, mellow, blunt, long dark finish.

Overall: Delicious and remarkable. Deep, dark, and multi-layered. I’d love to have it again, though generally, I prefer sweeter Belgian variants.

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.

Bell’s Amber Ale

RateBeer Rating, Style and Glass: 81, Amber Ale, English Pint; shaker
ABV, Volume & Calories: 5.8% in 12 fl oz. estimated at 150 C
Purchased at: Bound Beverages, Bensalem, PA for $3.33

Aroma: musky, dank, humid, sticky candy. 9 out of 10.

Visuals: tasteful, well designed, natural, bronze, hazy, unfiltered, off white head, sticky lace. 5 out of 5.

Taste: maple, cocoa, light bitterness, medium strength, high craft. 9 out of 10.

Palate: high quality, clay, mud, longer malty finish. 4 out of 5.

Overall: Perhaps the best amber ale I’ve ever had. I would have it again.  Reasonable value.  Very well 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.

Stone Pale Ale

ABV: 5.4%
RateBeer rating: 92
Calories: estimated at 150 C
Volume: 12 fl oz.
Glass: shaker, lager glass
Purchased at: Circle Liquors Super Saver, Pennington, NJ
Price: $2.25
Consumed at: home

Tanka: zen master

angry amber reds
flowers, citrus, and pine bark
sweet for a long time
maple, pine, and grapefruit shine
delicious but simple treat

aroma 8 out of 10
visuals 4 out of 5
taste 9 out of 10
palate 4 out of 5
overall 16 out of 20

Great Divide Hercules Double IPA

Glass: tulip
Purchased at: Joe Canal’s, Lawrenceville, NJ
Price: $7.29
Size: 22 fl oz
ABV: 9.1%
IBU: 85
Estimated Calories: 400 C
RateBeer Rating: 99

Aroma 10 out of 10
Intensity: Strong
Balance: Sweet
Impression: Nice

Malt Flavor: Sweet Toast Nut Caramel
Hops Flavor:
Floral Herbal Spice
Syrup, maple, nuts, grapefruit
Notes: One of the best aromas I’ve encountered – fills the room.

Appearance 5 out of 5
Color: Copper
Clarity: slightly Dull
Head Retention: Persistent
Notes: One of the best head retentions I’ve seen in quite some time. Lacing is remarkable. Color is deep and very good looking. Body is not perfectly clear, but I imagine that’s by design. There is no mention of bottle conditioning.

Flavor 10 out of 10
Intensity: Strong
Balance: well balanced between Sweet and Bitter
Impression: very Nice
Malt Flavor:
Grain Bread Sweet Toast Nut Caramel
Hops Flavor: Floral Herbal Spice Resin Citrus
Other: Grapefruit, orange peel
Notes: quite spicy – could stand up to the most potent foods and flavors.

Palate 5 out of 5

Sensation: Creamy Slick Drying and Warming
Body: Full
Carbonation: Lively and visible

Length: Long
Intensity: Strong
Balance: Bitter
Notes: The finish is superb. The carbonation is present and active. The mouth is affected and warmed all over.

General Impression: 20 out of 20
Craftmanship: Excellent
Freshness: Fresh
Personal Taste: Loved
Notes: One of my all time favorite beers – remarkably drinkable, smooth, bitter, sweet, and tasty. Beautiful to behold, and nicely crafted. Aroma is enticing. Price is reasonable for the product, and the finish keeps you interested. A superlative beverage.