Monday, April 21, 2008

Vintage Review - 2003 Great Divide Maverick Imperial Stout

22oz bomber. 2003 Series. How is this brew doing at 5 years out?? Let's see!

Pours into my glass an inky black color that only lets a smidge of light in creating a dark brown hue around the edges. A half inch of creamy dark tan foam sits atop the brew and leaves spotting lacing in its wake. Aromas are big on dark, roasted malts with deep molasses, dark fruits and a solid bittersweet chocolate in there as well. Mild fig and licorice aromas in the background with a touch of oxidation. For the age on this one I have no complaints, still very very nice.

First sip brings a flow of dark, deeply roasted malt upfront. Strong notes of molasses and slight spiciness move in, followed by dark fruit (cherry) and a good amount of chocolate flavor as well. Light licorice and vanilla on the way down. Somewhat smoky as well. The finish brings a mellow bitterness and faint ghostly hop tones. This brew has aged nicely and is still a tasty treat!

Mouthfeel is creamy, medium bodied and somewhat viscous. Goes down pretty smooth, with a somewhat prickly carbonation. Good body overall. When all things are said and done this is a darn tasty imperial stout and it has held up to the test of time in my cellar. I'm guessing this could even go another year no problem, but if you have one it's not a bad time to drink it now!! Great Divide continually impresses me.

Overall I gave this brew a rating of Great.

As a side note this brew went on to become Yeti Imperial Stout, which you can buy now at your favorite local retailer, wherever Great Divide distributes

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Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Struise Mikkeller

From the bottle label:
RateBeer Special Release:
Behold the second of’s Worldwide Masters Series! This request edition ale is the crafted alchemy of a party of some of Europe’s finest brewers, Mikkel Bjergsø and Kristian Keller of Mikkeller (Copenhagen, Denmark) and Urbain Coutteau, Carlo Grootaert, Phil Driessens, and Peter Braem of De Struise Brouwers (Woesten-Vleteren, Belgium).
Both breweries have attracted considerable international attention for their artful interpretations of traditional ale styles enlived by a rich sense of invention. And both are also very highly esteemed by the international community of beer tasters. We hope you enjoy this unique little treasure.
Struise Mikkeller -- the product of master brewing and friendship. Celebrate this sense of camaraderie by sharing this bottle with your good friends!
- Joe Tucker,

I've been excited to try this one since I picked it up. Here goes:

The bottle pours into my tulip glass a somewhat hazy amber with orange highlights. A big, frothy creamy head rises with the pour and lingers, leaving sticky lacing trails across the side of the glass. Aromas start with a good mix of citric, herbal and earthy hops. There's a nice caramel, somewhat bready malt underneath. Spiciness comes across in the nose and works well with the sweet tinge. Quite fruity as well. An interesting take on the style.

First sip brings a sweet caramel malt upfront followed by a fruitiness. The hops roll in with citric, herbal and earthy tones intermingling. As it flows down a spicy quality emerges along with yeasty tones that's quickly followed up by a solid blast of bitterness that cuts through the sweetness of the brew. The brew finishes with linger hops atop a mix of sugar and spice. Tasty.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a nice creaminess about it and solid moving carbonation. Goes down rather easily for a 9% brew and lends itself to being quite drinkable. The sweetness does a good job of counterbalancing the bitterness. Overall, I can't say I've had a Imperial IPA from Denmark or Belgium before, but this one hits the spot and is a tasty rendition!

Overall I gave this one a rating of Great. Quite a tasty beer!

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