93 Traquair Aconite Ale, Traquair House Brewery (Scotland). 8% ABV (2/08)
Dark brown color. Deep spicy aromas of coriander, ginger, candied orange and sweet soy follow through to a fruity medium-full body with praline and a mélange of potpourri and baking spices. A richly spicy and fun strong ale.
93 Gordon Double Red Ale, Oskar Blues Brewery (CO). 8.7% ABV (2/08)
Deep cooper color with a persistent, celestial mousse. Rich, delicious aromas of honeyed apricot and citrus compote, warm caramel and bright herbal hops. A rich, but silky entry leads to a dry-yet-fruity full body with cocoa butter, spice, dried fruit and roasted nut toast flavors. Finishes with a long, elegant interplay of creamy malt and supportive spicy/herbal hops. A delightful giant of a sipper.
92 Singleton Ale, Top of the Hill Restaurant & Brewery (NC). 8.3% ABV (2/09)
Brilliant medium amber color thin blanket of fine foam. Aromas of orange blossom honey, spice, praline and leather follow through on a pillow, plush entry to a very fruity full body with layers of golden raisins, orange marmalade on buttered rye toast and sautéed peaches. Finishes with a long, pepper and mineral ore-accented fade with firm citrus and pine-tinged hops. A fresh and lively strong beer.
92 Samuel Adams Longshot Old Ale, The Boston Beer Co. (MA). 10.6% ABV (2/07)
Deep reddish brown color. Sweet spicy caramel and brown spice aromas follows through to a chewy, off-dry full body of buttery caramel, dried fruit and spice flavors. Finishes with a lingering, tangy citrus marmalade and toffee fade. Rich and flavorful with a nice balance of sweetness and tartness.
92 Imperial Red Ale, Eugene City Brewery (OR). 11.2% ABV (2/07)
Deep copper chestnut color. Toffee, brown sugar, nuts and spice aromas. A rich supple entry leads to an off-dry medium-full body of tangy raisins and citrus marmalade, bittersweet chocolate and mild spice flavors. Finishes with a long nutty, fruity fade. Very tasty and balanced.
92 Ard Ri Imperial Red, Upland Brewing (IN). 9% ABV (2/07)
Deep burnished copper color. Lovely dark caramel and fruit pie aromas follow through to a frothy, dry-yet-fruity medium-full body of toasted nuts, roasted grain and brown sugar. Finishes with a crisp, earthy and mildly piney hop fade with great astringency and pleasing warmth.
91 Maximus, Bastone Brewery (MI). 9.5% ABV (2/09)
Deep reddish brown color with a wispy taupe head. Interesting aromas of molasses, coffee, pork rind, dried black cherry and bread pudding follow through of a round, velvety entry to a fruity-yet-dry full body with dried currant, maple syrup and roasted nut notes. Finishes with a long molasses and licorice fade. A tasty rich and balanced strong ale.
91 Imperial Red Ale, Rogue Ales (OR). 9% ABV (3/09)
Reddish brown color. Aromas of licorice, chocolate, bread and alcohol follow through on a soft mouthfeel with toffee and barley notes. Nice balance with a warming hop aftertaste.
91 2008 Double Dead Guy Ale, Rogue Ales (OR). 9% ABV (3/09)
Rich amber color. Aromas of buttery, warm caramel taffy, apricot custard and mossy hops follow through on a round, supple entry to a dry-yet-fruity medium-full body with brown sugar and grapefruit peel notes. Finishes with nice blend of spicy citrus hops and cream. Tasty.
90 Stegmaier Holiday Warmer, The Lion Brewery (PA). 8.1% ABV (2/09)
Deep amber copper color. Spicy cinnamon raisin toast and peach pie crust aromas. follow through on a velvety, frothy entry to a fruity medium-full body with excellent depth, balance and a refreshing mineral, brown sugar, peppercorn and candied yam fade. Nice.
89 Vintage Ale, Capital Brewery (WI). 8% ABV (2/07)
Beautiful amber color. Toffee, dried cherry and baked lemon aromas follow through to a supple chewy and fruity medium-full body of with layers of caramel, dried peaches and brown sugar. Finishes with a long caramelized citrus fade. A somewhat candied, but refreshing and sexy brew.
89 Red Ale, Otro Mundo Brewing (Argentina). 7.5% ABV (2/09)
Slightly hazy amber color. Aromas of toasted grains and caramelized macadamia nuts, floral honey and peach follow through on a soft, frothy entry to an off-dry full body with candy corn, sweet citrus and apricot compote notes and a legume and collard green note on the pepper jelly on toast finish.
89 Imperial Younger’s Special Bitter Ale, Rogue Ales (OR). 7.4% ABV (3/09)
Rich copper color. Integrated aromas of caramel, toast and dried fruits follow through on a supple entry to a dryish medium-to-full body with roasted nuts and grain notes. Finishes with a tart, crisp fade.
85 Anniversary Ale, Willoughby Brewing Co. (OH). 10% ABV (2/08)
Orange bronze color. Rock candy, ginger gelatins and mixed fruit marmalade on Hawaiian toast aromas. A silky entry leads to a lightly effervescent, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body of orange honey on raisin roast flavors with a layer of sweet spice. Finishes with quick sweet orange and peppery spice fade with lingering warmth and prickly heat. A good effort at a Belgian-style strong or triple.