93 Local 1, The Brooklyn Brewery (NY). 9% ABV (4/09)
Deep old gold color with a fine blanket of white foam. Delicate aromas of brioche, lemon curd and coriander follow through on a round entry to a dryish medium-full body with tangy orange rind and astringent herbal notes. Finishes with a long, honeyed citrus peel and subtle, earthy hop fade. A superb food beer to pair with artisanal cheeses and sausages.
92 Trois Pistoles, Unibroue (Canada). 9% ABV (4/09)
Deep russet brown color with a manila head. Aromas of buttery treacle, grilled lime and densely compacted spices and herbs follow through on a round, supple entry to a dryish medium-full body with molasses, poached pear and praline notes. Finishes with a long, spiced apple, mineral and delicate herbal hops fade. An impressive beer that demands grilled meats and roasted root vegetables.
90 Seam Roy Red, Bastone Brewery (MI). 7.25% ABV (5/07)
Deep copper color. Spicy apple cherry tart and cinnamon toast aromas. A round frothy entry leads to a dry-yet fruity medium full body of dates, baked apples, roasted nuts and singed spices. Finishes with a crisp and refreshing roasted nut, toast and dried citrus-like hops fade. A strong, yet very thirst-quenching style.
90 Monk Madness, Rogue Ales (OR). 7% ABV (5/07)
Reddish chestnut color. Sweet dark caramel toffee aromas are accented by a draft from a horsey barnyard. A round entry leads to a frothy dry medium-full body of dark roasted nuts, burnt crème brûlée, molasses and muddy hay flavors. Finishes with a pleasantly astringent blend of bittering hops and burnt nut flavors. An earthy, nutty and fun strong ale reminiscent of American barley wine.
89 Three Philosophers Quadruple Ale, Brewery Ommegang (NY). 9.8% ABV (5/07)
Deep burnished copper color. Caramel, cherry custard aromas. A round, supple entry leads to a dryish, velvety medium body of honeyed rye toast, toffeed and cocoa-dusted cherries and pits. Finishes with a long tangy nut, cocoa and cherry juice fade.
89 Malheur 10, De Landtsheer (Belgium). 10% ABV (5/07)
Hazy golden amber color. Dried apple and paraffin aromas have an herbal, slightly soapy edge. A supple entry leads to a fruity sweet medium-full body of white chocolate toffee, candied tropical fruits and subtle spices. Finishes with a sweet honeyed rye toast and caramel fade. A very fruity and inviting beer that needs food to balance out the sweetness—try with spicy Asian cuisine.
88 Ommegang Abbey Ale Dubbel, Brewery Ommegang (NY). 8.5% ABV (5/07)
Beautiful reddish mahogany color. Candied ginger, pickled beets and dark chocolate-covered cherry aromas follow through to a dry-yet-fruity medium full body of roasted nuts, dried cherries, cocoa, delicate spices. Finishes with a charred nut, black cherry skin and melted chocolate fade.
86 Bon Secours Dark, Brasserie Caulier (Belgium). 8% ABV (5/07)
Mahogany with a tan head. Dark fruity caramel, cola nut, allspice and walnut fudge aromas. A silky, frothy entry leads to an fruity off-dry medium body of peach jam, cinnamon raisin toast and nutmeg flavors with brisk, slightly watery toffeed nut fade. A refreshingly fruity, lightly spiced dark ale.