97 Anniversary 17, Unibroue (Canada). 10% ABV (5/10)
Hazy copper mahogany color with tan head. Rich deep aroma of chocolate toffee, coconut macaroon, glazed ham and delicate spices follow through on a satiny, rich entry to a fruity-yet-dry full body with lush depth and superb balance. Finishes with a long, dried fruit, soy, tamarind and delicate grassy hop crescendo. A massively delicious, artfully balanced beer.
93 Samuel Adams American Kriek, The Boston Beer Co. (MA). 7% ABV (5/10)
Reddish cherry wood color. Intense spicy, cherry cobbler and honeyed buttermilk biscuit aromas follow through on a supple, vibrant entry to a fruity-yet-dry with great depth and tangy intensity. Finishes with tart apple, cherry scone and yeasty raisin bread notes on the long juicy finish. Deliciously quenching and food friendly.
93 He’Brew Rejewvenator Ale, Shmaltz Brewing Co. (NY) 2009. 7.8% ABV (5/10)
Deep copper mahogany color. Rich aromas of chocolate -covered roasted nuts, mashed raisins and dates and herb biscuits follow through on a round, velvety entry to a dry-yet-fruity medium-full body with excellent depth and intensity. Finishes with a long, chewy, mélange of dried fruits, citrus custard, nuts and herbal grassy hops. Robust and engaging; try with sausages and stews.
92 Twentieth Anniversary Ale, North Coast Brewing Co. (CA). 12.5% ABV (5/10)
Brilliant, deep old gold color. Intriguing aromas of mint creme Anglaise, toasty caramel cake and mild tropical fruit salad follow through on a round, supple entry to a fruity-yet-dry medium-full body with roasted root vegetable, nectarine skin, Key lime custard and delicate ginger notes. Finishes with long, chewy, fruity, peppery spice accents. Very different, very big and very tasty.
90 Local 2, The Brooklyn Brewery (NY). 9% ABV (5/10)
Hazy brown color with a fine taupe mousse. Aromas of brown sugar, honeyed citrus, roasted nuts and herb bread follow through on a silky entry to a dryish-medium body with good creamy depth and a tart citrus soufflé, toasted grain, cocoa and mossy earth-accented finish. Delicate and approachable.
89 Juliet, Goose Island Brewing Co. (IL). 6.7% ABV (5/08)
Deep amber red color. Spicy blackberry-cherry butter on sourdough, bourbon barrel and honey aromas. A bold sour entry leads to a tart yeasty and fruity medium-full body of sour cherry skin, yeast dough and cherry cider vinegar flavors. Finishes with crisp blackberry and citrus skin fade. A brilliant and rosé-like oak-aged beer that screams for food like duck or sausages.
89 Concentrated Evil, Lucky Bucket Brewing Co. (NE). 10% ABV (4/09)
Deep reddish mahogany color. Aromas of waxy apple, coriander, chocolate-covered raisins and nuts have a tangy yeasty edge and follow through on a creamy soft entry to a fruity-yet-dry medium-full body with toasty fruit cake, molasses and crabapple accents. Finishes with a lash of coriander, pepper and turned earth on the mouth coating finish A bit heavy on the coriander but very nice.
88 Bokbier, Jopen (Holland). 6.5% ABV (5/08)
Deep amber copper color with a taupe blanket of mousse. Smoked almond, peach skin, cocoa powdered and orange blossom honey aromas. A lively, silky entry leads to a fruity medium body peach-pear cider and creamy almond custard flavors. Finishes with bubblegum and praline fade. A fun, refreshing beer.
88 Black Wittow, Bastone Brewery (MI). 6% ABV (4/09)
Opaque mahogany brown with a lacy head. Aromas of dried cherry, banana peel, horse blanket and cocoa-dusted nuts follow through on a soft, supple entry to a dry-yet-fruity medium body with good integration and depth. Finishes with a tangy brown apple, bubblegum and mild earthy hop-accented fade.
86 Yakima Bière, Grizzly Peak Brewing Co. (MI). 5.1% ABV (4/09)
Hazy copper orange color with a lacy head. Buttery peanut brittle, dried peach, grapefruit and dark toast aromas follow through on a soft entry to a dryish medium-to-full body with somewhat angular bread dough, grapefruit peel, hazelnut and pepper notes on the piquant, toasty, mouthwatering finish.