95 Samuel Adams Utopias 2007, The Boston Beer Co. (MA). 27% ABV (8/08)
Reddish, deep copper color. Warm caramel, baked apple orange and pear, pepper, nutty bourbon barrel and spice aromas follow through on a round, syrupy entry to a dry-yet-fruity, full body with layers of exotic spiced nuts, orange marmalade, honey, mushrooms and white clay. Finishes with a long, spicy, peppery praline fade with a dash of dried lemon peel. A big, spicy and peppery dessert beer with an astringent earthy edge. Give this some time.
94 Samuel Adams Millennium, The Boston Beer Co. (MA). 20% ABV (8/08)
Cloudy copper-brown color. Rich aromas of caramel apple pie, roasted nuts, brown sugar and delicate spices follow through on a thick, syrupy entry to a mildly sweet, full body with no carbonation and accents of dried autumn fruit and honey. Finishes with a long, nutty, yeasty and tangy oloroso sherry-like fade. Enjoy as an after dinner sipper as you would a PX sherry.
93 Samuel Adams Utopias 2005, The Boston Beer Co. (MA). 25% ABV (8/08)
Hazy, tawny copper color. Aromas of melted caramel, lemon pepper and roasted nuts follow though on a round, lightly syrupy entry to a dry-yet-fruity full body with layers of dried fruits and pepper spice. Finishes with a lively, yeasty baguette toast and nutty, sherry barrel notes. A big flavorful after dinner beer to enjoy as you would an amontillado sherry.
92 Morimoto Black Obi Soba Ale, Rogue Ales (OR). 4.8% ABV (8/08)
Deep reddish walnut color with a blanket of manila foam. Molasses, buttermilk, crème brûlée, cocoa aromas follow through on a round, soft entry to a dryish medium-to-full body with charred nut, coconut milk and burnt sugar accents. Finishes with a tangy, astringent nutty fade.
90 Samuel Adams Traditional Ginger Honey Ale, The Boston Beer Co. (MA). 5.5% ABV (9/06)
Hazy golden amber color. Fresh ginger and honey aromas. A rich round entry leads to a fruity, sweet medium full-bodied palate with candied ginger, toasted bread and honey flavors all in fantastic balance. Finishes with a crisp, lingering, peppery, ginger spice cake fade. Sweet and fruity without being cloying at all—delicious!
90 Samuel Adams Utopias 2003, The Boston Beer Co. (MA). 23% ABV (8/08)
Hazy orange, deep amber color. Caramel, raisin and nut aromas follow through on a gentle, lightly syrupy entry to a dryish full body with toasted baguette and treacle accents. Finishes with a long, nutty oloroso sherry-like fade with a nice citrus and yeasty, tangy finish. Enjoy after dinner as you would an oloroso sherry.
89 Wells Banana Bread Beer, Charles Wells Brewery (England). 5.2% ABV (9/06)
Deep amber color. Sweet, vibrant banana taffy aromas follow though to a frothy dryish medium-bodied palate with sweetened dried bananas, bready malt and faint lemon rind flavors. Finishes crisply with a banana bread and burnt sugar fade.
89 Storm IPA, BrewDog (Scotland). 8% ABV (8/08)
Pale golden amber color. Aromas of burning cigar embers, peat and honey- roasted nuts follow through on a bold, round entry to a dryish full body and a lingering tobacco, herbal moss and honeyed cracker fade with a deft touch of astringent dried citrus hops. A brawny, smoky beer for adventurous hopheads looking for the next frontier.
89 Chipotle Ale, Rogue Ales (OR). 4.8% ABV (8/08)
Reddish copper color. Interesting aromas of smoky chipotle on a bed of jalapeño corn bread toast follow through on a round, creamy entry to a dry and peppery medium-to-full body with a lively peppercorn and nutty toast fade. A clever, well-made beer to try with spicy Mexican fare.
88 Ginger Beer, Granville Island Brewing Co. (Canada). 5% ABV (6/06)
Brilliant amber color. Pickled ginger aromas. Frothy and zesty entry leads to medium-bodied fresh ginger, dried fruit and honey wheat toast flavors with a nice touch of spices. Long, dry, ginger and toast fade. Nicely balanced ginger flavor.
87 Samuel Adams Triple Bock, The Boston Beer Co. (MA). 18% ABV (8/08)
Opaque black-brown color with a saffron rim that paints the glass. Baked raisin nut compote, soy and molasses aromas follow through on a round, syrupy entry to a dryish full body with prominent roasted nut and dried fruit flavors. Finishes with a treacle, charred nut, chocolate-covered espresso bean, black licorice and delicate spice fade. An interesting nut liqueur-like treat.
86 Morimoto Soba Ale, Rogue Ales (OR). 4.8% ABV (8/08)
Pale golden amber color. Honeyed nut toast and hay aromas follow through on a crisp, foamy entry to a dryish medium body with hints of buckwheat pancake, lemon pith and reeds. Finishes with a dash of caramel and mildly astringent hops.
83 New Grist, Lakefront Brewery (WI). 5.4% ABV (8/07)
Bubbly golden amber color. Creamy cotton candy, sea salt, Brazil nut and sorghum aromas. A round entry leads to a dryish medium body of warm Kayo syrup and sorghum-covered nut toast. Finishes with a touch of molasses-covered lemons and roasted nuts. Curious.
81 Samuel Adams 1790 Root Beer Brew, The Boston Beer Co. (MA). 5.5% ABV (9/06)
Deep, lightly hazy copper color. Burnt cherry wood bark and burnt sugar aromas have an interesting spicy edge. A rich, frothy entry leads to a lightly sweet, full-bodied palate with singed herbs and brown spices, molasses and sarsaparilla flavors. Finishes with a long caramel and herbal root and bark fade. An interesting and rather tonic-like concoction with an energy drink-like kick after a few minutes.