Boston Beer: Samuel Adams: Triple Bock (USA: Barley Wine: 17.5/18% ABV (sources vary on exact number)

Visual: Pours thick like baileys, black, no head. More of a liquor than a beer in texture.

Nose: Brandy, thick chocolate, ice cream and raisins. Cloying thick. Dried fruit, figs. More chocolate. Powerful and sweet. Prunes. Cherry chocolate and coconut.

Body: Very sweet cherries and bitter chocolate. Strawberries. Malt chocolate on the back. Syrup, glazed apricots. Evident alcohol. Oily texture – fish oil? Slight peanuts.

Finish: Fiery. Bitter cocoa. Figs again. Port. Dry cocoa powder.

Conclusion: Powerful. A chocolate fruit liquor. The nose, oh the nose – it is wonderful and expressive – almost reminds me of Good King Henry Special Reserve.

The body however is distinctly less subtle and smooth. It’s very fiery initially which overpowers the flavour, after a while smooth chocolate is expressed, but then the beer becomes sickly and overpowering. In works best in spirit like measures, as anything more becomes slightly unpleasant.

It’s still decent, chocolaty and rich with fruit, in flavour it faces Tokyo* head to head and is found wanting.

As an early experiment in extreme beer this was the forbearer of things to come, and is still decent in small doses – it’s now a bit of an old granddad of a beer, watching its descendent surpassing it due to the ground it lay.

Not the best, but still has a nose to fight with the best. This granddad still has heart, if a bit rough around the edges.

(Note: This beer was shared between two drinkers due to its immense weight, and small servings are recommended if you find this beer. Ratebeer alleges this is a retired beer now – if anyone knows different if they could let me know)