Tonight is a night before a day off, so I thought it'd be nice to compare, if I could, two very strong and two very respectable beers, which if you've never tried before I seriously suggest you do!
Start thinking Belgian Barley Wine - because that's pretty much what this is. Some could call it a Quadruple, but I'd rather not get into that beer style argument again. It's intensely warming, like a fine cognac. Big rich flavours. Think caramel, raisins, dried apricots and a touch of fiery toffee. It's quite sweet to start, but it has the classic peppery dryness in the finish. A great beer, one that deserves your respect, for more reasons than one!
This 12% dark wheaty monster needs respect too. They say you shouldn't bother aging wheat beers, but I'd age this! Darker than the Samaranth, it comes across the nose with the ripest of banana aromas. Not as much carbonation as you normally get from wheat beers. You get an initial 'massive icy sweetness' round the silky start but rocky finish mouth-feel to this beer. WoW, just plain WoW!!! This is a fantastic beer! Candied fruits, it's quite a sticky beer. There's spice in there too, I'm thinking drying cloves. Quite a bit of red berry fruit going on in there to massively push up the sweetness - so much so it almost becomes tartness.
Two HUGE beers then. But after all that I kind of prefer the Samaranth. At the end of the day it all comes down to personal taste, and while the Eisbock was the bigger beer I preferred the Belgian.
Roll on a sore head....