Ichor - Sly Fox Brewing Company
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Ratings: 113 | Reviews: 76 | Display Reviews Only:
3.4/5 rDev -11.2%
Bloody chestnut with orange peel trim. It's never good when removing the cork results in complete silence. The fact that almost no head formed on the pour is further evidence that there's a serious lack of carbonation. At most, I got a slim one finger of beige froth that is now almost gone. I have a feeling this won't be a good experience.
The nose is more dark lager than it is Belgian quadrupel. There's a faint hint of dark malt and that's about it. With precious few bubbles, how can the beer be aerosolized enough to make an impact on my nose? The obvious answer is that it can't.
I was all set to be disappointed, but Ichor is surprisingly intact on the palate. Sure, it's as flat as a pancake, but given my penchant for subdued carbonation in most styles (most Belgians excepted), I don't mind all that much. The good thing is that it doesn't seem to have adversely affected the flavor... much.
Ichor is as much a BSDA as it is a quadrupel. It's dark fruity (fig preserves, raisin paste, dark rum-soaked plums) and is moderately spicy (clove primarily). There's also quite a bit of dark candi sugar present, which gives it a dark caramel-burnt sugar vibe. In fact, I could almost believe that it was aged in bourbon barrels. I don't mind the well-integrated booziness one bit.
Needless to say, the mouthfeel needs a lot of help. I can deal with the lack of animation (as long as I pretend it's low-ABV dark rum rather than high-ABV beer), but the thinness is far from appropriate for a quadrupel. Although all that sugar gives it some amount of finishing stickness, there's nothing of substance behind it. I can only dream what the beer would be like with two or three times as much viscosity... which is exactly what is needed.
It's obvious that Ichor is a better beer than the one I opened today. It's be great to experience it as the brewers intended, but I have no desire to trade for another bottle (thanks BitterBrian) since there's no guarantee I'll get a good one next time. My impression is that Sly Fox BC is a good brewery that better pay closer attention to quality control if they want to play in the big leagues.
04-02-2007 22:12:24 | More by BuckeyeNation
4.08/5 rDev +6.5%
dark brown, almost a cola like color with a very hazy and cloudy appearance pretty much obscuring everything inside and making it look a very thick consistency. A very nice three finger high head of tan colored lace came flying up to the top. Very active on the pour would be an understatement, this thing was all over the place.
Aroma was very varied, deep and complex with different hints and small nuances of smell coming through at various different times during the course of the session. The first thing I was able to pick up with a very nice dark fruity aroma. Lots of raisins, figs, plums, and even a touch of grape showing up in here. Very well mixed and balanced between them but leading more toward the sugary notes as it started to warm up. Lots of spice was evident as well right from the start. A sort of odd nutmeg like spice along with a touch of cinnamon, and sugar. Some aromas of oak or other wood like characteristics starting to come through now as well. The profile is really starting to thicken up now and get a bit complex on me. Some light grassy like smells along with touches of earthy grains all floating around in there as well.
Notes of raisins, which were just a wonderful way to start off the whole thing. Deep dark fruity flavors were the norm on this was with prunes and figs lining up behind it, quickly delving it deeper and deeper. A very strong presence of sugar was next up, really pushing through and drying to lighten it up. A touch of something sour playing around in the back, and just briefly showing up in the flavor before diving back down and out of site again. Rolling on some nice earthy, oak like notes starting to come now with spices becoming more and more dominant. Cinnamon and nutmeg, even some all spice and a hint of banana keeping developing it further. The finish brought everything back together again and just kept evolving it and drying you out, making you come back and get another sip so that you could bring it back to where it was before.
Overall, I was quite pleased with the overall flavor and thought that it really developed quite well.
07-05-2011 01:40:17 | More by mikesgroove
3.2/5 rDev -16.4%
Bottle courtesy of Hopdog: Poured a dark brown color ale with a small foamy head with minimal retention. Aroma of dry sweet fruits and cookie dough is quite nice and enjoyable. Taste is generally lighter then expected with some sweet fruit and light cookie dough being enjoyable but less complex then I would have liked it to be. Body is way too thin for the style and carbonation is very low which doesnt fit the style IMHO. Alcohol is well hidden and I would have to say that this a fair example of the style but better carbonation and fuller body would be even better.
12-18-2006 18:55:35 | More by Phyl21ca
4.1/5 rDev +7%
Great packaging Sly Fox is looking good especially since it's a new beer in the Pittsburgh market...taken home and split with a friend...yeah split this one with a friend. Appearance...pours with minimal carbonation the luciously textured cola colored brownish plum hue of the body is paired with a thin large bubbled light tan creamy head leaves behind thin sparse specks of lacing around my chalice. Aromatics are heavy on the anise just like my Italian grandmothers cookies, alcohol infused fruit esters such as plum, raisin, and tart apples, hint of vanilla beans with a spicy finish...very complex. Flavor has a vinous character with more of that tart apple, raisin, over ripened fruit soaked alcohol feel to it, the alcohol isn't burning anything well hidden soft sweetness spiced dark christmas bread with soft vanilla and powdered chocolate notes present. Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied carbonation is lacking but does indeed go down very smooth silky presence on the palate. Drinkablity incredibly yet dangerously drinkable seek out a DD for this fine creation out of Eastern PA, I enjoyed it with good company.
07-12-2006 14:36:04 | More by WVbeergeek
4.33/5 rDev +13.1%
Appears a deep mahogany with dark red hues when held to the light with a small off-white head. Tiny streaks of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is complex and estery of bananas, fig leaves, tobacco, bubblegum, raisins, plums, brown sugar, caramel...I could go on.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas with standout flavors of grape, brown sugar, figs, raisins, etc.
Mouthfeel is estery, sugary, sweet but not cloying, with a mild abv presence. CO2 is present in the draft version, unlike the near still bottled version from a few years ago.
I actually prefer this fresh version moreso than the aged, 4 year old bottle. Though they rated very similarly in my book, I enjoy the estery, yeasty goodness that shouts Belgian from a mile away. In some ways, it's like Rochefort. Very nice and great for a night cap.
04-06-2007 21:04:24 | More by weeare138
3.05/5 rDev -20.4%
Poured a dark ruby red color, really no carbonation and no pop on the cork either. That left a few bubbles. Nose is malty, slight sweetness, raisins, figs, plums, and caramel. Taste is sweet but flat with dark fruits and caramel. The alcohol is hidden pretty well. Mouthfeel was pretty flat. I drain poured it, mainly upon the carbonation and lack there of left unintrigued.
01-03-2010 18:41:38 | More by barleywinefiend
3.48/5 rDev -9.1%
A corked and caged 750 mL bottle.
A: The cork took some time to wedge out and when it did, an barely audible pop indicated a lack of carbonation. The pour reinforced that, with little more than a thin pool of whitish head. The ale is a mirror image for a cup of coffee.
S: The aroma is enough to make up for the lackluster appearance. Sweet candi sugar mixes with dark alefruits (raisins, dates) and a dry yeastiness to really grab your attention.
T: The lack of carbonation accentuates the sweet depth of the body; there are no bubbles to cleanse the palate. The result is a dark licquer-like beer. The spice profile is more candi sugar, distinctive yeast, plum and raisins. The candi sugars take control of the taste early and ensure that they are never subordinate to any other flavors.
M: The mouthfeel is good when you consider the lack of carbonation. The candi sugars and yeast really do a number on the palate.
D: The abv is high. That coupled with no carbonation really impacts the beer. I'll finish the glass but I'd probably pass on another bottle.
03-02-2008 21:13:04 | More by akorsak
3.93/5 rDev +2.6%
Thanks to NutBrown for this brew.
Poured into a chalice a clean/clear dark ruby red color, some carbonation, no head or sticky lacing at all. The nose is malty, slight sweetness, some raisins, figs, plums, and caramel. The taste is sweet, malty, nice touch of dark fruits, and caramel. The alcohol is hidden pretty well. Medium body. Drinkable, I was kinda dissappointed in this one, no pop from the cork. The taste is nice tough.
12-22-2007 01:16:40 | More by Wasatch
3.63/5 rDev -5.2%
750ml bottle obtained via trade with hopdog. Thanks for the opportunity... Corked and caged.
Poured into a Rapscallion glass, formed a 3/8" creamy beige head over the clear dark burgundy brew. Head almost immediately recedes to just bubbling around the rim, with ample lacing. Aroma is malt syrup with dark fruits and spicing. Taste is spicy dark malt sweetness, with dark fruit notes, closing warm and with a bit of cough syrup lingering. Mouthfeel is okay, a bit too chewy for me though, and drinkability is quashed a tad by same. A little too hot for me to enjoy as much as I would have liked.
05-20-2006 01:33:35 | More by ppoitras
4.1/5 rDev +7%
750 ml bottle into chalice, no bottle dating. Pours moderately cloudy deep ruby red color with a 1 finger dense khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty lacing clings on the glass, with some moderate streaming carbonation. Aromas of big pear, apple, raisin, plum, light banana, caramel, brown sugar, toast, brown bread, candi sugar, clove, pepper, herbal, and yeast earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of bright fruity/spicy yeast and dark malt notes; with good strength. Taste of pear, apple, raisin, plum, light banana, caramel, toast, brown bread, brown sugar, clove, pepper, herbal, candi sugar, and yeast earthiness. Lingering notes of light fruits, caramel, toast, brown sugar, brown bread, clove, pepper, herbal, candi sugar, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Damn nice complexity and balance of bright fruity/spicy yeast and dark malt flavors; with a great malt/fruity/spicy balance and zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a moderately slick, crisp, and lightly syrupy mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a light warming present after the finish. Overall this is an excellent quadrupel style. All around great complexity and balance of fruity/spicy yeast and dark malt flavors; and very smooth and crisp to sip on. A very enjoyable offering.
11-21-2013 04:51:24 | More by superspak
3.98/5 rDev +3.9%
Abbey style quad.
A: Pours a dark ruby red color with a slight off white fizzy head that soon dispersed.
S: The nose was fruity with fresh cherries and faint smoky woody tones along with dried fruit and alcohol.
T: fruity and sweet with fresh cherries, caramel and dried fruit (raisins, prunes). There was a nice Belgian yeastiness as well. Finishes sweet, malty with some candi-sugar sweetness.
M: very smooth and soft carbonation provides a wine like texture and palate on the tongue. A fruity cherry finish with some alcohol warming.
D: Drinks like a wine. Good drinkability and worth checking out but falls short when compared to Belgian quads.
07-30-2008 22:49:16 | More by beerthulhu
4.33/5 rDev +13.1%
Dark, deep ruby/chestnut beer with a thin, light tan head that settled quickly to a ring. Minimal spotty lacing. Big fruity aroma of prunes, figs, and raisins, along with rich, dark malt (light roast with bittersweet chocolate). Yeast contribute some character as well, mostly a freshly baked bread smell. Alcohol is present in the nose, but is restrained and blends in well. While the fruit character from the aroma is in full force in the flavour, the malt character is somewhat expanded - it's more nutty and has a bit of toffee blended in. Sweet, caramelized sugar is solid throughout and is accompanied by mellow alcohol flavour and warmth. Low carbonation, full bodied, with a bit of stickiness. A bold beer with a nice balance and accessible complexity. I like this one quite a bit and plan to bring some back to Toronto to pass around.
07-16-2006 04:15:23 | More by DrJay
2.98/5 rDev -22.2%
Really had the wrangle the cork out of this 750ml bottle, with my teeth ultimately, only to have a headless pour with a wisp of light tan skim and no lace over a cola colored body. In it's defense, it's quickly roused with a swirl of the St. Feuillien goblet, but it recedes just as quickly. An overly vigorous 2nd pour roused a 1/4 inch head that that immediately vanished to a collar and swirled skim...
The smell is all dark stone fruit sweetness and a touch of spicy yeast. While it had it moments, it has an astringency to it that was unwelcome.
The taste is dominated by dark candi sugar. Theres a very rummy booze that works well, but is inadequately tempered by any yeasty complexity, save for a slight spiciness on the finish. Boarding on sugar bomb, this one's a diabetic's nightmare!
The mouthfeel is very light, easily passing the Belgian digestibility test, but seriously lacking in carbonation.
The drinkablity was low, because this one was so sugary and not very interesting. The light body made it a good candidate for a quick buzz if you had a serious sweet tooth for, which I sometimes do, but this was really too much. I brought this back from my last visit to Pittsburgh, and had been looking forward too it. While not a total disappointment, it's not a quad I'll be making any effort to have again.
06-22-2007 06:03:10 | More by ccrida
4/5 rDev +4.4%
Picked up an old bottle of this for 6 bucks at the local House of 1,000 beers.
A - Head is nice on this one yet just a 1/4 inch which is not very sticky. Color is a deep chestnut brown almost to the point of pitch black but clear at the base.
S - Getting some great sugar plums and cherries in the smell. By far the sweetest smelling quad I ever got.
T - Well the cherries kind of come off artificial and with the alcohol remind me somewhat of cough syrup. Still it's easy to drink with some average dark fruits and candied sugar tastes.
M - Really fizzy much lighter than I expected for the style. Makes for an easy drinking beer it just feels weird for a quad.
Overall worth the 6 bucks I paid but not worth a revisit at around 9-10 bucks. I would rather pick up a St Bernard for the same price. Also the fake cherry taste is kind of off putting.
11-25-2012 03:59:37 | More by DrDemento456
4.22/5 rDev +10.2%
Vintage bottle from 2002.
Pours a deep amber to almost black color with a small white head. In the aroma, reminds me of asiago cheese, hints of caramel and a touch of alcohol. In the taste, plum-ish and really quite like a LaTrappe Quad. A smooth big bodied mouthfeel and a dry, Belgiany sugary plum in the aftertaste. Great representation of style, very La Trappe like. Sweet and dry in all the right places.
11-21-2010 23:21:47 | More by OWSLEY069
3.95/5 rDev +3.1%
750ml corked and caged bottle secured at the brewpub in June. Served in a tulip. Pours a brownish-aurburn hue with a fluffy, two-inch off-white head that dissipates into a sudsy cluster. Nose expresses vinous notes, an herbal quality, sassafras and black licorice and/or anise. Taste consistent with nose but I definitely get a rootbeer barrel candy character in this brew. Mouthfeel is light-medium in body with an easy carbonation that falls short of lively. Overall, an easy drinking, albeit not very robust, domestic Quad. Not something I would cellar for an extended period, but really quite drinkable and approachable.
12-11-2011 22:39:57 | More by Jwale73
Ichor from Sly Fox Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 113 ratings.