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? The Riddler ? - Rock Art Brewery

Not Rated.
? The Riddler ?? The Riddler ?

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
80
good

77 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 77
Reviews: 63
rAvg: 3.5
pDev: 17.71%
Wants: 2
Gots: 3 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Rock Art Brewery visit their website
Vermont, United States

Style | ABV
Dubbel |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
Ah yes, lay this one down in your cellars for years to come. Enjoy this one alone for it’s malt and hop complexity.

(Beer added by: velo343 on 04-08-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 77 | Reviews: 63 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Phelps:
Photo of Phelps
3.38/5  rDev -3.4%

"Gentlemen, we've had our fun, the game is done. The heroes we've outclassed; it proves what we've always said: nice guys finish last." - The Riddler

A: the beer sits in my tulip glass a dark mahogany, almost completely obscured, with purple-brown and light amber highlights. There's no head, save the thinnest fizzy ring.

S: cinnamon, molasses, maple and roasted pork. Interesting.

T: prunes, raisins, cinnamon, molasses and brown sugar along with an odd woody character: I'm thinking cedar. Vodka heat blasts the throat before slightly dry finish.

M: medium, velvety body and some medium, fizzy carbonation throughout. Crisp at the finish.

D: a pretty middling stout, from beginning to finish. The flavors were a bit light and I picked up some tastes and aromas that just seemed off for the style. Drinks easily enough, but not worth a second go.

Phelps, Nov 08, 2010
More User Reviews:
Photo of lordofthewiens
4.2/5  rDev +20%

Poured into a goblet, the beer was a cherry amber color with a small tan head.
Sweet, sugary aroma. Fruit. Some caramel.
Taste of dates, caramel , and piney hops. A bit of peppery spice. The tastes went well together.
Fairly robust, a little on the dry side.
Very drinkable.

lordofthewiens, Feb 03, 2011
Photo of Billolick
4.33/5  rDev +23.7%

22 ounce bomber, w/o freshness indication/info. Pours darker amber, fine tan head, leaving nice looking tiny bubble lacing and sheeting. Nose is of Belgian yeasty spicing, raisins and sweet malts. Smooth, soft on the tongue, flavorful offering, plenty of raisins, more typical spicy, phenolic Belgian characteristics and yeasty goodness.This is simply a yummy beer, full of nice malty notes, some warming alcohol and flavorful goodness. I like it. 8% well hidden, went great with some nuts, cheese and dark bread. The "extreme" selections from Rock Art are impressing me, more then their regular beers.

Billolick, Sep 27, 2007
Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
1.73/5  rDev -50.6%

22 oz. bomber into Chimay glass

Rusty root beer, big carbonation with a head that is soo light it basically just dissapears and looks even more like root beer. The carbonation level looks really high, but it's not supporting a head. It actually looks very lifeless, eventhough it's bubbly. This beer is a riddle!

It even has the smell of root beer, a belgian yeast with Brown ale but with medicinal herbs, sweet fruits but not much else. I'm not detecting a realy hop presence and the malt is subdued by the yeast.

O.k, I feel bad totally ripping a beer, Rock Art has my respect with it's willingness to experiment and I know this is hard work for any brewer...with that said, this flavor is horrible. It's full-on bitter disaster, metallic, medicnal herbs that taste like it's been loaded with the fake-sugar "Sucralose". And boy does that nasty flavor linger...I can't really enjoy whatever else might be in there. You can taste a mossy chocolate malt that seems to be something like a brown ale. I'm glad I only paid $3.69 for this becuase most of it is going down the drain....it might actually clean my pipes!

It starts out crisp, but that doesn't last long, oily going down.

"The Riddler"...it's a riddle all right, but to be more precise I would call it the "Joker" because this stuff is a total laugh.

GratefulBeerGuy, Jul 22, 2008
Photo of DruC4
3.25/5  rDev -7.1%

DruC4, Jun 18, 2012
Photo of Sammy
3.7/5  rDev +5.7%

A dark brown body with a bit of white head. Recent from the brewery itself. Yeast aroma. The taste was a bit Rochfort-like and drying. Hop bitterness in the end. Not as full mouthfeel as I would like, but a satisfying Belgian effort nevertheless and one of the better ones from this brewery that I have tried.

Sammy, Jun 01, 2008
Photo of Probie
4.05/5  rDev +15.7%

Appearance: Poured from the bottle into a tulip. It is brownish red with a very small amount of foam which dies quickly.

Aroma: Once you get past the malt aromas there were subtle hints of raisins and maple with some nutty notes.

Taste: Great balance between the malt and the hops. There are hints of some nutiness, raisins, and some apple.

Mouthfeel: A little sour but leaves behind a pleasant bitter aftertaste.

Drinkability: For a beer that is 8% you can barely tell. This was my first from Rock Art and am excited to try more.

Probie, Jan 09, 2010
Photo of therealnod
4.53/5  rDev +29.4%

22 oz bottle bought from Sunflower Market for 3.99.

A: Brown/ruby red. Not much head, some lace.

S: Smells strongly of figs, cherries, and prunes. Smells very much of the dark variety of fruits. A hint of anise, vanilla bean, and espressio tease the nose.

T: This is a malt-forward beer, which I find appropriate. You are presented with an initial blast of dark fruit sweetness, followed by a subtle hop bitterness, followed by the return of fruity sweetness that gets drowned out by subtle waves of toffee, caramel, and coffee.

M: Medium, nothing to complain about.

Overall: I quite enjoyed it. Not as good as some others of the same style I have had, but this was quite the brew, especially for the price. This is a steal. this will be a go-to for me.

therealnod, Sep 23, 2009
Photo of edchicma
4/5  rDev +14.3%

Pours a dark chestnut with a nice head, followed by good lacing. Smell is distinctly malt with a nice mellow quality. Taste is a nice malt blast that is followed by a tart hoppy presence. Definite alcohol presence. Nice mouthfeel..smooth, finishing in a dry refreshing way. Rates above average in the drinkability area..smooth and refreshing for a high abv.

edchicma, Aug 10, 2007
Photo of jtierney89
2/5  rDev -42.9%

Afraid of this beer ever since I tried their double esb but I'm going for it. Not sure of age on this one but I got it from a spirits unlimited, a chain liquor store known for selling dated beer, but it being a Dubbel it should hold up to a couple of years at least. Think funky brown color with no visibility through the glass. Thin lace of off white head lots of action hoof on in the glass. Subtle.nose of raisins and fusel alcohol.

Not terrible, might actually be fresh. Full thick mouthfeel. Sugary malt sweetness up front followed by caramel and chocolate covered rum soaked raisins. Finishes with a spicy hop finish which tries to balance the beer but doesn't do it so well. Some.detectable.alcohol and lingering chocolate like sweetness. Different but simple for how big it is without enough balance, body holds up but there's not much carbonation to challenge it.

Displays an over powering.licorice taste as it warms. Cloying sweet and not very good.

jtierney89, Jul 13, 2012
Photo of Franchise
3.5/5  rDev 0%

Pours a yeasty tan/orange brown leaving a thin off-white head that is clingy. The aroma is fruitastic, caramel, dates, plums, doughy soft nose.

The taste mirrors the nose soft bready slick mouthfeel. A wierd twang probably from the yeast just a faint hop bite that is herbal in nature. Fruity caramel tartness dominates this ale. Overall decent brew nothing I'd go back to though.

Franchise, Jun 03, 2008
Photo of ocelot2500
3.5/5  rDev 0%

Pours a garnet color with a tight, off-white head that leaves a ring of lacing.

Smells of caramel and toasted bread.

Tastes of some sweet fruits and a bit of bread. Notes of plum and raisin lead off with a moderate amount of sweetness. A bit of clove spice comes through, but is fairly light. Some toasted bread adds body and depth along with some caramel. Alcohol is noticeable, but not unpleasant.

Mouthfeel is medium with a smooth amount of carbonation.

Overall, a solid attempt at a dubbel. It falls in line with most American attempts at the style, but still cannot hold up against any of the Belgian brewed dubbels.

ocelot2500, Sep 25, 2011
Photo of scottg
4/5  rDev +14.3%

22oz bottle poured into a tulip glass.

Pours a cloudy reddish brown color with a 2 finger tan creamy head with good retention and very light lacing. Aromas are a balanced mix or carmelized malt, fruity yeast & sweet cherry. Up front fruity yeast flavor with carmelized malts & sweet cherry leads to a sour cherry, lemony hop flavor, then the alcohol is detected and a chocolate malt & tart green apple finish. The malt is the backbone of this drink while the other flavors take turns leading. Full body, medium carbontion, this beer is creamy and coats the mouth early leaving it dry. Good drinkability, as it warms up the alcohol becomes more apparant.
The label says, "lay this one down in your cellars for years to come." As this ages, all those flavors will meld together very well. Looking forward to it.

scottg, Jun 04, 2008
Photo of BrewinHeadBanger
5/5  rDev +42.9%

BrewinHeadBanger, Nov 27, 2011
Photo of u2carew
4/5  rDev +14.3%

A) Pours with a frothy and creamy head. Settles slightly. Thin sticky lacing. Mahogany in color.
S) Banana. Carmel. Hints of grain. Fuji apple.
T) Malty caramel. Just a slight hint of smokiness. Light notes of citrus. Finishes with noticeable hop bitterness, but not hophead-ish.
M) Creamy. Smooth. Mellow grittiness. Medium to full bodied.
D) Delicious. Very smooth. Definitely drink another.

u2carew, Jul 25, 2009
Photo of SixpointJMH
4/5  rDev +14.3%

Pours a nice dark brown colour with a big foamy tan head that has moderate retention time and leaves a nice amount of chunky residue on the glass.

The aroma has a good blend of dark berries, slight candy sugar, a bit of earthy malt, perhaps a touch of clove and also a hint of alcohol. There's a lot going on here but all is blended together nicely.

The flavour is essentially more of the same: dark berries sweetness leads the way and blends with a bit of a more tart raisin flavour. The middle of each sip blends a slight touch of Belgian sugar flavour with some alcohol notes that are certainly more noticeable here. The finish of each sip is dry and earthy/dirty. Good stuff. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a bit of chewiness to it.

This one of course gets better as it warms, so let it sit outside the fridge for a while before drinking. Well balanced and full of flavour. Another nice one from Rock Art.

SixpointJMH, Dec 31, 2007
Photo of blackie
3.78/5  rDev +8%

a: into my Piraat snifter, pours a one-finger khaki head that leaves a nice layer behind with decent retention, the beer is an attractive medium reddish brown in color

s: pale and lightly caramelized Belgian malts with undercurrents of banana and some darker fruits, a touch of nutty toffee, some safrole spice, a little welcome booze, malts dominant but a large papery hop aroma places this one on the hoppy side as far as dubbels are concerned, moderately sweet, a touch of butterscotch and bubblegum, not a traditional dubbel but nice complexity all around

m: soft carbonation on the high side of medium, medium body

t: starts off mildly sweet with some pale and nutty caramel Belgian malts, after the swallow the beer dries out and leaves nutty and earthy spice flavors with a strong papery hop character, light yeast characteristics, a touch of butterscotch and more fruit after warming, a light-moderate bitterness cleans things nicely

d: easy, and an enjoyable beer

from ppoitras in No BS 3

blackie, Jul 15, 2008
Photo of weeare138
3.6/5  rDev +2.9%

Appears a dark chestnut brown with a small CO2 pockets rising to the top. The small, off-white head slowly fades into a mild cap and thick collar. Spotty lacing is left around the glass.
Smell is of bready, caramel, cocoa, and brown sugar.
Taste is of the same with toasted nuts in the flavor and light bitter flowers with toasted pecans rounding out the flavors.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, sweet up front with bitter cocoa, mild astringency, with nougat lingering.
This is a pretty yummy beer overall. Perhaps one of the best outings from Rock Art. It may be the first beer I remember them using a Belgian yeast strain for fermentation.

weeare138, Feb 19, 2008
Photo of donkeyrunner
3.75/5  rDev +7.1%

I know it's all about the beer but Rock Art has one of the most boring packaging schemes in American craft brewing. Pours dark caramel color with yeast floaties suspended mid-beer. Thin white head of super tiny bubbles that fades to a ring, though one can swirl up a skim of tiny bubbles whenever he/she chooses.

Smells of apple cider, butterscotch and fig alcohol. Mild hop spice.

Tastes of raisins, plum, and other dark fruit. No signs of 8% abv. Mild macintosh apple with swallow. Mouthfeel is a little thin and champagne-like bubbly but not out of place. Kind of enjoyable actually. Flavors meld together and blur as it gets warmer.

Yeah, it's not an upper tier dubbel but at $8 a bomber it's certainly good enough.

donkeyrunner, Mar 08, 2009
Photo of duffextracold
3.43/5  rDev -2%

Pours a reddish brown color, with a very small head. lots of floaties in there. Smells like malty raisins. Taste has chocolatey overtones, with warming alcohol, dried fruits, has a sweet, almost but not quite sour aftertaste in the back of my mouth, hard to describe, but very nice. Very uplifting, somewhat heavy carbonation, almost like seltzer. This stuff goes down way to easy for 8%. not the best, but worth a try, in my opinion.

duffextracold, Mar 09, 2009
Photo of dsa7783
2.75/5  rDev -21.4%

1 Pint, 6 fl oz bottle copped for $3.05 from Wine and Liquor Outlet in Boonton... Brown bottle logo claims that this sample was "Influenced by a Belgian yeast..."... Pours an attractive murky-brown complexion with some carbonation visible and a decent-sized frothy head that soon receded... smell had a noticeable caramel and slightly sugared aroma to it... Although the nose was decent, I was pretty dissapointed by the taste, which was a very bitter, slightly sour and not-at-all tasty representation of a dubbel... a clear lack of complexity, rounded off by an off-balanced malt combination leads to an undesirable, bitter finish and poor aftertaste... Mouthfeel was more light and watered-down than anything, and the drinkability was poor due to the fact that this beer lacked any real depth or character to it... This one was a miss... Not recommended...

dsa7783, Feb 21, 2008
Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.85/5  rDev +10%

Poured from a 22oz bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep reddish brown color, with a thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin on the glass.

S: The aroma contains caramel, brown sugar, some fruit, malts and a faint touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out sweet with strong flavors of caramel and brown sugar with a little fruit. Then some breadiness comes in from a hearty malt character and some subdued Belgian yeast. The hops presence is very mild but brings some balance. The after-taste is very sweet.

M: Smooth and crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, good kick, good representation of style, there are better beers in the style but this is still a solid beer worth drinking for a while.

TheManiacalOne, Sep 19, 2011
Photo of jwc215
2.93/5  rDev -16.3%

22 oz. bottle, poured into glass chalice:

Pours brown with a thin, fizzy off-white head that becomes a vanishing isolated patch. Looks cola-ish with a small patch that disappears.

The smell is of cocoa, some earthy spicing, some raisins. Overall it has something root beer-ish about it, with some alcohol.

The taste is of molasses, sweet cocoa, rock candy, sweetened anise. There is a pumpernickel breadiness (from yeast strain?) Alcohol comes through in a drying way. Some bittering, almost non-descript (grassy?) hops balance the sweetness - but is neither sweet nor bitter by the finish, which is rather abrupt. Looks a bit better reading the description, but the taste is so mild and "something about it" just doesn't work so well.

The feel is rather thin/weak, with a boozy kick that seems to give it more of a body than it has. It has some carbonation, but misses the boat on "Belgian-esque" - might not have aimed for it...still - it's a bit awkward in any case. An unpleasant aftertaste comes and (thankfully) goes.

There is a listing of suggested food pairings. I would rather not experiment with it to find out...too awkward, and in the end, things just don't mesh so well, for me. It does have a certain drinkability, I suppose, but wouldn't return to this despite the very reasonable price tag of about three bucks for the 22 oz. bottle.

jwc215, Jun 20, 2008
Photo of connecticutpoet
3.5/5  rDev 0%

This beer was hazy and brown, with lots of little floaters. Expected, with a Belgian yeast.

Aroma is of roasted malts, chocolate, rich caramel malts, slightly funky, slightly spicy, overall well balanced.

Taste was of roasted malts with hints of clove and cinnamon spiciness, with lots of dark bread character. Hops were present but not huge, and there was a long bitter aftertaste. When taking a long swallow, I noticed the fruitiness that others had talked about, and the bitter/roasted aftertaste was less prominent.

Mouthfeel was full but a little astringent.

Drinkability is just average... I finished it, and it was good, but I wouldn't go back and have it again. Then again, with so many beers out there, I rarely do.

connecticutpoet, Jun 13, 2008
Photo of ppoitras
4.1/5  rDev +17.1%

22oz bought somewhere during a MIddlebury/Burlington visit.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed 1/4" tan head over the slightly cloudy burgundy copper brew. Head holds nicely, with sticky lace. Aroma is spicy yeast with fruit and alcohol notes. Taste is hearty wheat upfront, then the Belgian yeast comes on with spicing, which carries into the close, finding more prominent alcohol presence. Mouthfeel is smooth over the tongue, with a dry close, and drinkability is quite good. Another good brew from Rock Art's Extreme series.

ppoitras, May 10, 2007
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? The Riddler ? from Rock Art Brewery
80 out of 100 based on 77 ratings.