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Ichor - Sly Fox Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

86 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 86
Hads: 169
Avg: 3.9
pDev: 13.08%
Wants: 15
Gots: 22 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Sly Fox Brewing Company visit their website
Pennsylvania, United States

Style | ABV
Quadrupel (Quad) |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: NeroFiddled on 02-18-2003

This Abbey-style Quadruple brewed with German Pils and Roast malts and dark candi sugar, hopped with German Tradition hops. Luscious and seductive, Ichor is brewed for both the body and the soul. This beer will improve with careful aging but is ready to drink now.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 86 | Hads: 169
Photo of Sammy
4.15/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A rich and sweetish combonation of fruit and mild spices that was a delight to sip with supper.The promise is that this could age, I think it was 1.3 years in my basement. It was very little carbonated, and may be better on tap.
German Pils and Roast malts and Belgian Candi Sugar, German Tradition hops. The alcohol was present. Very much like an American take on the quad, still very good.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.68/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

It came down to this or Incubus, Chose Ichor strictly based on the style of the beer. I enjoy Quad's quite a bit so I wanted to give this one a shot. The beer poured out as a traditional brown color with a cream colored head on top. The retention wasn't too bad here but there wasn't any lacing at all. The smell of the beer was bready and fruity, there were also some aromas of caramel in there too. The taste of the beer has a sweet start to it that gives off flavors that coinside with the nose of the beer. The finishing flavors remind me of bubblegum. The mouthfeel is well carbonated and gives the beer is a decent dry finish. Overall it's not a terrible Quad and I'm thankful for that. It is probably one of the better Slyfox beers on the market.

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Photo of brentk56
2.76/5  rDev -29.2%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Appearance: I knew there was a problem when the cork released without a sound...pours out without producing any carbonation; rich caramel color

Smell: Caramel and dark fruit aroma

Taste: Starts out with a caramel sugar solution flavor that adds some dark fruit by mid-palate; no flavor progression after the swallow

Mouthfeel: Rich and syrupy; no carbonation

Drinkability: Like drinking liquid caramel; where's the quality control?

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.21/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 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 doesn’t 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.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.33/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

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Photo of oberon
4.02/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer is really something different,whats up with the sticky bottle cap?Pours a deep chesnut brown with some ruby hues with no head to speak of.The aroma is of Xmas fruit cake and some alcohol notes.The taste starts out very sweet with some dried fruit thrown in there,its a sweet beer but not overdone.Iam sure I couldnt drink more than this bottle but still a very good,well made beer.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.08/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.38/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ichor means "Blood of the Gods", and its appearance is quite appropriate! The body appears almost black at first, but reveals a deep ruby with a mahogany cast when held to the light. Carefully poured it's quite clear, leaving the yeast sediment almost completely behind (it's bottle conditioned). The creamy, one-fingered head is light-tan in color, holds quite well, and leaves some nice lace throughout the glass. The aroma is rich with fruitiness (the skins of dark fruits melded with fresh berries) and a soft yeasty spiciness. The body is firmly medium with an exceptionally fine carbonation that's lightly zesty on the tongue before warming to display a supple creaminess. The flavor is astoundingly rich with mouth coating sweet malt & caramelized sugars wrapped in dark fruit (plum/prune, grape/raisin, fig) and spice. Intense! There's an underlying layer of leafy/floral hop flavor and balancing bitterness. The alcohol is exceptionally well-cloaked and only reveals itself slowly throughout the goblet; but mainly in the finish where it helps to dry, and accentuates the spiciness of the yeast. It's exceptionally well-balanced and the malt and spice linger just long enough to be completely satisfying but not cloying. Very well done and well worth seeking out. This is clearly a beer that will improve with age for some time; drying a bit, softening it's already subtle alcohol, and possibly increasing it's complexity. It may hold for close to a decade as any sherryish notes that arise will only add to its deep, dark, fruitiness.

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Photo of Slatetank
3.87/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to gottajiboo2 for the chance to taste this ale. Shared w/ octopus87 decanted into a La fin du monde tulip cool.
A - The cork emits a high pitched 'poit' as it is pulled from the neck. Shades of raisins and date, a kind of dark caramel brown. The head appears and vanishes like whack-a-mole. The color of medium strength coffee as the liquid settles the head has a fine bead.

S - Very port and sherry-like aromas w/ raisin essence and dark candy sugar w/ a coriander and clove spiced essence Vinous aromas w/ tropical fruit esters and a bit of fusel odors. The nutty belgian malts peak out from under the boozy aroma.

M - Rich, sweet, candy-like, boozy and smooth. Harly a hint at the potency it contains. Sweet and spicy as it rolls down. Slightly low in the carbonation dept, but the feel suffers only minimally.

T - A big dose of sweetness w/ a brandy-like dryness in taste. Candy sugar and dry husky, lighty toasty malt w/ fruit and spice essence. Slightly oily w/ it's slick malty and light roasted taste w/ a woody aspect. Rum like as it warms w/ a subtle alcoholic bit. Sweet toasty as it comes to the smooth finish.

D - A bruiser it packs a wallop w/ concealed intensity. Half of the 750ml is a meal in itself. I love it, but a glass is filling a full of flavor, Prost!

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Photo of Rifugium
3.5/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First had: on tap at Sly Fox, Phoenixville, PA

Poured a clear, dark cola brown, with patches of white bubbles for a head. Aroma of caramel and alcohol, with a whiff of dark dried fruits. Tastes, well, like a quad, but not quite as complex as some made by the more experienced brewers. Still good though. Caramel and toffee in the taste, alcohol, candi sugar, raisins and figs, and a touch of banana. Finishes a little stale with dry alcohol. Medium mouthfeel, and pretty drinkable, but one serving is enough I thought.

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Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.12/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

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Photo of jwc215
3.5/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750 ml cage-corked bottle, poured into glass chalice:

Pours dark cola brown with a thin head that becomes a swirl.

The smell is of dark fruit, especially raisins, with toffee, kola and a whiff of alcohol.

The taste is of sweetened dark fruits (raisins and prunes) with candy sugar. Grassy notes are subtle, and a bit medicinal/herbal. A slight flash of sour peeks through. It becomes sweeter/maltier as it progresses, with complexities becoming more and more hidden. Sharp alcohol gives it peppery spicing, but also some boozy heat. Finishes with a warming sweetness.

The feel is effervescent at first. Carbonation doesn't hold up, though the medium-ish body does, giving it a touch of watery thinness to it.

Overall, it's a decent stab at the style - certainly has characteristics showing that it is (trying to be) a quad. It doesn't miss the mark completely, and has enough to it to keep on with the sipping, but it seems to lose some character as it warms/progresses. Sippable, despite heat, nevertheless.

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Photo of WesWes
4.22/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a brown color with a thick frothy tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is great. It has a very fruity yeast aroma along with a solid crystal and roasted malt scent. The alcohol does sneak through as well. The taste is good. It has a very drinkable crystal malt flavor as well as a fruity yeast finish. It's warming in the swallow, but it's not too powerful. This is a tastey beer. The yeast really brings the flavor together. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a silky smooth drinker. It's a slow drink, but an enjoyable one.

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Photo of Billolick
4.04/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Caged and corked Belgian bomber. $7.50 from New Beer in NYC. No vintage/bottling info. Opened with no pop, hmm, poured with little head being generated, low carbonation noted. Darkest of brown shades, no head, no lacing. Nose is strongly of raisiny bourbon. Strong, heady brew, notes of more raisins, cola, vanilla,brandy, dark grains and ripe fruits, on the sweet side, could use some more thickness on the palate. Fine brew that could use some more complexity and depth to earn world class scores. I'd like to try this one with a year or two in the bottle. Still well worth a try. Nice cold weather night caper.

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Photo of Gavage
3.74/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: pours a clear browinsh burgandy color with a spotty head. No lacing develops.

Smell: alcohol is immediately detectable, and after the nose gets through that some caramels and chocolate tones are very pleasant.

Taste: loads of roasted malts, caramels, chocolate, prunes, raisins, and alcohol. Some pepper spice is also noticeable. Nice and hearty.

Mouthfeel: smooth from start to finish. Aftertaste is very long as the alcohol, caramel, and chocolate tones last a while.

Drinkability: very tasty beer, but the alcohol tends to overwhelm after a while. One glass is enough in a session.

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Photo of liamt07
3.8/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle shared with Steve and crew, 25oz into a few snifters.

Pours a very dark brown, some dark burgundy shades in there. Not truly opaque, but comes close enough. Bright white head. Nose has some heavy, dark vinous notes, a general dryness about it too. Vinous and candied. Taste has some alcohol right off the bat, dark fruits, sweet and warming with some brown sugar and candied notes again. Full bodied but quite sweet, almost cloyingly so. Nice overall, but the sweetness could be toned down a bit.

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Photo of Zorro
3.72/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sampled due to BIGsBIF and the kindness of BeerBeing.

750 ML Bottle.

Pours a clear coke a cola colored brown beer with no real head formation.

Smell is slightly spicy with a lot of burnt sugar aroma and the scent of grapes. Alcohol carries the smell of black pepper.

Taste is sweet and spicy with a lot of grape flavor. Taste of fresh crushed black pepper. Not as complex as expected. Fair amount or tobacco flavor makes me wonder if there isn't Fuggles in this one.

Mouthfeel is OK.

Wish I could say I liked this one but not really. Nothing off about the bottle it just tastes too much like grape soda for my tastes.

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Photo of weeare138
4.12/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is an aged version of the original bottling that was released in early 2003. It has been cellared since the day I bought it.
Appears a deep, rich mahogany with a dark red hue. A small, off white head slowly fades out into a film and collar.
Smell is of tons of candi-sugar, vinuous, port wine, roasted nuts, tobacco, cocoa, hints of cola, slight oxidation with mild cardboard notes, caramel, light cherries, wood notes, figs, & sawdust.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas with a light bubblegum, cherry, and caramel flavor rising to the top of the palate.
Mouthfeel is of low CO2, full bodied with light cardboard, nuts, semi-dryness and a slightly rough ending.

I had this side by side with a fresh growler from 2007 and a bottled version from last year. I rated this version almost identically to the fresh version. Next to each other they looked the same. Nose wise and flavor wise, this has matured a bit and would be appealing to those who appreciate a more dense aroma and flavor as opposed to the fresh, more estery version.

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Photo of Wasatch
3.92/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
3.06/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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.

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Photo of akorsak
4.22/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A snifter-sized glass poured at Iron Hill West Chester's Belgium Comes to West Chester.

A: The ale is a muddy creek brown color, brownish with a lot of haze. As I drank the ale, the haze became more concentrated in the bottom of the snifter.

S: The aroma is malty sweetness with a fruity aroma that highlights darker fruits.

T: The flavor is full-bodied malts, thick and chewy and not shy on the alcohol. As the ale sits on the tongue, some prunes and raisins stick out, providing a nice malty fruit base. Some bittering hops shine on top of the malts, but the malts are the star here. The flavors finish long and climax in a nice yeasty thickness.

M: The alefruits are delicious, providing a darker depth to the strong malts.

D: I wrote this beer off after an earlier tasting but clearly that was premature. This is a strong quad, full of malty strength and a very nice product. Thank God for second chances!

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Photo of corby112
3.61/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml, shared by kubrick215. Thanks Josh!

Pours a cloudy dark brown color with dark plum hues when held to a light and a frothy two finger beige head that has excellent retention, slowly fading into a lasting cap. Chunks of soapy lacing left behind.

Sweet vinous aroma with lots of dark fruit notes and subtle roasted malt. Hints of toast, caramel, plum, raisin, dark cherry and grape. Subtle spicy pepper.

Fuller bodied than expected with some bready yeast, zesty spice and sweet dark fruit. Very sweet with faint licorice and booze. Hints of pepper, plum, raisin, fig, grapes and dark cherry. A bit too sweet but the ABV is excellently masked. Absolutely no heat making this beer pretty drinkable. Good but a bit one dimensional.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.87/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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: The initial flavor was 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: Good drinkability and worth checking out but falls short when compared to Belgian quads.

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Photo of ppoitras
3.65/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

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Ichor from Sly Fox Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 86 ratings.