Illustration Ale | East End Brewing Company

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Illustration AleIllustration Ale
55 Ratings
Illustration AleIllustration Ale

Brewed by:
East End Brewing Company
Pennsylvania, United States

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.40%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by DavoleBomb on 07-03-2010

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 55 |  Reviews: 27
Reviews by BeerImmediately:
Photo of BeerImmediately
4.06/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Have had this intriguing 1L flip-top bottle in the cellar for at least 2 years now... so about time I broke it out.

Pours with a short, slightly fizzy tan head over a deep cola-colored body. Head fades to thin film/ring pretty quickly.

Even with a congested nose, the aromas are long and strong. Lots of deep, dark fruits, tobacco, yeast, cocoa, cinnamon, and some black licorice.

Flavors are huge, without being overpowering. Rich dark fruit includes cherry, plum, raisin, and chocolate, but the fruit quality is a bit tangy, which cuts through and dominates the sweet characters. Seems Quad-like. Mouthfeel is pretty soft, with very little carbonation present... actually seems a bit light for the ABV.

Fun beer, fun label. Nicely done.

 745 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of DWolf
4/5  rDev 0%

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.25/5  rDev +6.3%

Photo of Zonian1
4/5  rDev 0%

Photo of Stigs
4.25/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

poured from 1L bottle into Chimay chalice(s)

A - agressive pour yields a quarter inch of loose frothy Frosty colored foam, quickly falls to a thin film and ring. the beer is very dark brown/ruby colored and significantly hazy.

S - begins with some sweet ripened dark fruits...notably figs and plums. more sweetness abound with dark chocolate and banana. faint ash, tobacco, and cloves add bitterness and spice for balance.

T - sweetness again right off the bat before a swift bite of tobacco and subtle smoke. figs and ever so slightly tart black cherries bring the sweets up a notch again, joined by molasses and a somewhat biting alcohol burn that lingers. other light notes of toffee, belgian yeast, and cloves add another dimension. very complex, one of those beers where you can "guide" the flavors along your tastebuds with different results each time.

M - body is on the lighter side with subtle carbonation. starts creamy then turns chewy from all the sweetness. mild alcohol burn at the back of the throat. leaves the mouth feeling sticky.

D - rich and complex, ABV is certainly noticeable but this is hard to put down after every sip. not a style i am normally fond of but two of us had no problems doing a number on this large bottle.

 1,252 characters

Photo of Kegatron
4.17/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

1.5 Liter swing top bottle into several glasses.

Pours a clear ruby, topped with a soft foamy covering of light off-white head. This retains with a thin frothy layer that flares up to about a solid ¼ finger when swirled, throwing some good looking spotty lacing up on the sides of the glass. The aroma smells of dark fruit (cherries are really coming out), bread, sugars, yeasty spice, and some light herbal smelling earth character in the back. Gentle warmth gives this a touch of thickness in the nose.

The taste has LOT of fruit flavor going on with it, with (once again) cherry tartness taking center stage but I'm also getting some darker notes of fig and black currant as well. This is tempered by the sweetness of malts, with sugary bread and candied caramel in particular doing a good job here. The finish on this actually has a good bit of toasty and smokey textures going on with it, while some yeasty notes of earth and spice linger on the lips as well. The mouthfeel is fuller bodied, with soft smooth creaminess to it, while some slickness and beef run underneath the feel. Pretty darn easy sipper as well here for the size but I'm still glad that I had a few others to help share the bottle with.

Really interesting Belgian Dark here, with a ton of yeasty character doing a lot of different things at times. That dark tart cherry flavor really drives this though and is so strong that it actually threatens to override some of the other nuances. All in all, I found this a very enjoyable effort from East End.

 1,530 characters

Photo of Saxboy10
4/5  rDev 0%

Photo of thagr81us
4.1/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks goes out to DavoleBomb for sending me this one in a trade long past! Served from swing-top bottle into a Green Man snifter. Poured a massively dark brown with a minimal light tan head. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, roasted malt, dark fruit, alcohol, and caramel. The flavor was of sweet malt, dark fruit, banana, roasted malt, plum, and bread. It had a medium feel on the palate with mild carbonation. Overall this was a pretty good brew. This one had really held up quite well sitting in my cellar for this length of time. There was no sign of the 9.4% ABV at all which was nice. It really mellowed out and made all of the subtle flavors come forward rather than being muted. Definitely worth trying if you have a bottle of this one still in your cellar as it is drinking pretty good currently.

 862 characters

Photo of vwbus7
4/5  rDev 0%

Photo of iadler
4.02/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Florida9 for bringing this to the tasting. One of the coolest labels and bottles I've seen. Poured into a snifter.

A- Pours a dark brown with a small head that leaves tiny spots of lacing

S- Dark fruits including plumb, black cherry, fig, raisins, brown sugar, roasted and caramel malt and some earthiness.

T- Caramel and roasted malt with fig, bakers chocolate, black cherry, plumb and caramelized raisins.

M- Medium carbonation and body that is very smooth with the alcohol being hidden very well.

O- This was a very enjoyable belgian dark ale. Well-balanced and the age made this beer very smooth.

 617 characters

Photo of DavoleBomb
4.67/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass as I didn't know the style beforehand. Shared 1L bottle with a buddy.

4.0 A: Relatively clear medium/dark brown color. Two fingers of creamy/frothy hybrid head with average retention and not much lacing.

4.5 S: Interesting to say the least. Peppery spiciness, semi-sweet chocolate and toffee, and graininess like a good Oktoberfest. Also a light hay funkiness. Very pleasant.

5.0 T: Interesting taste as well. Sweet toffee and caramel. Slight funkiness with peppery yeastiness. Some milk chocolate and the slightest touch of sourness. A touch of alcohol as well.

4.5 M: Thicker medium body. Good carbonation. Lots of creaminess. Very good here.

4.5 D: This is a winner. Super complex with lots of great flavors. Goes down very easy. I also think it may be a new style: "imperial dark saison".

 822 characters

Photo of Rhettroactive
3.52/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of outoffocus
4/5  rDev 0%

Photo of moodyxc9
3.93/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of dpnelson1978
3.89/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

1L bottle into glass snifter.

A: Hazy deep brown body with a small tight head that quickly gives way to a thin creamy head. No lacing.

S: Sweet molasses, and raisin. Free of hops. Really nice solid profile.

T: Tons of sweet molasses, and raisin over a caramel backbone. Slightly boozy but again very solid. Could use more nuance, but I can't really complain.

M: Medium body with low to medium carbonation and a ton of residual sugar.

D: One liter bottle? No problem! This goes down easy for such a potent offering.

O: My first taste of East End is an impressive one. The beer isn't cheap, but is worth every penny.

 626 characters

Photo of TMoney2591
4.11/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

Thanks to DavoleBomb for this bottle!

More breweries need to go with these huge swingtop bottles. The brew inside pours a dark mahogany, highlighted with bright garnet, topped by about a finger of tan foam. The nose comprises solvent, cherry brandy, maple syrup, oak, figs, and buttery pound cake. The taste holds notes of tart black cherries, cloves, blood orange, chocolate, tart fig (as I told a closeby friend of mine, that may be the first time those two words have gone together in my head), plums, almonds, brown sugar, and Belgian yeast. Whoa. The body is a light heavy, with a light carbonation and an almost chewy feel. Overall, a very nice BSDA that kinda surprised me with its great complexity of flavor and its subsequent enjoyment.

 781 characters

Photo of Morey
3.5/5  rDev -12.5%

Photo of sideshowe
4/5  rDev 0%

Photo of trygelski1
3.75/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of northbayrugger
3.75/5  rDev -6.3%

Photo of KAP1356
3.92/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes. Shared with kecarl7 at Kite and Key in Philadelphia. Poured from a 1L into a chalice...

A - Poured a really dark brown, dark amber color with some purple highlights. A .5 finger tan head forms and quickly recedes to a film of the same color.

S - Loads of dark fruits (dates, raisins, figs, some prune) right off the bat. Cherries are also detected. Belgian yeast along with clovesd and some peppery spice.

T - Cherries come out some more here with the rest of the dark fruits behind it. Slightly funky and slightly tart. Belgian yeast and some nice light spice rounds things out nicely.

M - Lighter to medium bodied beer with a nice creamy texture while still having a solid amount of carbonation.

O - Really enjoyed this one. The flavors were all there and Scott seemed to really nail the style here. Well done. Aside from Gratitude and Toaster, this might be one of my favorite offerings from him.

 926 characters

Photo of ejimhof
3/5  rDev -25%

Photo of themanilow
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%

Photo of BigRizz62
4/5  rDev 0%

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Illustration Ale from East End Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4 out of 5 with 55 ratings