Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99! (Limited time offer, US delivery only)

? The Riddler ? | Rock Art Brewery

Your Rating: None

Want it   Got it 
? The Riddler ?? The Riddler ?
78 Ratings
? The Riddler ?? The Riddler ?

Brewed by:
Rock Art Brewery
Vermont, United States

Style: Dubbel

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

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.

Added by velo343 on 04-08-2007

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 78 |  Reviews: 63
Photo of tbart428
3.63/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is a beautiful mahogany color with amber haze with a inch and a half white head.
S: Dark fruit, brown sugar, raisins, caramel with chocolate
T: Figs raisins, dark fruits, prunes,, caramel, with bite from alcohol at end.
M: Like many of rock arts beers the mouth feel is thin and really thin for the style.
D: Is good but would keep it to one bomber due to sweetness of the beer.
Will have again for sure especially for the price another good beer.
Consumed on NOV 9th 2010

 486 characters

Photo of Phelps
3.37/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

"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.

 857 characters

Photo of mdfb79
2.2/5  rDev -37.1%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a tulip.

a - Pours a dark brown color with 2 inches of white head and light carbonation evident.

s - Smells like garbage. Smells oddly of sweet fruit, alcohol, and pine/turpentine. Not good.

t - Tastes of dark fruit, alcohol, sugar, and licorice. Not good again.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation.

d - Not a good beer. Would not want to have again.

 393 characters

Photo of movingtrain
3.72/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to CooperEllis for the trade.

22 ounce bottle sampled from a Caracole glass. Served cellar temperature.

Pours a maple-brown, somewhat reddish color. There is a small, though relatively thick head floating on top (aided by the glass).

There is some chocolate in the aroma, brown candy sugar, plum, malty sweetness, clove, and cinnamon.

In the flavor is a nice hop bite at the back of the tongue, preceded by a good sweetness. I think I mentioned the bite first because it is the dominating flavor that lingers after each sip. There are hints of cinnamon, clove, caramel, apple, chocolate, and candy sugar, as well.

The mouthfeel on this one is quite active in terms of carbonation. Though, there is a little missing in the overall body of the beer...not as complex as the style it is mimicking.

Overall, however, this is a tasty beer, and from a brewery that is new to me. I'm glad to have given this one a taste.

 926 characters

Photo of hwwty4
2.97/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to the trading partner that gave me this bottle. I don't remember who you are. I think I've had this bottle for a while. Decided to cull my cellar a bit since I needed bottles for homebrewing.

This beer pours a murky, muddy brown with just a flicker of a head that leaves non lacing. Honestly this is a fairly ugly beer. You don't see those very often. Kind of looks like carbonated mud water. The aroma is roasted barley with a light chocolate and caramel. Slight raisin notes but mostly burnt barely and chocolate. The taste is fairly similar. For some reason it reminds me slightly of a Barleywine more then a Dubbel. Roasted barely and chocolate powder, slight raisins. There is a watery aspect to the flavor profile also. Really, it just is mediocre. Middle of the road. Nothing very spectacular. The mouthfeel is light, thin and watery. Not what I want in a Dubbel. Overall its just a mediocre beer. Not that impressive.

 934 characters

Photo of SFLpunk
3.57/5  rDev +2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Growler bought at brewery earlier today.

Pours a muddy orange/amber brown with some creamy off-white head. Nose is full of yeast fruitiness, citrus and apricots, a little biscuit.

Palate is spicy and sharp with alcohol. Blackberries, prunes, some red raspberry, caramel powdery-malt flavors. Decent and fairly sessionable for its high ABV.

 341 characters

Photo of ken2cart1
3.58/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 4

a- dark brown, barely any head

s- very complex.. roasted malts, sweet candied sugar, chocolate

t- not bad, but not even close compared to the scent. faint roasted malts, sweet candied sugar, good amount of dark fruits in there such as plums and raisins... slight bitterness at the end... not much here, non of these flavors really stand out beside the dark fruits

m- worst part of the beer, mouthfeel is like water..ruins beer

d- actually very drinkable, but not in a good way, because of the mouthfeel.

 507 characters

Photo of Probie
4.01/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

 534 characters

Photo of therealnod
4.51/5  rDev +28.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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.

 758 characters

Photo of mhatters
3.53/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a bottle in VT

Pours an ocher brown - hazy with a thick off white head

Not as much to the nose as I expected - malty, a bit of chocolate, some yeast.

An odd mix of hops and dry chocolate. Some bitter notes, some sweet notes, a rather odd combination.

A bit thin, I thought this would be bigger, it is not bad - but I was looking for a bigger, hotter result. I was happy to try this but I do not think I will hunt another one down.

 444 characters

Photo of u2carew
4/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

 394 characters

Photo of aerozeppl
3.31/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Need deep brown color with quite a bit of haze. A finger of mocha colored head. Spotty lacing.

S: Nice sweetness and maltiness. The yeast comes through but it is not very strong. A touch of coffee in the back.

T: Much better than the nose. Roast right up front into some malt sweetness. Then a touch of coffee which is a nice departure for a dubel. Only the slightest hint of fruit that I also look for in the style.

M: A touch dry. The yeast really went to town on this beer.

D: Again for the price this is an excellent beer. It is bone dry though and that does cut down a bit on drinkability.

 601 characters

Photo of NEhophead
3.11/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22 fl oz brown bottle; served in a tumbler.

Deep auburn-highlighted, light maple in color. Creamy, frothy off-white head that plasters the tumbler's sides upon impact. Thick patches of condensed lacing around half of the tumbler.

Caramelized brown sugar, nutmeg, and clove over aged, vinous fruit: plum, fig, raisin. Perfume-filled floral hops that impart off-lavender and jasmine aromas.

Mild, biscuity-toffee base with notes of diacetyl and honey. Semi-sweet brown sugar and nutmeg that is overtaken by a cutting corriander and clove spice. Notes of licorice in addition to aged cherry, raisin, and fig. A dry finish is followed by a bulky clove and warming alcohol aftertaste.

Almost full in body; a touch too carbonated that retracts from the aged fruit and makes for a dry mouthfeel.

The earthen, spicy flavors are not all that pleasant for a stab at the Dubbel style. Balanced for the most part; however, none of the individual flavor qualities really hit the mark.

 976 characters

Photo of duffextracold
3.4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

 434 characters

Photo of donkeyrunner
3.77/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

 724 characters

Photo of williamherbert
3.65/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The appearance is a deep and rich reddish brown. No head at all. It's almost purple. Incredibly deep and thick. If it had head it would be really amazing.

The smell is like whiskey. Strong and intense. You could light this on fire. As it mellows takes an the properties of a dark Belgian ale with a brown ale mixed in.

A stinging Belgian funk flavor with wild yeasts. Heavy and harsh sweet caramel malts like a scotch ale. A little sour (like a geuze/lambic), a little bitter (like a scotch ale), a little funky (like a funkhouse). They aren't perfect together. Cola finish.

The feel is thick and ashy. Strong; a real choker. Interesting, complex, imperfect. Lots of flavors that don't always mesh.

 701 characters

Photo of MrMonkey
2.02/5  rDev -42.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Pours a dark amber, almost brown, with no head whatsoever. It's completely still, lifeless really.

Smell is raisins, yeast, a hint of smoke, some chocolate, and piny hops.

Taste is much like the nose, but it is very chalky and bitter, with the slightest hint of green apple. The finish is mostly pine sap. Overall, the taste is very metallic and although it has the potential to be a dubbel, it just falls short.

Light to medium-bodied mouthfeel. Very thin for the style.

This is one of the few beers I've had that I struggled to finish. Almost a drain pour. Not really a dubbel, but I'm not sure what style this would actually fall into. Not recommended.

 660 characters

Photo of NoLiberty
2.98/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

App: Pours from 22oz bomber into Urthel chalice. Color is deep, clear, ruby-brown with a nice one finger thick white head that settles into a light coverage around the edges and slight lacing.

Aroma: Malty sweet, subtle spicing underneath with light dried fruit. Warming alcohol dominates as it warms. Definite earthy yeast flavors as well.

Taste: Baked biscuit flavor, followed by light sweet raisin notes. Alcohol comes through at the end. Overall the flavors seem right to style but way too light, almost watery. Finishes with some light spice, mild hop dryness and metallic aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Body is light to medium bodied with subtle carbonation.

Drinkability: Ok, but not great. Could better balanced and with fuller flavor and mouthfeel.

 755 characters

Photo of jdhilt
3.92/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a one finger white head that fades quickly to a ring, leaving traces of lace. Hazy amber color. Light-medium carbonation and medium bodied. Caramel nose. Flavor is caramel and molasses, smooth, balanced not bitter. $3.49 for a 22oz bottle from Cabot Quechee Store Quechee, VT.

 282 characters

Photo of thekevlarkid
3.2/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Out of the bomber this brew was a root beer-like brown with some ruby highlights. The head was tan and fizzy, laced ok and retained ok. Good aromas of caramelized malts, some chocolate, yeast and dates. The all malts at first, then sweeter with spices and fruits in the middle and hoppy at the end. Nice progression in this regard. The yeast however, adds an unusual twang to the symphony that really throws the whole thing off. The mouthfeel is average. In fact the beer is average, and the flavor is to blame.

 511 characters

Photo of WesWes
3.08/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The beer pours a hazy brown color with a 1/2" offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is average. It has a dry roasted, almost smokey character with some subtle fruity undertones. The taste is average as well. It has a very dry and alcohol laced flavor that boasts of roasted malts. It's thin with some smokey character. The mouthfeel is decent. It is a medium/full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is an average beer and probably one for scrap heap. I'm glad I had the chance to try it. Thanks almychristopher.

 535 characters

Photo of almychristopher
3.28/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

this beer pours a brown color with golden highlights, the head is tan but doesn't stick around for long. the aroma has some noticeable yeastiness about it that I don't find especially appealing. other than that there's a bit of malty sweetness, and some sort of dried fruit. the taste is much the same although the alcohol, that was only mild in the aroma is a little overbearing. the mouthfeel is a little thin for a high alcohol beer... deffinitely not my favorite beer.

 472 characters

Photo of grub
3.68/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

got this one from Lupe as part of the 80s BIF. thanks jason!

22oz bottle. sampled july 26/08.

pours deep reddish brown with a ring of fine tan bubbles. the head drops quickly and leaves a few spots of lace.

aroma is nice. dark fruit - date, raisin, fig. nice caramel sweetness. hint of toffee. bit of dark chocolate. whole wheat bread. bit of cracker. alcohol. touch of toasty character.

taste is nice. medium-low bitterness level. lightly toasted whole wheat bread. dark chocolate. hints of caramel and toffee. alcohol. bit of belgian yeasty character. earthy. a little anise too.

mouthfeel is good. just under medium body with a fairly dry finish. fine medium carbonation that carries just a touch of sting.

drinkability is pretty good. i like the caramel/dark fruit thing it has going on, and the body is about right, but it seems to have a little of the toasty character that i would associate with something like a brown ale or english porter - a typical mistake with american attempts at belgian styles. still, a pretty good attempt that i enjoyed.

 1,060 characters

Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
1.75/5  rDev -50%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

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.

 1,319 characters

Photo of blackie
3.8/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

 1,002 characters

? The Riddler ? from Rock Art Brewery
Beer rating: 3.5 out of 5 with 78 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.