? The Riddler ? | Rock Art Brewery

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? 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

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Reviews: 63 | Ratings: 78
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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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Photo of jwc215
2.92/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 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.

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Photo of connecticutpoet
3.52/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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.

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Photo of scottg
4.02/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

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Photo of Franchise
3.5/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

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

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.

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Photo of Jwale73
3.65/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to ThirstyBird for sharing this one. Poured a murky mahogany brown. Half-inch off-white head with good retention left behind trails of sticky lacing during the tasting. Aromas of caramel and brown sugar, as well as an alcohol and fruity character, but difficult to tease apart. Spicy taste, as well as a mild whiskey character. Flavor profile is very complex on this one. There is definitely a slight bready quality, and the taste of dark fruit is fairly pronounced, but I had a problem breaking this one down. Medium-bodied mouthfeel with well-balanced carbonation. Drinkability is decent on this one. Alcohol was well-hidden, but complexity makes this one a sipper. Also, I didn't feel like this was consistent with a dubbel. Seemed closer to an old ale to me. I'd be curious to see how this one ages.

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Photo of kennyo
3.62/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

picked up a bottle at the Oak Lawn beer store

Pours a brownish/reddish color, kind of like mahogony?. Big tan head that disapates fairly quickly. Beer is a little hazy,
Aroma is malt, Spanish fino Sherry
Taste is chocolate, malty, slight alcohol, dark grains, some belgian yeast qualities. As the beer warmed up, alcohol became more prevelant.
Easy drinking beer.
Glad that found this one from the Rock Art Extreme Beer Series
22 oz bottle

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Photo of JMScowcroft
4.3/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Look - Cool labeling, as usual for Rock Art. Pours a brown and settles a dark brown in the glass. Can only see light on the sides of it if you try to look through the glass as it is unfiltered. Head is frothy, but not huge. Good looking brew.

Smell - Very light scent, smells like it will be thick. Definite chocolate and malt overtones here. Could have a bit more body to it here but it's still nice.

Taste - Mostly what I expected, but a few surprises. Chocolate rushes in and is stricken down by bitterness and then hops, the creaminess from the chocolate remains.

Mouthfeel - Perfect, the creaminess remains with a twinge of bitter, very hearty and drinks like a filling snack.

Drinkability - I usually don't drink thick beers in high quality, but for being a Dubbel, and a thick one at that, and being 8.0%, this sure is an easy brew to drink.

It's everything I expected and more, great beer.

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Photo of brdc
3.7/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks mixylplik3 for this one.
Nice looking dark brown brew, covered by a nice, creamy tan head with good retention and lacing.
Aroma has dark fruits, yeast, malty sweetness and some spiciness.
Creamy on the mouth, the taste is not nearly as sweet as the aroma suggested; in fact, right upfront is a somewhat awkward bitterness, along with some alcohol heat that interfere with the fruitiness and candy sweetness.
Good, but not great.

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Photo of smcolw
3.76/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cloudy and dark amber with a beige, finely bubbled head. It leaves decent lace on the glass.

Sweet cocoa aroma--very close to the smell of an open can of Hersey's. A little overpowering as I cannot smell anything else.

Very different from the smell--the chocolate is only present at the initial sip. Soon, the alcohol warmth takes over along with light yeast. The ending features the hop for the first time (32 IBU's)--it soft. The aftertaste brings back the cocoa. The body is spot on with some creaminess.

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Photo of dsa7783
2.8/5  rDev -20%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

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...

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

Appearance: clear brown in color with a 1/2" head that sports some large bubbles. Some light lacing develops.

Smell: caramel, yeast, and some bitterness is detectable.

Taste: caramel, light chocolate tones, some brown sugar, ripe red grapes, yeast, and some decent bitterness creates a decent flavor profile. Some breadiness seems to come out along with some alcohol warming as the glass empties.

Mouthfeel: lightly crisp at the start, a bit smoother and dry at the finish. Pretty short aftertaste here. Medium bodied beer.

Drinkability: this one didn't overly excite me. Worth a try but if I want a Belgian Dubbel this one is close but a bit too bitter.

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Photo of weeare138
3.62/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

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

Appearance: Pours a clear, brownish body with a thin, wispy off-white head.

Smell: Spicy aroma with caramel malts, a bit of cocoa, and two scoops of raisins.

Taste: Caramel malt with plenty of sweetness and tart raisin fruitiness. Hint of cocoa. Light bitterness. The high level of phenols along with the alcohol make for a fairly course finish. This is what we are dealing with here, people.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Severely lacks any depth or complexity, and what is there doesn't mesh well at all. Some beers just plain do not work for me.

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

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.

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? The Riddler ? from Rock Art Brewery
3.5 out of 5 based on 78 ratings.
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