Profiled by Maria Devan
Pours not completely black. It has darker brown hues and from the very middle of the glass emanating softly is a shy ruby blush. Fat mousse like head of mocha colored foam that lasts, falls to a ring and leaves lace.
Nose is deep with roasted malt scents. There’s a sweet lush caramel, a bit of weak coffee, bitter chocolate and some scent from oats in the background as well. This beer has an earthy woody scent too that is hard to pin down.
Taste is luscious. Smooth, creamy and full. The sweet caramel is first to grace the palate and then a big roasty taste follows. It has a bit of bitterness to it and it dries on the tongue leaving the coffee a bit stronger than on the nose and the bitter chocolate to come to finish. At the last moments there is that woody and earthy taste again with that sweet and very soft caramel to linger alongside all those big roasty flavors of bitter malt. I detected no hops on the nose and I can find none on the palate save for that bit of woodiness and to say this beer is well balanced and a delight to the disposition if you ask me. I like it precisely because it’s not too sweet although it has an ample sweetness. Finishes with a bit of bite from carbonation.
Welcome to the PGA beer rating system: one beer “Don’t bother.” Two: Eh, if someone gives it to you, drink. Three: very good, go ahead and seek it out, but be aware there is at least one problem. Four: seek it out. Five: pretty much “perfecto.”
Maria Devan lives in Ithaca, NY and is frequent reviewer of beer and a beer lover deluxe.