Enjoyed during a fantastic afternoon pool party with the carpenters in celebration of Aubrey's birthday. Though the pool was actually only fit 3 small people, held a volume of 50 gallons of water, and had cartoon characters on it..
Appearance: Rubied dark brown, foamy head with strong retention. The color remains slightly hazy with a coppered glow.
Aroma: Resinous hops though more so a spicy aroma dominates. The hints of rye permeate the olfactory immediately. There is a slight zest tone as well.
Taste: Both tart and spicy rye flavors are my first impression, though I was quite surprised with the bitterness initially. I find this beer to have more of an aggressive or pronounced spicy rye flavor than the Schlafly ESB (phenomenal by the way) and Rogue Dead Guy. Definitely winter-esk notes to it with brown sugar and a strong caramel backbone.The unique spices hit the palate right away distributing to all areas of the tongue with a lasting aftertaste. There are following slight mellow notes of roastiness and burnt. Citrus and pine dominate the hop profile, which in turn is a large contributor to the finishing flavor. Nevertheless, caramel and biscuit malt do a fantastic job holding up the foundational malt sweetness.
Mouthfeel: Luscious and surprisingly full bodied with a balanced carbonation that makes for great flavor and aroma retention. The beer exhibits somewhat of a tacky texture. Leaves the finish to the palate slightly dry, but with a strong resinous coat on the tongue to induce an aftertaste.
Overall Impression: Love it! Spicing from the rye is aggressive, but fully helps balance the beer. I pick this beer up every chance I get. Along with their Big Black Bear stout!