Actually got around to accurately rating this while at Kate Ries and Elise Meyer's apartment while waiting for the premier of Discovery Channels Brewmasters show. Enjoyed with Chips, Guacamole, Salsa and a Swiss chard and garlic pasta dinner.
Appearance: Dark brown with a medium tan/off white head. Not entirely clouded by dark color, but transparency is certainly inhibited. Mediocre lacing.
Aroma: Rich and chocolaty with a subtle bready aroma. There is an equally paralleled toastiness that takes an upper hand to thrust a mild roasted coffee spiciness. Caramel undertones maintain a foundation for this common black ale.
Taste: A perfect balance between hop and malt. The flavor is robust and sweet with a roasted grain note to it. Some bready tones to it that say pumpernickel and rye. Finishes slightly burnt but with a caramel balance to hold a delicate but refreshingly clean taste. A spicy Belgian yeast undertone that makes a slight, but indistinct fruit character to mingle with the rich caramel/toasted malt.
Mouthfeel: A lot lesser body than expected, certainly given the pour and the bouquet of flavor. Nevertheless has a medium thick texture. Carbonation helps make this beer a drinkers beer, easily swallowed and quenching. Overall Impression: A wealthy flavor like a brown or stout, but drinks like a pale or American lager. Balance is optimal and hops help round out a smooth and tasteful finish.