Tried this with Thomas Christian before our Farm2Fork meeting earlier this week. And again during dinner in Arbaugh with Tom Ries and Co.
Appearance: Amazingly robust creamy tan head that is one of the strongest I've seen, which sustains itself indefinitely. Color isn't black, but more of an extremely dark brown. Pour was thick. Beautiful lacing.
Aroma: Potently rich with complex sweet malt aromas of chocolate, caramel, coffee and even more chocolate!
Taste: Very thick and sweet with bittersweet dark milk chocolate as a malt foundation to the rest of the beer. Much of this completely masks the 8.1% ABV. There is a semi drying finish and after taste that (Thomas wasn't a fan) resembles a grainy tannin base with burnt undertones. Notes of carob and wood. Nevertheless this is either viewed as good hopping to some or unappealing to others. It's just the hops used. The start is phenomenally sweet and complex. Progressively, underlying roasted nutty flavors reveal themselves midtaste the further into a glass one gets.
Mouthfeel: The thickness of the body makes me think they may have used oats. Every synonym for soft, smooth and creamy can be used for this beer. Texture is just as such, smooth and delicate, but bold. Medium carbonation Overall Impression: Generally, this beer is outstandingly flavorful with a whopping foretaste of rich nut chocolate flavors. I'm consistently impressed with Bear Republic. I haven't been disappointed yet.