This is one of the very first beers I tried as a novice logger, and a beginning entry in my first beer journal (I'm finishing #3) while in Colorado Springs staying at Monte Carpenters for Christmas. Anyway Jen and I saw this at the Hy'vee sitting out of the floor as it had just arrived with their new shipment. We snatched it right up and got to tasting it that night before my formal.
Taste: Very carameled and chocolaty with a dark cherry fruit taste intertwined. I find that the Sweetness is a highly contributive characteristic in this beer with a wood tannin finish representative of scotch and oak. Gradually about midway through I experience a developing roasted grain/coffee flavor that is ever so slight, but easily distinguishable. Spicing is apparent between the malt sweetness and the alcohol finish. The complexity of this beer is astounding!
Mouthfeel: Full bodied with a smooth blanket that coats the mouth leaving a sweet slight boozy aftertaste. Mouthfeel is a little cloying and tacky to the lips but this beer is ironically drinkable. Quite dense.
Overall Impression: To think the last time I rated this beer I gave it a 70/100. It really shows how much a year of tasting and acquainting oneself with beer goes a long way. This beer could easily be palatable to anyone given the chance. But nevertheless, this has made me realize how when I've been hosting tasting sessions for different beers, how different they may taste to the average college kid. I'd certainly give this a try if you see it and are looking for a stay at home winter beer. One of the best.