Tasted last night with a nut cracker and an assortment of nuts. Served cold in a beer snifter.
Appearance: Extremely dark but when held to the light reveals a rubied glow. Foam tan head that is quick to dissipate entirely. Lacing is sporadic.
Aroma: Sweet and spicy. I smell chocolate and toffee with a gingered finish. The beer is full in malt character followed by a nice nutty twist
Taste: Chocolate fulfills the flavor profile. Some roasted flavors but mostly toasted and caramel malt. The beer maintains a strong malt base along with some bitter sweetness to finish. I find some subtle undertones of licorice and molasses, but finished with some holiday spicing, perhaps cinnamon and nutmeg. The beer is well balanced between the voluptuous malt and the ending spiciness. Generally it is the chocolate that is most pronounced.
Mouthfeel: Perhaps too carbonated, leaving an aggressive spike on the tongue, but this isn't too deterring, as it loosens up what would probably be a low attenuated beer. Medium body. No tackiness.
Overall Impression: This is a great holiday ale. I was thoroughly impressed with the character of this beer. It establishes itself not only as refreshing and full bodied, but also with a unique, but entirely balanced flavor profile with no taste running astray and dominating.