Grabbed this immediately from the dollar bottle section at Binny's once Tom placed it there. I had heard a couple good things about it from the customers, so I wanted to give my first Sam Adams a shot (No Lies).
Appearance: Extremely dark in color, almost black. Still maintains some element of translucence when held to the light, admitting a dark brown color. Head was very minimal, but was still able to produce adequate lacing the deeper into the glass one went. Had a tan foamed ring.
Aroma: Pungent malt and lager smell to it, like a bock. But the sweetness of chocolate made an interesting combination. For some reason or another, it smelled like a cross between stale bread and wet dog. The chocolate was there, certainly, but there was an off earthy carrion smell to it that I wasn't familiar with.
Taste: From the taste, I really couldn't find anything that would have remotely resembled that off flavoring. It created a simplistic chocolate sweetness with a background malt caramel flavor. A sweet pungent taste to finish, leaving the mouth with the all too common aftertaste resembling what's perceived after finishing a 70% dark chocolate bar. Definitely on the sweeter side. Some dryness felt to the tip of the tongue.
Mouthfeel: Thicker body, but the overall texture is well intended and drinkable. Still maintains an element of refreshing flavor with an initial perception of crisp, but some reason alternates towards coating the mouth with a residual layer of stickiness.
Overall Impression: A sweeter bock, but nothing I wouldn't get upset about. For this one I searched out beer advocate and saw that it wasn't rated as highly than I expected, and having seen a recent post from Beervana, I totally agree that we've become too uptight about style guidelines and neglect to admit that we have a good beer on our hands, whether it adheres to the style or not. All standards out the window, and apart from the strange aroma, this is certainly not a bad beer.