Quite recently Great River brewery released their midwinter seasonal. Often these releases are accompanied by a Golden Keg tapping as well as food dishes and social event. I found that since it being on a Thursday and no workouts for the rest of the week before a meet that I'd get a good 10 mile run in and finishing at the brewery for their 5:00 pm party. It was COLD out. I ended up staying 4 hours, hanging out with Lucas Westblade, Joey Waldorf (who preceded to buy a pint of every beer on the menu) and Jen. I decided to do a tasting of this since we bought a growler of it for Bears Sunday. It was tasted following a 15 mile run.
Aroma: Sweet and...yes Chocolaty. I find the beer to be mildly hopped with a foundational pale malt backbone. Maybe even some dark fruits hit the nose, but predominantly the interactions fall under a hop/malt basis.
Taste: Immediately starts with a light malt, indistinguishable sweetness, then BAM! Hit with some incredible dose of chocolate as it washes over the tongue and down the throat. The hops finish the beer off almost in a bittersweet fashion. The bitterness is an extra addition to trick the palate into thinking you're getting a real dark chocolate. There is a touch of hops at the tip of the midtaste that lets you know it's not just chocolate but still your Reinheitsgebot beer (aside from the chocolate). Very malty and sweet, but balanced. Deceivingly flavorful which all the more both is impressive and appealing. Extremely drinkable, not from texture but more from the addictive qualities of taste.
Mouthfeel: Fuller body with a drying tongue-to-the-roof-of-mouth feel. Carbonation is low to medium which both adds to body as well as other sensational textures. Goes down more in a fluid form without any assistance of a spike or carbonation dissipation of liquid.
Overall Impression: This was the first beer I had back in the U.S. from Australia. I remember going with the Murphy twins and absolutely loving this beer. My tastes haven't changed. The flavor and the complexity of this beer is like none I have ever had before. Jen and I got a pint of it at 12:10 on a Sunday afternoon (the earliest I've ever had a beer) because it was so good, the lounge just opened. If it were up to me I'd be canning this in an instant. Both palatable and incredibly flavorful with an all to deceptive charm about this unsuspecting dirty blonde. I think this beer will be the first keg I buy..and yours as well.