Tasted on Thursday evening with Joey Waldorf at Bent River for their $2.00 off Guest draft specials. This was the first of my exploration of heavy stouts that night. Notes were taken on index cards (my beer log book has officially become to impractical to carry around).
Appearance: Pour was thick and black right from the tap. The beer exhibited minimal head and a pitch black appearance, aka not a chance of transparency. The only resemblance of a head was a thin ring that accumulated around the glass, not even a film. Still looking and served cold.
Aroma: Very malty, reminiscent of an undertoned caramel but predominantly masked by a chocolate sweetness. To follow, some mild touches of coffee and roasted malt carry through with a bittering after spice with complementary Golding hops. Roasted nuts and earthy notes permeate through these initial sensations as the beer warms.
Taste: A very mild chocolate sweetness is nicely balanced by roasted malt and some coffee flavors which are none too overwhelming. This beer exhibits toasted caramel malt complexity as well accompanied with a subtle bittering finish. Alcohol plays a minimal role, but enough to make itself known. Aftertaste is well sustained and long lived, and as well very mild and pleasant. Bitterness rounds out the malted chocolate but a nutty drying flavor and the finish tannin taste of molasses.
Mouthfeel: Smooth, rich and creamy (velvety?). This beer has a minimal carbonation leaving behind a full frothful body that is paralleled by few. The beer goes down soft similar to a whipped cream dessert. Filling for sure. Some tackiness but that by all other standards is negligible. The oats really bring the body to an optimal potential!
Overall Impression: Now when the American craft beer industry started their "bigger is better" beer craze, I think this was the climax of it all. This beer is extremely complex and boasts a full rich flavor, yet none of it is overwhelming. It still maintains a delicate element of drinkability while also taking the role of a sipper. Whichever you like, this beer fulfills the best of the big beers. Neither boozy or overly thick and syrupy. I downed 2 pints.