Tasted this the last Friday of winter term! Thanks to Joey Waldorf for picking up a six pack of this when we went to Hy-vee. Tasted following practice and a brief visit to the Pottery building to check out all of Jen's work.
Appearance: A lighter pour than many of the stouts I've encountered. The beer itself exhibits a dark brown/blackish color, perhaps even transparent when put to very bright lights. Head is a greyish/tan and brown with a foam froth texture with 'eye' bubbles interspersed. Lacing is glutenous to the sides of the glass.
Aroma: Smells very chocolaty and malted with a potent toffee character to it. I even can pick out some honey and almost vinous smells that pair with an alcohol buzz at the nose's finish. Very roasted, if you can call it that, but I think it's more in the direction of sweet dark fruit and maybe scotch/bourbon or other wine derivative. Hops play a likely contributive role as well.
Taste: Starts with a tart spike and then the alcohol rushes in and carries on a dryness from there on out. Dark fruit and very subtle chocolate/roasted malt are apparent. More so, because of the alcoholic warmth and the dryness, the vinous flavors again make their hallmark at the finish and mid taste of this beer. A lot of hops are involved to further encourage the drying of the palate. Interestingly enough though the dryness doesn't appear to occur in the back of the throat. Still some residual sweetness up front in the form of dry roasted unmalted barley. Finally there is that souring sensation at the end of the taste that is most notably a characteristic of the yeast.
Mouthfeel: Medium body with a smooth creamy texture from a not too aggressive carbonation. As it tickles the front of the tongue, the alcohol takes over in a wave of dryness to carry out any and all palatable flavors and textures. Finally the tongue and roof of the mouth are left dry and sandy.
Overall Impression: This is my first go at an Extra Stout. I've always seen the Guinness production of it, but never got around to trying it. Then when I saw that Schlafly had made some, I had to get it. Luckily I have good friends who are more than willing to taste new beers. I had no idea that this beer boasted such a high alcohol. It's more the fact that the alcohol plays such a pivotal role in the flavor of these beers. I'll certainly be trying more of these if I can find them...