Thanks to Justen Parris for allowing me to take this one home after our Twisted Pine tasting a couple weeks ago. This was reviewed following practice and while watching Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations, one of my favorite shows on Travel Channel. Nevertheless I still think they should have one about craft beer! Choose me.
Appearance: Quite dark with a brown red hue when held to the light. Mediocre off white fine foam head, but well sustained in its own minimal state. Segmented lacing left behind.
Aroma: Pleasantly toasted with bready malt undertones and a big nutty bill. Roasted malt also contributes. Finishing is a bit of bittersweet chocolate
Taste: Rich nut flavors permeate through the palate followed by toasted malt and mild roasted sweetness. Bready too. The progressive development of this beer is astounding. It starts out mildly sweet, but as that mellows it blossoms into a wealth of flavor and complexity. Some graininess is apparent in the midtaste that progresses through to the aftertaste. I do however notice some component of baking soda in the aftertaste, but it remains mostly negligible compared to what the other complexities are involved in the flavor.
Mouthfeel: Medim bodied with a mid level carbonation that offers a bit of a spike to the tongue. A little dry in the finish. Some tackiness on the lips.
Overall Impression: I'd call this the better side of a chocolate beer than Tommyknocker Cocoa Porter. It offers a lot less cocoa powder and sweetness, while offering some more balanced bitterness.