Tasted Monday afternoon, technically my first day of summer, but some of it was spent in the lab. The rest was at my old house cleaning up in time for our lease to come to an end. Thanks to my dad for giving me this as part of an assorted New Glarus six pack.
Appearance: A dark bronze color, yet it still maintains some transparency. The head is initially off white foam. Slow dissipation as the head terminates into a consistent film completely layering the top. Lacing looks wet but a closer look confirms it is dry. Overall it looks relatively still.
Aroma: Rich toasted barley and malted caramel. There is a nice nuttiness and an undertone of dark fruit and Belgian candy sugar. Even some chocolate can be noted. Mellow cinnamon and other contributive fall, dessert-like spicing.
Taste: The sweetness doesn't really come through until the very end when the hops and carbonation vapors out the alcohol to make a strong toasted nut and cocoa flavor. Gradually, however once the palate adjust to the beer there is a woody/fall character, and certainly hazelnut overtone. Some brown sugar is maintained throughout. The beer generally lacks much of a hop flavor, but its presence is felt in the drying finish it leaves behind.
Mouthfeel: Medium body but both smooth and crisp texture/mouthfeel. The carbonation contributes a higher foaming element that makes this beer a lot lighter than the initial perception. Similarly it melds well with the finish to leave it flavorful but dry and crisp.
Overall Impression: I liked this beer. I thought it held a unique, refreshing finish that made it stand out from most brown ales. It wasn't as chocolaty as others, but maintained its own with a wealth of toasted malt and caramel. One of the best brown ales I've tasted.