I had tasted this one all the way back in March 2010 and had done a write up in the hard copy of the journal, but never got around to transcribing it. Tasted in a snifter. I was pleasantly surprised by its quality.
Appearance: Poor filling for the bottle, where the beer only came up to the neck. Quality control on the bottling line should have caught that. Upon pour I noticed the stout had been filtered. Otherwise it was a brilliant brown. In the glass it is marked black with a tan soapy foam head that is quick to dissipate. Carbonation is difficult to see.
Aroma: Rich chocolate aroma that is followed by a lightly roasted coffee been scent. A little earth, but more so encapsulating a sweet coffee drink with cream and sugar. Extra malted caramel adds to the smell with a grainy backbone, nothing much else can be drawn out.
Taste: An inviting flavor of chocolate and roasted malt immediately catch my attention. What starts slightly sweet rises in a bittering complexity of nutty tannins and roasted coffee, then its more at the finish that you get the combined flavor in a swirl of chocolaty sweet goodness. Caramel compliments as well. Tastes like an entirely barley product. Leaves a bit of dry roasted/burntness in the back of the throat. Even some smokiness is revealed in the very finish.
Mouthfeel: Very smooth and creamy to the texture. Carbonation is light but extremely well integrated! No pinch, but more of a embracement of the tongue. Tacky on the lips but the body is on the high end with the carbonation further encouraging a soft feel. Cloying afterfeel.
Overall Impression: I'm actually very appeased and impressed with this stout! It has a very basic flavor, yet remains refreshing and sweet. Nutty, roasted and chocolaty. This is one of the best of stouts I've had!