Tasted following skinning, gutting and dressing my first ground-hog (though it was young and small). It will need to soak in salt water for the next day. Jaron brought over the mother 2 hours later after trapping it too. We plan to pit roast them, or make a stew. Thanks to Justen Parris for recommending this beer to me. Picked up a six pack from the Rock Island Hy-vee.
Appearance: Pour was a clear ambered brown. In the glass, the beer looks overwhelmingly dark (brown) with the clarity inhibited by the color. Head is off white in color and minimal with somewhat of a soapy consistency and an ever so slight film on the surface. Lacing is wet.
Aroma: Very fresh smelling and a bit leafy. Cascade and other citrus related hops permeate the nostrils in a hop-juice rush. A very subtle chocolaty malt bill is exposed as an undertone to the hop dominant scent. Some breadiness and a bit of a stale smell can be picked up.
Taste: Foretaste is rich with a chocolate and roasted malt sweetness. Very nutty. By the middle, the citrusy hops begin to reveal themselves along side a bit of a burnt graininess. Pumpernickel. One can taste the leafy hops in the back of the throat along with the remainder of the roasted malt bill. the finish is dry and woody. Brown sugar comes through in the after breath along with the alcohol vapors. Generally however, the beer maintains a very well balanced stature with the malt and hops curiously complementing each other to the very end. One could say that this produces a bit of a biscuity taste. Bits of pine and spice coat the tongue. Dry and finishing with a tannined burnt aftertaste.
Mouthfeel: Light carbonation melds well into the body encapsulating a smooth mouthfeel. Body is on the medium side but with a chalky texture. Drying to the finish with a tannined/resin feel.
Overall Impression: This beer exposes a new variety of beer, going black and hoppy, yet still preserving the chocolate/burnt and roasted flavors of a stout. The Citrus mainly comes through in the mid to finish while the aftertaste re-exhibits a burnt tannin flavor. Certainly a beer of ultimate complexity, but equally balanced.