350th Post! Tasted following a 1.5 hour nap on Monday afternoon. I hadn't realized that I lacked most of all them in the blog, because I know for a fact i have them in my hard copy beer journal. Purchased from Rock Island
Hy-vee within the Winter Seasonal Craft Pack.
Appearance: Dark bronzed with ruby red tint. Head is very dense and off white in color and finely foamed. It dissipates into an entirely consistent film, maintaining it's texture up the side of the glass. Transparency is optimal apart from the dark color inhibition.
Aroma: Richly malted with a very prominent caramel and toffee scent. Some roastiness and a dark underlying smell of maple and wood. Hops contribute a bit of spice, reminiscent of rye. Some floral notes also dedicate a distinctive aroma. Subtle notes of pine as well.
Taste: Start is quite dry, nevertheless the malt bill reminiscent of chocolate and caramel. Still, a toffee characteristic melds in, along with some toasted grains. The midtaste presents most of the malt sweetness. Towards the end, the appearance of rye and the dry characteristic of wood and even slight hints of vanilla expose themselves. Bittering orange zest/pith to parallel a brief nuttiness. The finishing hops make a very drying woody and floral spice to the beer that all but cleanses the palate. Similarly the pine exposes itself in the finish, along with a resined element. The more the beer warms, the more this pine flavor is exposed.
Mouthfeel: Soft and forgiving. Medium bodied and a smooth texture. The carbonation is medium, but softly incorporated to make the beer even more delicate and velvety across the tongue. Finish is very dry but crisp, nothing sticky.
Overall Impression: Reminds me a bit like an ESB. The hop profile fits a red, but the big malt bill and the rye element. Extremely flavorful and inviting. Huge complexity and great balance. This is worthy of a six pack.