Tasting after a days work at the brewery. Spent the entire day kegging out the Wit, which is fantastic! Thanks to Jen for bringing a bomber of this beer up when she came to visit. Wasn't expecting the huge burst of rye and oak flavoring but it really got it down! Maybe not a Red Ale, but a good beer at that!
Appearance: Nice amber color with a distinct ruby hue. Poured slightly hazy and retains a decent 1/4 inch thick head. Lacing develops on the side of the glass with each sip, though it remains relatively wet. Visible and fast rising carbonation from the center of the snifter.
Aroma: Very aromatic, strong caramel and rye bill. Undertones of roasted dates and figs adds a fruity character to complement the toasted malt characteristics. Less of an apparent hop presence; some citrus hops at the finish. A bit nutty as well.
Taste: Begins sweet with a rich caramel and biscuit malt. Some chocolate even appears, especially with a candied caramel component. Bitter orange rind and citrus yet herbaceous hops contribute a subtle amount of bitterness to the finish. Again the predominating flavor remains with the strong rye presence, along with brief roasted dried fruits - figs, dates and raisins. The finish is nice and subtly spicy yet not as dry. Notes of coriander emerge in the aftertaste along with somewhat of an alcohol vapor in the after breath.
Mouthfeel: Medium to bold viscosity. the body is well rounded, but obviously thicker, especially with the rye, and my guess would go for maybe some oats as well. Carbonation isn't a forefront characteristic in the texture, it just maintains a presence so the beer doesn't seem empty or lackluster. Finish is not as dry as one would expect, granted because the hops are not the emphasis here. Nonetheless it leaves a buttery texture, especially as it warms.
Overall Impression: The rye is a huge element in the beer, leaving both woody and spicing undertones on the tongue. Dark roasted fruits and a good alcohol presence. The finish is prolonged and very palatable. Huge aroma and thick body. A fantastic warmer and beer to sit down and really have a gandering thought about.