Reviewed following a 9 miler with a 4:56 mile put in at mile 7. I bought this beer from the Binny's by Goose Island during my trip to Chicago with Joe Wietlispach and his wife Liz to tour the Chicago area Breweries.
Appearance: The beer maintains a rustic amber more on the darker side of the spectrum. Initially exhibiting a 1/2" densely foamed off white head, it left little lacing in its path. A little bit of haze adds to the perceptive appeal. Still looking.
Aroma: Huge toasted malt and caramel bill. Bready even, though perhaps more of pumpernickel. Earthy nose dominated by peat and an underlying brown sugar sweetness. Very perfumy.
Taste: The sweetness doesn't truly hit until the very end of the taste. Much of what happens in the beginning is carbonated rush and the slight hop bitterness. To follow, the toasted peat malt and big caramel barley sweetness finishing in a bouquet of earthy flavors. A bit of an under attenuated wortiness to it, yet balanced by a rather neutral hop so as it isn't as forth coming as other beers I've had. Spiced finish at the very end and especially as the beer warms it develops a chocolaty characteristic. Clean finish, but with an ever-remaining toasted aftertaste.
Mouthfeel: As I said earlier, the carbonation hits more at the front of the beer than anything else, yet characteristically maintains a micro-bubbled fizz. Body is medium to heavy with lofty thickness for a
Overall Impression: I've read it somewhere before, but this is an interesting relative to New Castle brown ale with a bigger body and more of a peat flavor. I must say I dis-liked the beer at first because I drank my way through the first four, but once I was able to write this review and deconstruct the flavor profile, everything became more enticing about it.