Retrieved this bottle from the Great Taste of the Midwest Beer Fest Brewers dinner the night before. In fact that very same night we met one of the brewers (Chris?) who gave us a tour of their absurdly arranged maze of fermentation and brite tanks. Tasted on a Sunny fall Monday with a bowl of garden fresh potatoes, eggplant, onion, rosemary and pepper.
Appearance: Deep mahogany brown with a rubied hue. Head is poor, even after a vigorous pour only to exhibit hardly even a film. Quite still within the glass, though clarity is strong. At half glass, the beer still manages to leave behind a wet lacing.
Aroma: A hardy cocoa, toasted malt bill spears the nostrils in a rich grain based sweetness. Nutty, for sure but with maple and hazelnut undertones. The very end parallels chocolate. Not much else can be drawn under these strong scents.
Taste: Nothing special resides upfront, though at midtaste the flavor really begins to blossom. Roasted notes and lightly toasted barley make up much of the malted grainy sweetness. surrounding this is maple and perhaps brown sugar. Finally the finale introduces a very rich and thought provoking chocolate malt taste preceding a very basic and subtle hop bittering dryness. The aftertaste is woody and tannic leaving a feeling in the mouth similar to trying to down a tablespoon of cinnamon.
Mouthfeel: A bit under-carbonated for this beer. Thicker bodied, though very smooth and inviting to the palate. Even a bit chewy. Like I said earlier it leaves thee mouth quite dry. Leaves a cloying after feel in the back of the mouth.
Overall Impression: This beer packs a punch of flavor, mostly of chocolate and toasted malts, so don't be too surprised. Nevertheless it's drinkable and richly flavored.