Thursday, October 20, 2011

Dark Night Belgian-Style Rye Ale

Tasted following a 3 x mile workout on Monday Morning, enjoyed with kefir/homemade apple sauce pancakes. Got this bottle from the Iowa City Brew Festival.

Appearance: The pour looked extremely syrupy as there was no splash or swirl as it hit the glass, however there was a delay before a huge carbonation erupted, then to fuel an enormous beige head that almost spilled over the top of the glass. Retention went on for several minutes at well over 2". Lacing is dry and entire, so to cover everything in it's path.
Aroma: Smells similar to the Pipers Scotch Style ale I just tried, which is accompanied with smokey peat malt. The rye is pretty substantial alongside deep caramel. There is even a little of mustiness from the Belgian yeast.
Taste: Rich malt bill of cocoa and caramel. Smokey peat emerges by the midtaste alongside a prominent dark roasted fruit flavor of plums, dates and figs. Some licorice is present as well. Quite a fruitiness under the initial malt bill. Near the end I pick up on a oaked woodiness with subtle tannins as well as the warming alcohol flavor. The finish is a bit dry with some tannic woody dryness. As the beer warms there is even a note of tobacco that develops alongside the licorice and dark fruity esters.
Mouthfeel: Very Chewy. The mouthhfeel is as it looked when I poured it. The texture is slick and very full with almost a gummy feel to it while it is prominently tacky on the lips. The finish, however is relatively dry.
Overall Impression: Wow, that is one of the chewiest and thickest bodied beers I've EVER come across. Very strange, yet enticing for such a change up from the lighter beers I've been reviewing. Complexity is astounding, especially with the Belgian Yeast and the absurd dose of rye. Interesting, and I definitely recommend A bottle (drinking a six-pack, I see, is out of the question).


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