Received this beer from the Iowa City Brewfest a week ago. I got around to reviewing it on Sunday afternoon after having done completely nothing all day because I was exhausted from running. Enjoyed with a bean dip I made from scratch with home made hot sauce, onions, peppers and tomatoes I picked from the garden.
Appearance: Rustic amber with a soapy off white ring set around the inner perimeter of the glass. Lacing is wet but both silhouetted and speckled on the sides. Micro-bubble carbonation can be seen parading upwards from the depths of the beer while the clarity is sub-par achieving at best a 6/10
Aroma: Certainly a very present oxidation in this beer. Intermittent perks of caramel malt and herbal hops surface in accompaniment with a perfumy essence, reminiscent of flowers and stale hops.
Taste: Honey sweetness and biscuit malt are immediately present. To follow, a sort of tannic bitterness in the back of the throat initiates the midtaste, all the while the sweet malt backbone continues. The end maintains a sort of woodsy flavor with an apparent oxidation, and even notes of diacetyl. At the end, one can notably perceive the alcohol which parallels a grassy, stale hop finish. Similarly as the beer warms and the palate adjusts to the peculiar, yet complex flavors, there emerges even an undertone of roasted malt and cocoa midway through the taste.
Mouthfeel: A bit on the lighter side of body, yet still maintaining a girth for what the beer is concerned. Carbonation is adequate with a fine bubbled bite that is long lasting. Finally, the beer doesn't finish extremely dry, but still leaves an earthly dry flavor/texture in the mouth
Overall Impression: Upon first smell and taste, I didn't think this beer could amount to anything worthy. However, as I let it settle out and thought about all I was tasting, the oxidation didn't seem all that bad, and neither did the diacetyl, or butteriness. Nonetheless, I found the hops to be a little to earthy and bland for the beer, taking away from any potential crispness and drinkability. Big malt sweetness and interesting flavors to say the least. Try it.