Tasted Sunday Evening after making a batch of hummus and an 11 miler. Enjoyed in the living room with what we figured would be a nice pairing: Apple Smoked Gouda Cheese from Red Apple Cheese, WI.
Appearance: A muddied brown/red color with no head in existence. It's interesting the light-ness of this beers color, yet the turbidity makes it seem almost too dense to swallow. No carbonation, or anything for that matter can be seen.
Aroma: Peat/smoke and rich toffee malt undertones permeate the nostrils. Very woodsy and earthy smelling with a hint of chocolate and roasted barley. I even get brief notes of fruitiness such as dates and figs.
Taste: Toffee and caramel again come through immediately ate the foretaste, which is then followed by a woody lignin-like flavor of dryness in conjunction with a mild roastiness. Next up comes the peated barley and earthy undertones, while a complementary warmth rounds the near-end. The finish has little flavor except for a brief character of caramel and oak bitterness. Taste is almost barrel-aged in profile. Some Diacetyl present, which apparently, now that I think about it, is a desired characteristic. Even a tea-like bitterness is apparent.
Mouthfeel: The high carbonation gives the perception of a lighter body, but there is in fact a lot of un-attenuated sugar residing in the beer to give it a relatively more robust body. Drying at the front of the tongue, but some cloying texture is present at the roof of the mouth.
Overall Impression: Certainly a mouthful, especially with huge malt bill and the equally rich alcoholic warmth. I really would compare it to a full on barrel aged beer. RICH. I'd see it a perfect complement to apple smoked cheese.