Tasted Monday morning after an 11 mile run which involved almost getting run over by a run-away burglar, and then to be pulled over by a Rock Island squad car as he asked if I got the license plate and if I wanted to file a report. I didn't, I just wanted to finish my run. Anyway, I have no clue where or how I acquired this beer, nevertheless I enjoyed it with steamed broccoli and hot sauce!
Appearance: Pour looked to be very thick and viscous. Deep mahogany/chestnut brown with a rich rubied hue. Very clear and clean looking, aside for the color inhibiting transparency. The head is a good inch of cream colored foam at first, but falls to an entire coated film along the glass where it once was and coating the surface of the beer. Relatively still looking.
Aroma: Rich caramel and toasted grains, followed by an earthy maple undertone all of which makes up an incredibly sweet and aromatic scent. Brown sugar and even notes of roasted barley and molasses. A bit oaky with a dash of vanilla.
Taste: Foretaste is predominantly caramel malt and perhaps even some red wheat. I pick up on toasted malt and even a presence of light roastiness to complement the in depth sweet complexity. Some fruitiness is present of dates, but I even get some banana in the beer, especially towards the end. Woody and more of a barrel aged character at the end, complemented with notes of licorice and an overtone of maple. Vanilla again appears at the finish in conjunction with a subtle alcoholic presence. Obviously, as the beer warms, more esters emerge and the malt becomes even more pronounced than before. Some chocolate may be noted prior to the finish. Rounded out with a slight neutral bitterness.
Mouthfeel: Heavier bodied with a residual tackiness on the lips. Carbonation is soothing as it maintains a softer presence on the top of the tongue. One can tell this beer still has an element of hops, as the finish has a dryness on the tongue.
Overall Impression: Certainly a complex, malt forward beer. Characteristics such as caramel, vanilla, fruity, oaked, alcohol, toasted and maple come to mind right from the start. On the heavier side of a Bock, but nothing to fall short on.