The first of the beer's I've had from this brewery. Tasted Sunday evening after spending an afternoon at Joe Weitlispach's where Jen, Brandon and I enjoyed a wealthy supply of Venison and fresh home brew on tap (I drank mostly Pilsner!). Thanks to my housemate Josh for picking up a six pack of this on Saturday.
Appearance: Pours clear, but in the glass it is perceptively muddied with an off white head that dissipates rather quickly. Bubbles cling to the base of the glass as well as the sides, initially. To the light the beer holds a rubied amber color with some clarity.
Aroma: Wood and oak with a basic caramel malt bill. Some nutty notes emerge alongside the foundational malt but with a strong tannic content. I sense some rye presence, but could be in conjunction with the woodiness and hemp. Chocolate even.
Taste: Dry and upfront with a very woody flavor. Some toasted presence as well as brown sugar. High tannic flavor which transcends into a very drying, lignan flavor. Rye is prominent. Definitely a malt forward beer. The back taste is chalky with a character of molasses a well as a very neutral (maybe some charr) bitterness that is relatively deterring. At the very finish and, actually when the beer warms, a large peated (smokey based) malt begins to dominate much of the taste.
Mouthfeel: I feel that the carbonation fills in a lot of the loose ends of this beer. What would be somewhat watery, the body falls just short of medium. High carbonation with a prickling feel. Extremely drying.
Overall Impression: A strange brew at that. I really never got much of the hemp, while the dry and toasted malts dominated with peat and an ever prominent bitterness, I found very little in the overall complexity. The aroma offered a lot more than the flavor