Tasted Saturday evening following the tapping of the AAAH BOCK down at Great River Brewery. To round out a day of drinking at work, I was also hosting a tasting night. Thanks to Dan Nevin for bringing this beer over prior for me to find in my fridge! Purchased from Rock Island Hy-vee's new beer selection.
Appearance: Very bubbly off-white head on the pour that slowly dissipates. Amber hue and slightly cloudy; Yet one can see the tiny streams of carbonation that rise to the top of the glass. Nevertheless there is a brief period of time where the carbonation clings to the side of the glass. Best head retention I've seen in a beer. Lacing is entire and wet.
Aroma: Spiced. The general scent of the beer is actually quite fruity. Figs, pears and grape, but with a citrus zest bite. There is orange peel and grapefruit present. Very fresh smelling overall. Some phenols at the end, but more in the way of fruit than anything. Faint band aid, but masked behind a fruity yeastiness. As the beer warms, more of a Brettanomyces character emerges from the beer. Interesting.
Taste: Starts residually sweet, with notes of Belgian candi sugar and biscuit. The malt truly comes through at the very end with the hint of spicing in the finish. Fruit predominates overall with undertones of sweet orange peel, grapefruit, plum and grapes to round out a trace of tartness. Brief hints of funk, but very minute. Hops contribute a fresh citrus taste to the beer with a subtle hint of orange zest in the back of the throat, that follows the carbonation as it follows down the throat. leading up to the last taste is a rich tangy quality of the hops, finishing with a piney grape quality. Refreshing and highly palatable.
Mouthfeel: Smooth and bubbly with a bite at the very end, from the carbonation, which plays a big party in the feel of the beer. Body is generally light. Finish is dry.
Overall Impression: Very balanced between the sweetness and the hops. Intertwined, there is a lot of action happening by way of esters, phenols and other fermented byproduct to further push the complexity of this beer. Both refreshing and tasty, while boasting a higher alcohol.