Thanks to Joe Weitlispach for bringing this over the other day. I apparently was supposed to sit on it for a while longer (He said). But the occasion arose with the visit of Elise Meyer on Monday afternoon that I felt it necessary to crack open. Along with other celebratory news. Served in a snifter.
Appearance: There is very little head present initially. Hardly an accumulation around the rim or the glass. The beer exhibits a deep mahogany/rubied color, that remains quite clear. Carbonation can be seen from within.
Aroma: Sweet caramelized cane sugar and toffee. Very malt rich. I get notes of honey and even some toasted grain in the malt bill as well. Woodsy, but extremely aromatic and representing of the grain base it was made with. The yeast leaves a clean scent under the dominating malt presence.
Taste: Initially, the sweetness is perceptively overwhelming and strong, but quick is the palate to develop an attractive taste towards the caramel and toffee primary malt layer of the taste. Still caramelized sugar is present, which makes me think on reminiscent of a red ale, or crystal 65. The second half really presents a woody flavor, while helping to balance the malt. Hops are strong here, and perhaps would mellow nicely with age. Some fruitiness prominates prior to the introduction of the bitterness.
Mouthfeel: Robust and chewy, with a stickiness on the lips, though without a cloy feeling on the roof of the mouth. Obviously, the body is thick, but carbonation helps to loosen it up a bit. Mouthfeel finishes dry and even a slightly resinous.
Overall Impression: If you're looking for something malt heavy and boastful in malt base complexity, this is your beer. From honey to toasted grains, and even browned sugar, maple and fruit, the range is endless and even a bit confusing to pick out. Definitely something that could also benefit from some age!