Bought this bottle while on a weekend trip to Grand Rapids. Eamon and I stopped at a local grocery store after hitting up the Hideout Brewery. I still admit that Bear Republic is my favorite brewery, so every time I see something new of theirs on the shelves, I'm certain to buy it. Tasted Thursday afternoon after my first track workout in over 6 months - 3 x mile w/ 3:00 rest interval.
Aroma: Rich toffee and toasted aromas protrude from surface of the beer. Vapors scream malt sweetness and aromatic barley. Some light chocolate and even a brief note of roast emerges near the end of the beer. Above all, I get toffee.
Taste: The flavor is dominated by an extremely complex malt base. A rendition of barley ranging from crystal to brown malt, to chocolate and aromatic. Initially sweeping the palate with caramel, it's only the beginning for this beer. Boasting a robust toasted toffee flavor as it approaches the end, only to then be spiced with a mild roast and tannic flavor of molasses. The finish is woodsy with a minute flavor of cedar, likewise complimented with toasted almonds and a touch of brown sugar. A lot goes on in this beer. I feel after several tastes that this beer has a higher acidity than most brown ale's I've had.
Overall Impression: Very well balanced with a unusual spice derived from the molasses. Toffee and caramel make up the majority of the flavor profile, followed by an acidity that provides an additional spice to the overall character of the beer. Definitely something different than what I'm used to, but tasty nonetheless. And I'm glad to see Bear Republic getting more beer to the bottles, especially all the way out here in Michigan!