Jen picked this up over a month ago on her way back from New Holland's Hatter Days from Three Floyd's Brewing Co. I waited it out until we both were present to try it. Finally tasted yesterday after a brief run and while relaxing on the porch.
Aroma: More of a roast is present alongside a grainy sweetness that is quite prominent throughout. Smoked wood is another noteable characteristic that is easily drawn. Finally, I can also pick out a faint fruity ester note that may be derived from a warmer fermentation As the beer warms, more chocolate and typical stout flavors emerge.
Taste: The initial flavor erupts with a minerally chalky flavor, that also contributes to the mouthfeel. Obviously, the calcium carbonate was striped from the shell addition in the boil, as well as the highly probable CaCO3 brewing salt additions. The sweet chocolate roast parallels this mineral complexity. Still, I find an acidity present in the finish which also helps round the beer out in a subtle grit dryness. Overall, all these flavors are encouranged and amplified by a sea-saltiness, similar to what salt does to a generally bland tasting dish of rice, or pasta. Alternative flavors tasted throughout may be described as smokey, woodsy, tannic, roast and chocolate.
Mouthfeel: A nice smooth texture with a chalky mouthfeel as the CaCO3 coats the teeth with a gritty feel. The body is medium from the carbonation loosening things up as the micro bubbles fizz over the palate and down the throat. Again the finish is dry and chalky.
Overall Impression: I'm extremely interested in the texture and flavor these types of beers provide. The rich salt and dark malt base enliven the tasting experience with both familiarity and the unusual.
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