Style: American Strong Ale
Purchased at 99 Bottles
Aroma: Rich and sticky notes of vanilla and molasses with a nice undertone of oak supporting them both. Dark cherries lie in the background. No hop aroma.
Appearance: Holds the light with a deep cherry to redwood color. While the light is quite restricted through this one, the beer is not opaque by any means. Brilliant clarity presents the deep red hue in this beer. Head pours thick but drops quickly to a nut brown ring. Some lacing.
Flavor: The dark fruits come out initially on the tongue bit there is a pronounced 'twang' that could be perceived as a touch of sourness. This is a very sweet beer with the alcohol presence bringing in a spice character through the middle. White pepper comes to mind. Citric hop flavor and bitterness arrive near the finish, but the flavor is greatly focused toward sweet malt and alcohol. Finishes tart with lingering malt sweetness.
Mouthfeel: Meduim-light body with light carbonation. Alcohol warmth holds the palate through the middle but the tartness offsets this warming effect with a nearly balancing cooling character. It's an interesting opposition.
Overall: The mouthfeel of this beer is most surprising here. While I wouldn't classify it as light bodied, it seems to lack when compared to how sweet and rich the malt character of this beer is. Very nice aroma with a lot of complexity, and that complexity carries into the flavor. A nice winter warmer, or in this case a fine sipper on a cool summer evening.
I rated this beer an A- on BeerAdvocate.