Appearance: This dark tawny-brown ale pours pretty darn clear and with a frothy head of meringue-like foam that sticks around. Some nice lacing on the glass, too.
Aroma: A ripe fruit fragrance is front and center in the nose: plum and cherry, fig, bananas about to go brown. This carried into brown sugar and milk chocolate aromas laced with a soft anise note.
Taste: This one tastes very much like how it smells! Dark fruit flavors mellow into soft chocolate and caramel. Earthy, herbal hops add some tang in the end, but this beer stays very mellow and smooth-tasting. As it warmed, there were more notes of fig and date - it actually reminded me of our favorite sticky toffee cakelets!
It's a medium-bodied beer, but an element of creaminess gives it a thicker mouthfeel. The alcohol adds a little heat. I was surprised at how clean-tasting and flavorful this beer stayed as I drank it. So often, beers like this start to leave a sticky, too-sweet feel in the mouth that interferes with the tasting all the flavor nuances. Not this one!
Food Pairings: Despite the fact that this is a darker beer, it's still a good one for summer. Open it after dinner and have it with your ice cream and cookie course. It would also be amazing with grilled fruit!
What do you think of this beer?
(Image: Emma Christensen)