Appearance: It poured a very dark brown with some reddish highlights against the light. We got an initially thick mocha-colored head that quickly dissipated.
Aroma: There's a yeasty smell like rising bread dough crossed with overripe fruit. A slight whiff of burnt sugar gives it an edge.
Taste: Right away, we tasted sweet cherries and a caramely, coca-cola-esque flavor. This gives way to molasses and spicy ginger with a haunting sourdough yeastiness in the background. It finished peppery and with a slightly medicinal bitterness on the end.
It had a surprisingly thin mouthfeel (we expected something thicker and more syrupy) with a good amount of carbonation. The alcohol was well-hidden and it definitely sneaks up on you!
Overall: We love how much is going on in this beer. Every sip seemed to reveal something different, and yet it all comes together without clashing. Personally, we would like a little less carbonation and a little more creaminess - the fizz was a little distracting and made it feel like drinking soda pop.
Food Pairings: We'd pair this with richly flavored stews and roasts: grilled steak, roast chicken, caramelized onions, and sautéed mushrooms. It would also go well with dark chocolate desserts or strongly-flavored cheese.
Have you had this beer? What do you think?
(Image: Emma Christensen)