Poured from a stubby 12-ounce brown bottle into a Belgian-style chalice, the beer appears a rich, semi-hazed, deep brown with ruddy hues; a creamy beige head dresses the top, with a wispy center and ringed lace.
Malty aromatics make their way to the nose as soon as the bottle is cracked, full with toffee, fruit, soft spices, metallics, faint flora, earth, fresh roots, a bready yeast edge and a deep, spicy and warming alcohol. Lush feel on the palate, with creamy, smooth carbonation. Malt base is even, with the taste of dark overripe stone fruits, a distinct prune edge, and rounded juiciness, not overly sweet. Light charring in the background, some burnt sugars, a touch of orange blossom honey and some steeliness. Dry toward the finish, with a lingering alcohol warmth and spice, root and earth character, and a big yeasty smack at the very end.
The 11.2-ounce stubby bottle pours a muddy copper with a creamy and frothy beige head and sticky retention. Decanted carefully to keep the dregs (which are plentiful) from pouring out of the bottle. Yeasty, lightly vegetal, metallic, with a subtle spiciness and sweet alcohol in the nose. Light on the palate, with a prickly carbonation and creaminess in its wake. Delicious dark fruitiness of cherries, raisins and ripe plums. Very malty, with undertones of sweet chocolate, mild coffee and caramelized sugars. Crisp, dry edge. Spicy alcohol, a splash of coriander, and a slight tartness that helps tease and tame the sweetness. Soft, drying, powdery feel in the finish. Incredibly more-ish, as in, why, yes we’d to have another. And with a very deceptive 11 percent alcohol by volume, we will.