bu11zeye (11740) - Frisco (Dallas), Texas, USA - APR 15, 2013
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
(Draught) Pours an opaque black body with a medium tan head. Aroma of vanilla, lactose, and chocolate. Flavor of lactose, chocolate, roasted malt, and caramel.
Hopper (827) - San Antonio, Texas, USA - MAR 16, 2013
3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
On tap at the Friendly Spot. Itís a black color with a moderate head. The aroma is roasted with some spices. I donít really get any other egg nog type of smell. The taste is roasted, very acidic, and some more spices. The palate is a little thin though not too much. I admit I wanted to try an egg nog stout after seeing the tap handle but it just didnít accomplish the mission of an eggnog stout. Itís a spiced stout.
ansermadide (1407) - Kyle, Texas, USA - MAR 13, 2013
2.6 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 10/20
Wow... an eggnog stout, eh? Extra points to Branchline just for coming up with the idea. It looks like your average stout, solid black, but with a thin, short-lived, very light brown-colored head. It has an interestingly sweet aroma that, only on close, strong nasal inspection, smells of sweet, roasted malts. No coffee or chocolate is apparent in the nose - strictly tame roasted malts. Okay, I lied, maybe thereís a touch of chocolate. In the mouth, yep, thereís definitely a vanilla-like sweetness coupled with some chocolate, which leads to an almost watered-down roasted malt bitterness in the finish. The eggnog factor isnít up front, and in my opinion if you didnít know to look for it you probably couldnít pin the otherwise, simply, soft, earthy, almost spicy dullness on anything, really.
I donít think it tastes much like eggnog at all, really. It just tastes like a semi-sweet, chocolate-heavy, highly-roasted, low-alcohol stout. If you put too much of this into your mouth at one time, though, something strange happens to something under the sides of your tongue (at least mine). My mouth reacts similar to the way it does with a sour beer, but with no sweat or puckering. Itís more of a seizure, a retreat of the sensors. The more I think about it, and the more I drink of this, it starts to become unpleasant after 5-6 ounces through the glass and, yet, feels a little watered down or empty in the grain bill department. Perhaps a better compatible hop would have filled in the gaps?
This is my first engagement with a Branchline beer, and Iíll at least give them props for making a good low-alcohol stout that has just enough of a unique character to keep it entertaining enough to set it apart from the rest (of bland, low-alcohol semi-sweet stouts). It lives up to (part of) itís name - it certainly is black as night.
kidmartinek (2965) - austin, Texas, USA - FEB 7, 2013
2.5 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 11/20
Pours dark brown, almost black. Draws down clean. Has a distinct egg and vanilla aroma. The flavor IA egg not and vanilla with a little chocolately malt. Is is what it says it is.