Dogbrick (8907) - Columbus, Ohio, USA - MAR 5, 2011
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Sample at the brewpub. Pours black with a medium tan head that recedes steadily to an outer ring. String lacing on the glass. Aroma of anise and malt. Medium body with a strong black licorice character along with some malt and coffee notes. The finish is all licorice. This is likely a love it or hate it beer, and being a fan of licorice I really enjoyed it.
dm9831 (1512) - Monee, Illinois, USA - FEB 7, 2010
2.9 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
black color, just tiny tan bubbles for a head, somewhat lacy. nose of licorice whips and chocolate with a touch of coffee. flavor of sweet chocolate, licorice with a touch of coffee bitterness. medium bodied, light bitter finish. quite an enjoyable concoction for christmas time. on tap at flossmoor station brewpub.
TheAlum (6053) - Aurora, Illinois, USA - DEC 28, 2009
2.8 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Draft on tap at the brewpub (Flossmoor, IL). The final beer of the bunch, and good thing too as I started to come down with something at this time. Pours a very dark hue, blackish and opaque, a decent brownish head sits atop the beer, a bit creamy, laces ok. Looks as the Devout does largely. Aromas are offputting to me, but then again I dislike black licorice alot. Aromas are pretty dominant licorice, NyQuil, roasted malts. Flavors mirror this up front, a blast of medicinal NyQuil followed by roasted malts and a touch of oatmeal sweetness, fairly good bitterness towards the backend. I think the Devout base is a great beer, and the licorice robs it of anything it had going (Once again, coming from someone who dislikes Black Licorice a lot).
Cornfield (5570) - Oak Forest, Illinois, USA - DEC 24, 2009
3.1 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Day 12 of the 12 Beers of Christmas... a fun experiment that I hope will be repeated. (The 14 Beers of Valentine’s Day, perhaps, Bryan?) The pour was a dark enough brown to be called black under most lighting and was capped wih a dinkus brown head. The aroma was black licorice, pure and simple. When drinking whilst exhaling, the smooth roasted malts of the oatmeal stout surfaced, balancing the flavor. Interesting, but probably the one enjoyed the least.
RAYBOY01 (2012) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - DEC 23, 2009
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
#12 of the 12 Beers of Christmas: Attractive black pour with virtually no head (as opposed to the substantial brown head on the base brew, Devout oatmeal stout) Nose is over-the-top licorice. Flavor is likewise dominated by the over-abundance of licorice...but if you hold your breath while drinking (or as Cornfield suggested to me..."just exhale while drinking") you can overcome the licorice imbalance pretty well. Over spiced as it is, I still liked it well enough to sample another one. But the base beer here gets pretty well lost in the experiment.