JAF737300 (1291) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - APR 15, 2011
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Pours dark brown with the true rich notes of chocolate and espresso beans. These dive into a full onslaught of flavors throughout the mouthfeel where you pick up some of the grain malts.....you get the vanilla hit on the finish.
chibuck (3509) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - MAR 30, 2011
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
On tap at the pub...Pours a light black that stays black, even at the edges, A light tan head. The retention is so-so only lingering a bit before leaving only a ring...The aroma is fantastic in small doses, otherwise I get olfactory fatigue. Coffee on the front with freshly added vanilla on the finish. The vanilla is great, but sharp and too strong, after a few seconds becomes way sweet and Iíve had enough. Much more vanilla than the BCS Vanilla. As it warms and you drink more the vanilla finally fades...The taste is pretty much the same story. Huge burst of roasted coffee on the front, then tons of sweet vanilla on the finish. The extremes of each is too much for me to handle. Especially, the vanilla. This is way to sweet, almost candy or vanilla bean extract.
Too sweet and too boring to recommend. This would be interesting if they toned down the flavors.
BBB63 (6557) - La Porte, Indiana, USA - FEB 6, 2011
3.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Tap Clybourn: Basically looks just like the regular Snead but the head is a bit larger and lasts longer. The aroma has notes of espresso, roast, toast, charred malts, bittersweet chocolate, vanilla bean, some earthy leathery and herbal esters, with a touch of walnut and brown sugar. The taste starts with a chocolate and roast forefront with a biscuity and ashy malt supporting crew before the vanilla bean makes itself known. Just as you think this is pretty sweet comes the espresso and hop bitters to balance out the palate. The coffee flavor pretty much dominates the finish, a tad ashy and astringent. The mouth feel is smooth and a touch oily, a bit softer and thinner than the regular Snead, more astringent. Overall I think I liked the regular better has the espresso seemed a bit much for the base beer (and I am a coffee drinker and homeroaster) plus I am not a huge fan of vanilla bean in my beers.
TheAlum (6926) - Aurora, Illinois, USA - FEB 1, 2011
4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Snifter on tap at the brewpub (Chicago, IL). New beer.. Awesome. Pours a pitchblack opaque dark pour, a small frothy brownish head dies to a thicker layered fil, light lacing that eventually dies to a ring. Aromas are rich, dominated by Black Cat coffee, touches of mellow sweet vanilla beans, roasted malts, overtaken by the coffee aspect. Touches of deep roast. Initial is rich, medoum bodied maybe a little lighter, moving into big roasty and earthy Black Cat coffee, touches of vanilla, roasted barley, some sweet toffee and biscuits fall behind as the coffee beans take control. Coffee rich porter letís the Black Cat take the reigns, work it, and leave everyone who visits a happy camper. Rich and roast, some vanailla, cocoa, light sweetness, but overall, quite dry and roasty, with a huge Black Cat element. The vanilla treatment definitely falls back or gets covered up. Nice.. But I like coffee and Black Cat Espresso a lot
pantanap (3366) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - JAN 30, 2011
3.8 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
4iz sample at goose island clybourn... Pours similarly to the regular Snead with your average stouty black pour wit a reddish cola
brown tinge at the edges and a quickly dissipating light khaki head... Aroma is improved while showcasing the black cat fresh espresso appeal with lighter vanilla tines wafting in the background. Pretty enticing aroma to say the least but I do have a font affinity towards coffee forward brews while not bein an everyday coffee drinker... Flavors maintain the espressa based focus while the vanilla beans mingle freely in a synergistic manner. A light bitterness presents itself but less so than the standard sneed.l and finishe on a bittersweet note. Body seems a touch softer than its kin as well and a tad less carbonated.
wedgie9 (2612) - Nashville, Tennessee, USA - JAN 28, 2011
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Tasted on 1/26/11 on draft at the Clybourn Brewpub. Pours opaque black with a thin tan head that recedes to a very thin collar of lace. The nose is freshly roasted coffee, bitter dark chocolate, and a natural vanilla aroma that is also somewhat earthy. The flavor is very strong coffee, dark chocolate, darkly roasted malt, natural vanilla, and bitterness on the back. The body is medium with average carbonation and a long bitter, coffee, and vanilla finish.