NobleSquirrel (3437) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - DEC 11, 2012
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Cask at Half Acre in the tap room. Pours a deep black-brown with a tan head. Nose is robust. Lots of oak here, chocolate and nutmeg. Subtle floral hops. Oak is pretty over the top, imo. On tasting, loads of vanilla and chocolate. Big tannin edge this, puckering dryness overall. Quite clean, though oak bring some more of that nutmeg edge. Not really an improvement over the base.
TheAlum (5701) - Aurora, Illinois, USA - DEC 4, 2011
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Cask on at Fountainhead (Chicago, IL). Exciting! Pours a nice rich blackish hue, some touches of brown glow on the bottom, with a loose bubbly cask head that fades to an ok layer, light lacing. Aromas pop, coffee and toast mix with gentle roast, cocoa, and oak, vanilla, and gentle spice. A touch of earthy hops dance on the nose, with a pleasant dryness, more oak, and coffee/roasted malts and a gentle sweetness. Initial is lighter end of medium bodied, offering dark fruit and roast up front, dry hops, a touch of florals, and more cocoa and mellow roast work into the fold. Backend thins up a bit, preaching more cocoa, some gentle sweetness, solid roast and some decent coffee essence. Some anise, more dark fruit, and a gentle smokiness into the finish, the oak touches, with a dry roasty and hoppy finish, a touch of ashiness. Light gentle body, with some powerful flavors. Quite drinkable. Flavors linger on, some gentle smoke and a good dose of cocoa, roasted earthy malts, gentle sweetness, a touch of vanilla and wet wood from the oak. Interesting, flavors stick with me for good. Really dug the flavors here, body was a touch dissappointing. Nice, different than the draft base. But good. Scores are similar, but beers are different experiences for me. More of the fresh dry hopping up front trailing into a still roast/cocoa melange and a touch of smoke into the finish.