TheAlum (5964) - Aurora, Illinois, USA - MAR 26, 2013
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Cask pour at the tap room (Chicago, IL). Nice cask surprise on a Friday halfday during the tourney. Pours a deeper blackish brown pour, good haziness and deep near opaque hues. Some light on the edges and bottom show copper, brown glow. A frothy light brown head atop dies to a looser layer, mellow lacing. Pretty. Aromas offer biscuits and coffee, cool mellow sweet vanilla, gentle spice from the Dark Matter. Some biscuits, dark and sweet cocoa mix into each other. Caramel, some more chocolate. The vanilla and coffee treatment side-by-side with regular Camaro really offer some life. Initial is a bit roasty and dry up front, quickly hitting with some sweet vanilla but more coffee, earthy roast, espresso, and gentle spiciness from the coffee. The treatment is firm and really enjoyable. Middle shows silky sweet dark and sweet cocoa, caramel and biscuits. Sweet malts meet roasty rich coffee elements, glide over the palate, aided by some nice vanilla bean cool mellow sweetness. I think the coffee end of this cask takes the reigns, backend showing roast and spice, dark chocolate and sweet chocolate, some fudgey elements, caramel and biscuits, a bit silky and sweet, sticky girth shows a touch more into the backend. Finish is dry, cocoa and roasty coffee. Some smooth creamy vanilla sneaks in. Been awhile since I’ve had any Chocolate Camaro, but this treatment really works well. The base is pretty nice this year, but a rich dose of coffee and supporting vanilla bean up the ante here. A bit decadent but never thick or big, so to speak. The coffee, specifically the Dark Matter El Dorado really almost offers a unique spiciness here. Well done.
NobleSquirrel (3438) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - MAR 25, 2013
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Cask the tap room. Nice surprise!. Pours with low carbonation, deep brown, near black with a tan head. Nose shows good coffee and some soft vanilla to go with the rich chocolate here. The vanilla may be accentuating the sweetness overall, trending it back towards the sweet end but the coffee works well to add some much needed bitterness on the palate. Creamy and really drinkable. If it were a bit less sweet, it would be perfect.