FlacoAlto (3800) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - AUG 9, 2014
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Sampled March 2014
A steady pour into my New Belgium globe glass produces a two finger thick, nicely browned, tan colored head. The beer is a concentrated brown, almost black color that shows a clear, deep, concentrated plum color around the edges when held up to the light. The aroma smells nicely roasted, but has a bright fruit character that leans towards raisins, a soft licorice note, as well as a soft vanilla note that is subdued a bit because the beer does not smell sweet. The roasted notes leans towards a rich, roasted nutty character, and toasted / roasted whole grain toast.
The beer is fairly dry, with a rich roasted character throughout and a soft, lingering vanilla note in the finish. The body is fairly light, but has a bit of chewiness to it, there is a nice carbonation that provides a bit of texture. Despite being dry this still manages to have a rich chocolate note, that supports the more dominant roast character that is nutty, a bit cold coffee like, and some lightly tart burnt character. The fruit character from the nose is here in the flavor, though it is a bit reduced because the beer is fairly dry; notes of roasted plums, and burnt raisins are noticeable. As the beer warms up a bit, I finally start to notice the herbal character; it provides a bit of astringency and woody character to the finish, some fennel notes, and perhaps a bit of rosemary type character.
This is actually a pretty good, the fermentation is more fruit based than having weird spicy notes and overly phenolic yeast character; it works pretty well and makes for an enjoyable beer. Plus, I also like that the vanilla is fairly light here, and the herbal character is as well.
5000 (6265) - Hardened Liver, Washington, USA - MAY 8, 2014
2.8 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 11/20
Bottle:   Very pale roast, somewhat of a dark brown color, with some tart herbal notes.   Would never have guessed this for a Stout had I tried it blind.   Slightly dry, with some bitter dandelion notes.   Reminds me of dandelion tea a bit.   Pale sweetness, a bit tart, herbal, does seem to have some of the characteristics in the description, but its all so minor.   A very soft example of a Stout.   Dunno about this one...
DuffMan (6673) - the land of bitumen, beef & beer, Alberta, CANADA - MAR 11, 2014
1.9 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 3/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 8/20
Wow, this sounds good doesn’t it? I thought so. I brought this bottle to a group game night for sharing. What a dud! Medium brown with an effervescent tan head. The aroma is heavy on herbs with a few phenols thrown in, and a hint of vanilla sweetness. The aroma is definitively un-stoutlike, with no roast traits at all. The palate translates to the same: heavy herbal, medicinal character, almost astringent. Thin, watery mouthfeel. Again, there is a sad paucity of malt here-- just the faintest hint of chocolate. Missing the vanilla hinted at in the nose. For all the romanticism in the description, this beer was failure. Half the bottle sat unfinished, among five eager tasters. Sad.