TheAlum (5108) - Lisle, Illinois, USA - JUN 2, 2013
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Draft on tap at Kentucky Brunch Release (Decorah, IA). Pours a rich thick deep black hue, opaque and thick, a frothy brownish head atop dies to a creamy ring, laces ok. Good dark ominous body, good legs. Aromas offer maple and coffee, sticky caramel and some vanilla. Roast, toast, and toffee. Maple syrup, gentle oak, vanilla, and faint whiskey wafting. It’s cold, so some warmth should open this up more. Initial is thick and sweet, touches of maple, oak, and cocoa. Sticky caramel, dark roast is mellow grows as it warms. The coffee comes out a bit more roast, a good intensity up front as it trails off, firm presence in the middle. Sticky and firmly flavored, roasty with good vanilla, barrel flavor as we round the corner. Vanilla, coffee, sticky caramel. Toffee, espresso, and richer coffee as we round up, a bit more roasty, sticky, barrel flavor. The base is still thick and firm, not making this pick up much if any heat from the barrel. Oak, roasty, and coffee. I think this is much more drinkable than the Mornin’ Delight. It’s sweet, but not nearly as much. Thick and full, but not overwhelming. The coffee element comes on at just the right time. Really well put together. I prefer this to Mornin, which may just be sensory overload. This one is the gem. Finish is luscious espresso, oak and chewy sweetness, roast. Really nice experience. Damn impressive.
ekoerper (582) - Iowa, USA - FEB 13, 2012
4.7 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Tap at TG. Incredibly rich aroma - tons of fresh coffee, like stuffing your nose in a bag of freshly roasted, oily beans. Lots of chocolate, some caramel, a touch of dark fruits, roasty, slight alcohol note. The barrel notes are a bit subtle to me, but add a slight whiskey character and some complexity. Pours jet black, opaque, thin brown head lingers for a minute, slight lacing. Flavor follows the nose - massive dose of espresso, lots of rich chocolate, nice roast character, bitterness helps balance the big malt profile but is not aggressive. Alcohol is pleasantly warming and generally well hidden, again some complexity and whiskey notes from the barrel. Fairly sweet brew but not cloying, moderately bitter, fairly sweet/rich finish. Very full body, chewy, velvety texture, low-medium carbonation. Killer brew, absolutely fantastic.