TAR (2778) - Blue Ridge Mountains, North Carolina, USA - DEC 16, 2011
Cask-conditioned at Avery in 2008: Served too cold. Caramel-hued ebony. Sudsy, big-bubbled head. Decent nose of creamed coffee, roasted nuts, baker’s chocolate and raisin. Dab of chocolate taffy, chalky and earthy hop perfume. Soft, lifeless and watery mouthfeel. Initially chalky with a dry roasty snap colliding with a softer supportive base of straw and nutty malt sweetness. Flabby at times, though a healthy dose of pale malts generates a wafery vanilla-tinged sweetness which keeps it from becoming overly so. Bitter chocolate emerges alongside a mellow plum twang and yeasty astringency. Snug earthen hop bitterness gently stings the tongue with a tealike quality. Closes tobacco-accented and malty soft with subtle notes of biscuit swirled with anise-like hops and a continuation of leafy bitterness. Serviceable but ultimately forgettable. Ernest (7787) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - DEC 25, 2008
Head is mostly diminishing.
Body is dark brown to black.
Aroma is moderately malty (roasted grain, chocolate), lightly hoppy (grapefruit, apricot), lightly yeasty (dough).
Flavor is moderately sweet, lightly to moderately acidic, lightly bitter.
Finish is lightly sweet, lightly to moderately acidic, moderately bitter.
Medium body, watery texture, lively carbonation.
A bit tart for my tastes, but decent overall. Ratman197 (15208) - Arvada, Colorado, USA - NOV 19, 2008
Blend of 14’er ESB and Czar on tap @ Avery Tasting Room during 2008 Czar tapping party poured a clear dark brown with a small lingering brown head. Aromas of carmel, milk chocolate and light fruittiness. Palate was medium bodied and smooth. Flkavors of dark chocolate, carmel, fruittiness, smoke and light roastiness with a smooth lingering moderatly bitter finish. FlacoAlto (4216) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - OCT 22, 2008
Served on Cask at Avery Brewing Company3fourths (9357) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - OCT 8, 2008
The beer is handed to me with a deep amber, brown tinged color that has a very spotty, tan colored head. The aroma has lots of roast malt character to it with notes of toasted whole grain bread, roast coffee notes, as well as lots of biscuit-like notes towards the finish. Fruity, berry-like hop aromatic notes start to become noticeable after a minute or two, after my nose gets used to the dark grain notes. The aroma is definitely more malt oriented, but the hop character does add a nice accent.
My first sip has a hop forward flavor of berries at first, but then it quickly develops a herbal note. The roast character comes to fore in the finish with notes of lightly roasted coffee, roasted / lightly burnt malt as well as a lingering hop bittered finish. Definitely nice and quaffable, this could certainly have been served a touch warmer though. This is interesting, but I would have liked to taste more of the ESB character. As it warms though a bit more of the caramel malt becomes noticeable as does more of the fruity hop flavors.
UPDATED: OCT 9, 2008 2008 GABF week @ Avery. Cask. Dark brown colored body, some chestnut-purple hues at the edges and sides. Minimal head as expected. Wet and chewy, fresh and slightly sweet malt body, some wood and walnut and caramel notes, balanced by a dry pine nut sort of hop character... toffee seems to develop over the middle, and roast is apparent but overall fairly light. Comes across like a hoppy and bright brown ale, and FWIW it’s pretty darn good.