criley2 (40) - Portland, Maine, USA - DEC 16, 2012ClarkVV (6642) - Boston, Massachusetts, USA - OCT 18, 2015
Very dark but not to heavy. Complex with lots going on here. Pleasant but not something I could drink more than two of.
Draught at MWís 8th Anniversary, 10/17/15.ruggedman (647) - Portland, Maine, USA - JAN 23, 2011
Chaos dominating the appearance though some lighter mahogany notes do cluster the edges, with a beige-to-tan head that is small and rapidly dissipating. Clarity indeterminable, but assumedly opaque.
Citrus and lightly pine-like hops in the nose are somewhat overshadowed by chocolate notes and light roast. Some soy, oxidation and bits of vanilla dot the nose as well, but itís not a massive aroma by any means. The massive amounts of various malts whirl about and combine to give complexity but I could do with a bit more of something lighter/brighter to break up that. I guess the hops sort of do that, but the citrus and pine isnít really the first thing Iíd pick. No flaws, and the alcohol isnít overt in the nose.
Lots of chocolate malt, kind of like the doppelbock I just had, with caramel, toffee and very easygoing roastiness mixed in all to varying degrees. Bitterness from the hops is felt, but only slightly, being quite controlled by all of this maltiness. Some crystal malt-like hardness of texture and iced tea-like notes with either some early oxidation (seems odd) or maybe just thatís some of cominbation of malt flavors. Sweet, rather warming and just too much for me. Thereís little finesse or even potential brightness from fruitiness/vinousness or barrel woodiness, which would actually be welcome here, I think. For a beer that must be around 12%abv, itís well-controlled in that department.
Could it be...yes. My favorite beer ever. Pours a dark stout like black with a hint of red. Blends of my 3 favorite Marshall Wharf beers which on their own are fantastic, but together like captain planet they save the day. Aroma of sweet malt, chocolate, vanilla, cake, apricots, citrus. Taste is out of this world...so much going on thereís the massive hop finish (yes i just started at the end) and the sweet middle of a barleywine then this beginning of chocolate cake. This beer does everything. And Marshall Wharf, WE WANT MORE! Seriously...the world would be at peace if we could all have this beer.