cquiroga (371) - Tujunga, California, USA - AUG 15, 2004
4/26/04. On draft at Lucky Baldwin’s in Pasadena, CA 4/26/04. Pours a very dark brown, slightly murky with a reddish glow. Head is slight, tan-grey with a very thin, lingering sheath. Lacing is superb, ashen and sticky, somewhat blotchy. Aroma is surprisingly fruity for as dark as the beer is. I thought it was going to be dirty and twiggy. Almost vinous and woody. Hops are there, and slight caramel malts to go with sweet and light fruit. Initial taste is a creamy, luscious and vinous experience. Lovely hum of alcohol chases the swallow. Caramel malts, twiggy hop/malt interplay (there it is!), and a hop glow with apparent alcohol. Nice tease between sweet and dry, but it’s a tad bland and overly alcoholic. Medium-full, wonderful body. Finish is extremely bitter, dirty malt with lingering caramel and some bread. Very long and pleasant, forging a nice middle ground between kick-your-ass and soothing. A little bit too simple to be mind-blowing. It coats part of your mouth, but doesn’t take over your body and mind. Sticky on the lips, a slight taste of wax way down deep. Goes down very nice and smooth but punishes afterwards. Quite nice overall.