TAR (2765) - Blue Ridge Mountains, North Carolina, USA - OCT 14, 2008
Draft at GABF (numerous samples): Penetrable black. Tight beige head. Vinous nose consists of black licorice, dried plums, tar, and chocolate-covered espresso beans. Whispers of tar and burnt cookies. Soft and gooey on the palate with a liquefied toffee feel. Initially super silky with an early bite of espresso which is gently curtailed by a dense molasses and port-steeped plum core. Outstanding structure and restraint. Snap of char melds seamlessly with the lustrous espresso and smoky roast. Zippy metallic char beautifully neutralizes the high concentration of sugars. Vinous twang accompanies the slightly zingy, appetizing espresso-derived acid. Smoky snippets of roast illuminate the dark fruity esters as a dab of fruitcake emerges alongside lightly scorched toffee. Finishes wonderfully soft and cohesive with a snappy counterbalance of roast which lurks beneath a gooey trail of molasses and oily espresso. A beefy yet elegant rendition. Very solid all around. jarspag (601) - San Francisco, California, USA - OCT 13, 2008
GABF ’08. I honestly thought this was going to take down the amateur competition for Gold. No medal?!? This was seriously amazing...One of my favorite stouts in recent memory...must have taken 6-7 samples of this stuff. In one word: dank! Cheers Julian, keep it up. can8ianben (1554) - State College, Pennsylvania, USA - SEP 9, 2008
Oh wow. Just an incredible powerful coffee flavored beer. Thick and syrupy, a beer that will coat your mouth and give you a lingering coffee flavored bitterness. This is a beer you feel like you might have to chew it, or maybe have it topped with frothy milk. Jet black, a brown/tan head, just a very impressive beer. hopscotch (11113) - Vero Beach, Florida, USA - SEP 3, 2008
Draft... RBSG... This beer rocks!... Pitch black with a small, creamy, beige head. Excellent retention. Aromas of rich chocolate and espresso beans. Full-bodied with a satiny mouthfeel and soft carbonation. Loads of burnt, bitter, roasted notes in the flavor. Freshly ground espresso and dark, semi-sweet chocolate. Lengthy, charred, bitter finish. Really nice! bb (9311) - Alamo, California, USA - AUG 19, 2008
Draft. Blackish beer with a tan head. Big chocolate, roast, coffee aroma. Chocolate flavor with coffee and even more roast. Medium-plus bodied. Chocolate, coffee, and light roast linger.
jsh12bama (681) - Alabama, USA - AUG 18, 2008
Draft @ Solana Beach. Pours black with thick tan head. Huge coffee notes with chocolate notes as well. Taste is all coffee. Nice, thick mouthfeel. Rich and chewy. Very good. DaSilky1 (2606) - San Diego, California, USA - AUG 16, 2008
jet negro with a tall, thick and f’in creamy looking tan head. nose full of creamy chocolate and tart coffee. prickly carbination. thick, almost semi-solid body...bitter sweet chocolate flavors and significantly hoppy, too much actually. in fact, at least at colder temps (as served) this is a hop bomb and the bitterness takes over the entire experience leaving little room to concentrate on the other flavors. its hard to get past the bitterness, but i can see glimmers of chocolate here and there and can almost realize that those chocolatey malt notes are nice, full & creamy..its just too bad this bitterness will not allow me to fully enjoy them. maybe i will sit here, alone at pp solana beach and allow this monster to warm a little, i’d like to give it a chance....but people are staring at me whilst i rate this on my smartphone, as they call them. waiting...waiting...warming...warming...oooh, i see a new beer in the bottle case, gotta go. yespr (45508) - Copenhagen O, DENMARK - AUG 6, 2008
UPDATED: AUG 16, 2011 From tap at Solana Beach. Pours pitch black with a lacing and creamy tan head. Hard roasted malt and coffeeish aroma. Flavour is extremely smooth chocolate malt and espresso beans. Hard roasted and dry yet yummy. Lingering creamy finish. Lovely. papajohn (1250) - San Diego (Mira Mesa), California, USA - AUG 3, 2008
goldtwins (4320) - Nesconset, New York, USA - JUL 30, 2008
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Solana: Pure black color with a medium light brown (cocoa froth) head. Aroma is dark chocolate and light coffee. Flavor starts rich dark chocolate followed by malted milk with a hint of licorice and a light coffee bitterness in the finish. Full body is rich, smooth and sticky with modest carbonation.
Tap @ Solana. Poured black with a tan head. Sweet coffee and roasted malt aroma. Sweet black coffee and roast. Sugary. Full body and sticky. Big warmth.