FlacoAlto (4220) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - DEC 14, 2012
Sampled on tap at 1702, Tucson, AZ; October 2012
Arrives from the tap with a creamy, ¼-finger thick, pale tan colored head. The beer is a dark copper / amber color that shows a brilliantly clear, bright amber hue when held up to the light. The aroma smells of cracker like toasted / caramelized malt, as well as a firm, peppery spiciness that lightly scents things. Vanilla notes start to come out more as the beer warms up,
Lots of malt character, with a sort of spiciness that tastes a bit like cinnamon, and the finish has lots of smooth vanilla to it and perhaps a bit of a spicy, perhaps woody bite. The body has a slight viscous feel to it, though it is quite quaffable. The vanilla notes are the dominant note here for sure, there is a touch of noticeable malt character with some light caramelized malt, and touches of cracker like whole grain; the Bourbon character is actually fairly muted here, there is perhaps a hint of spicy oak character, but this is quite subtle.
Works for the Holiday season, if you are in the mood for a spiced beer. I like how smooth the vanilla is, but could wish for a bit more complexity from the base beer; actually this beer makes me realize why I like vanilla in darker beers, as the base beer character is able to come through quite a bit more; which is funny, b/c this was supposed to be a Porter, but the dark malts got left out by the supplier.