Additional notes 08/06/23
Almost 14 years on, and WOW. WOW! The pour (pictured) is extraordinary. A decent pop on removing the cap, and a little gun-smoke – surprising. Head is inexplicable for the age and the ABV. I have no words.
Lots of bitter licorice first. Hang on though. Rich, malty notes beyond a barrel experience and creeping into a Madeira element. In fact, the more I drink it this feels like Madeira laced with a touch of charcoal. Light roasty coal. More charcoal, but oh so gentle. More brown sugar, some marzipan. Gosh.
Astonishing, outstanding, and a beer that I just didn’t think would hold up this well, but this is a masterpiece. Nobody can predict what will happen over this length of time, and I may not have always had this beer under the perfect cellaring conditions, but through a combination of luck, judgment, serendipity and some other unknown factors here we are. Open soon, enjoy and revel in a truly magnificent experience.
Original notes 12/03/09
$11.99 (I think) from Arbor Place, Douglasville, GA, USA. 750 mL bottle, capped, dimpled bottom.
Pour is a very, very dark chestnut brown approaching black. Initially the head is very high but this fades to a thin, mocha, spotty impressive film. Not much lace but that’s OK considering the ABV. This is a good looking beer. To be honest the carbonation seemed a touch high for the style and there was a light prickle in the mouthfeel that although not troublesome, again seemed a touch out of line with the traditional aspects of the style.
Some fruity bread in the nose.
There’s a surprising amount of licorice and burned character here. Some charcoal and a fair dose of alcohol as well, but also some fruity acidity. It’s a bit of a crazy mix. There is indeed some Belgian dark character, but there is also some Belgian based stout notes as well. I guess the Belgian stout flavor is the cocoa nibs coming through. I don’t get much nutty flavor from the pecans though. Some sweet and sour
in the finish as well. Even a touch of lactose milk stout. Interesting mix!
Interesting, and a really nice beer that you should try if you get the chance, BUT it does push “Belgian Dark” a little too far for me. It’s there (or thereabouts), but it’s at the extremes of the style for me and in that respect, although I really liked it there are quite a few in the style that I would choose before it.