22oz bottle thanks to BitterBill for the opportunity.
Pour is a standard black, with some brownish highlights at the extremities. Head appears quickly but it is very “fizzy” and then it dies immediately. Coupled with the color, the beer looks EXACTLY like a freshly poured Coke – exactly. The head (or rather the lack of it) is rather disappointing and although the color is good but the overall appearance is not all that thrilling.
The nose gives a heap of sweet molasses and vanilla and a lot of rich, marzipan/almond based notes. Very attractive.
The tastes reflect some of that, and the tastes give a little more alcohol than the nose would suggest. Lovely, warming sherry like character in the finish and a gentle kiss of bitter licorice in the ending. Really tasty with some lovely brown sugar and delicate alcohol heat. Small amount of detectable evaporation on the tongue. The sherry adds massively to the experience for me. Some big, bold forest fruits and a healthy dose of rich, caramel based malt.
Scores are ALL over the place here. The appearance is a bit disappointing because of the apparently high carbonation for the style, but the color is good. The mouthfeel lacks depth and smoothness because of the fizzy carbonation, but the nose and tastes are both great.
Drinkability is good too.
Nice, but for me the fizzy nature ultimately slightly detracted from what would otherwise be a stellar beer. I’d like to try this with some age.