Notes added 04/16/2022
2021 Vintage. This is the bottle pictured.
Light solvent alcohol nose that does not really manifest itself in the initial tastes too much.
The beer drinks very easily considering, and if anything feels a little thin. Alcohol is of course there, and burns a little at the extremities of the tongue, but nothing too harsh or cloying. Plenty of gentle smoke in there too. Finish has more solvent alcohol, but again not too abrasive.
It’s not especially bitter, not especially chocolate based, and not quite the beer that I remember, but still enjoyable. Drinks incredibly easily when one considers that ABV!
Original notes 08/01/2008
First off, enormous thanks go out to BA Delerium – an extraordinary generous gift from him to me. Chris, I owe you. A rare chance (these days) to get into a BA Top 100 beer; #28 currently and it’s welcome!
The beer demands my full attention, so I pour the 330 mL bottle into the Terrapin 22 oz snifter (seems like the perfect glass) in three separate portions, I also pour a large glass of fresh, cold water alongside it and I settle down to enjoy the experience.
Jet black pour with an impressive initial head on pouring that settles to a dense, 1/4 inch, perfectly formed espresso like film across the surface of the beer.
The aroma hits me from about 18 inches away. The main smell is a very dark (plain), high cocoa percentage chocolate.
The beer starts with a fairly rich, alcohol laden, slight bitterness. The initial beauty of the brew is the way that is holds a delicious balance. It really prods at the edges of bitterness and high alcohol BUT at the same time it still manages to stay within acceptable boundaries – quite a feat, it treads a fine line AND pulls it off. Although the alcohol is there, in terms of 13% it’s amazingly well-hidden. Some really tasty light acidic fruit in there as well. It’s complex and very well balanced.
Halfway through the beer I grabbed a Black Forest Truffle – the perfect complement to this exceptional beer. A lovely brew that is smooth, very rich and perfectly balanced.