Pretty darn nice. I like the bottle presentation too, with the gold foil and nice label.
Excellent deep brown color, and lovely tan head that is really quite creamy. A small amount of lacing. The alcohol comes through strong, but there is a nice balance amongst the malt, hops and nuttiness. A roasted richness is present as well.
I was a bit dubious of this being classified as a brown ale with the relatively high ABV, since to me one of the more characteristic traits of a great brown ale is likely to be its mild, easy drinking nature. I thought that this could be impaired by the alcohol but they seem to complement one another.
Alcohol is prominent in the nose too.
Very smooth drinking and a nice, full mouthfeel. More and more nuttiness in the finish as it warms.
Label says enjoy with four months of June ’05, but as usual this seems largely a meaningless stat as I thought this was super a couple of months later, and doubtless would be for a long, long time yet.
Very, very nice, good value too @ $2.95 for the 473 mL bottle.