Thanks go out to Robert for providing these samples at a recent Brick Store tasting. 220z bottle.
I’ve got to say right off the bat, that a beer at nearly 13% ABV kind of puts me off right from the beginning. Coupled with such a potentially enormous style, you are treading a very precarious line betweeen disaster and success. Sometime this can be pulled off, but it is a high risk, low reward strategy IMO.
Anyway on to the beer. Jet black pour as far as I could see, with a slight red/brown highlight at the very edge of the brew. Head fades to nothing fairly quickly to leave a spotty film with only a touch of lace. Looks just about as expected for the style and the ABV. Good legs.
Alcohol is upfront in the note, but there is a lack of chocolate or roasted notes until you get to the taste. This beer seems to me as though all of the elements of such a beer are there, but they are combined in a somewhat unbalanced and jumbled way. Even as far as to say that each mouthful seems different to the next. Now, sometimes you can call that complexity, but in this instance the roasty dark elements that compete with the oat/cereal backbone seems to create and uncomfortable marriage. The size of the ABV doesn’t exactly help.
I dunno, this just fails to come together well for me. I get the impression that al lthe ingredients are there, but the sum of the parts falls short.