Dark chestnut approaching black pour, with a great looking mocha head. Surprisingly rich looking head (and good lace and retention) for such a massive ABV.
Also surprisingly, the beer gives up mostly chocolate on the nose. As it opens up with temperature, the bourbon notes come through a little more, but still …
Tastes are heavily laden with tobacco bitterness, tannins, and leather as the initial impressions. As it warms, the complexity increases with all of those still hanging on, and then chocolate and alcohol infused cherries come crashing in. This chocolate cherry thing is the best part of the beer for me.
More bitter smoke in the back, and then earthy amongst the brutal bitter notes. There’s a lot going on here, and none of it is easy on the palate. I keep getting those cherries in amongst the black coffee and barrage of bitterness and leather.
Coating mouthfeel of course, but not overwhelming, not cloying, and all things considered quite ‘light’ (yes, it’s all relative).
This drinks very heavily, and not really because of the ABV. Don’t get me wrong, most of the ABV is there in the taste, but the beer is ‘big’ in way more ways than just that. It’s hard on the palate and the senses, and for me involved splitting even a 12 oz bottle.
You have to be in the mood for this, and if you’re looking for this kind of thing it’s probably going to hit the spot, but there’s no let up, and for me the tobacco is relentless.