This delicious offering was their 2010 release and was one of the first beers I decided to actually sit down and critically evaluate. Then after finishing half the 22 oz bomber, I was feeling creative and decided to write a little narrative about the tasting experience. What can I say, at least it was a start. By the way, I was not able to cellar a second bottle. I was able to find another one, just not able to cellar it…What is it they say again about Patience?
From the first pour into my glass, I was amazed at the pitch blackness that ran down the side of the glass. I expected a beer like Abyss to be dark, this is completely opaque yet very clear.
I have to admit, I was already a bit buzzed before taking my first impressions, so I forgot about the whole “aroma first” step. But my first flavor perceptions were, liquor (Duh! It was aged in liquor barrels.), liquorice, and bitter, roastedness. After a few sips, it starts to get much more complex. Tons of dark coffee, dark chocolate flavors begin to emerge once your palate becomes used to the 11% ABV.
About half way through my 22oz bomber I contemplated not finishing the rest, since I was feeling pretty woozy. But after deciding that a $14 beer is not going to be wasted, I poured the remainder of the bottle (which turned out to be a bit more than half), and lo and behold, I am sitting here about 20 minutes later, writing this review about how amazing this beer is. It turns into an extremely smooth and silky stout that keeps your mouth craving for more.
The aroma (way late in the game) is heavily reminiscent of dark coffee and carmelized sugars with liquor undertones. Not too strong, allowing for flavors to really provide a kick and show off the complexity.
Overall, my impressions are great. I think this is a great boozy, winter-warmer type beer (or early Spring warmer, as I enjoyed it tonight on March 27, 2011). I plan on buying at least one more (if I can find it still!) to “cellar” until next winter and see how the flavors change.