I sampled this at the brewery during the release party. Although they didn't tell me why this was available at other places throughout San Diego before the release date, oh well. The pour is a darker blood red color with some darker highlights throughout. A white capped foamy head garnished the beer.
The nose was mostly grainy with a nice darker caramel presence. Some very light chocolate notes as well. A lighter hop balance with some piney and a touch of earthy notes. Some yeasty and ester aromas, plums and raisins. I also picked up some clover honey but not everyone with us got that.
The taste is similar with a nice malt balance. More caramel and toffee notes. Some lighter biscuit flavors that blend with the hoppiness of the beer. The hops are more prominent with a stronger bitterness than finishing hops, although the piney flavors emphasis this as well. More hoppy than a typical red/amber.
The body is between mid and full. A lighter carbonation but this enhances the malty and fuller body of the beer. Overall a good beer, no matter when you try it.
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