Was Billy the Kid from Germany? Nice name for a schwarzbier. The pour is a darker brown hue with great clarity. A nice foamy head that reamined for a while but did dies eventually. Good lacing while it lasted as well.
The nose was malty. A noticeable grainy character with chocolate and caramel notes being the most detectable. Some hints of roasted and maybe a touch of bready characteristics as well. The yeast smell is also present that is specific to FCB. Not much of a german feel, but more of a English porter.
The taste is a little different. A smoother taste that is more malty the grainy. The chocolate presence is still noticeable but subtle with a lactic feel. A sweeter flavor of caramel really throws off a light smokey taste that reminds me more of liquid smoke than anything else. This is skewed by a somewhat lemony citrus finish. Overall the balance between sweet and sour if off.
The body is has a more mid then light feel to it. Carbonation is a little light. Overall I just don't feel this is a schwarz and there is a sweet and sour thing going on that just doesn't feel right. Maybe its me.
As I pour this into my 25cl tulip glass I get a full, roasted aroma. The head forms an initially three finger thick, slightly brown, tan color that recedes at a medium pace. The beer is an opaque black color that shows a stunningly, brilliantly clear, rich ruby hue when held up to the light. Roasted notes take on flavors of deeply browned bread crust, black coffee, burnt grain flavors and a soft, but substantial salty smokiness; this last made me look at the bottle & yep there is some smoke malt in the grain bill. I really like the extra depth that the smoked malt adds to the aroma.
Fairly light bodied with a touch of sweetness to it that is accentuated by the fact that it is a bit cold. Warming the beer helps a bit, including a boost to the body which seemed a bit thin before. The finish has a touch of chalkiness to it in addition to a thin smoke note that isn't nearly as lush and appetizing as it is in the aroma. A significant roast character provides lost of burnt flavors, a touch of acidity, some astringent burnt grain husk flavors. A touch of fruitiness seems to be here at times, though it is very subtle, but most reminds me of burnt cherries. The roast grain here definitely supplies a bit of bitterness to the finish.
This has a great aroma to it, but unfortunately the flavor doesn't quite live up to the promise of the nose. Not bad, but the aroma got me expecting something that was quite tasty.
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