Revealing itself from the depths of the bottle, this porter shows itself to be of excellent color - dark and slick - with reams of deep, dark mahogany streaming through... beautiful. Two fingers of mocha colored head, dense and finely bubbled, take form with excellent retention. Once this massive plumage resides, there is an ever present cap that encompasses the entire surface area, with most impressive lacing being the ultimate result.
Aroma is of roasted malts, dark, bordering on charring (which I like). Strong notes of cocoa - sweet and seductive. More subtle hints at other sweets... licorice and toffee. A certain spiciness as well - raisin like - but just a slight touch.
Taste is explosive. Copious amounts of roasted malt goodness, and true to the nose - as it brings a good amount of char with it... more so than the aroma - and I completely dig it. Next up is the cocoa - which I understand is added in powder form. Nicely balancing to the roasty nature of this porter. Slight bitterness midway. Again with a bit of spiciness here - anise comes to mind, along with a dark dried fruit aspect - prunes and a touch of fig perhaps. Everything carries throughout the extensive finish... very nice.
Medium to listing towards full in body. Smooth, somewhat thick and sticky... dry coming through towards the homestretch and throughout the finish. Carbonation is a touch "zingy", but not in a bad way. Slight boozy hints... very slight.
I completely enjoyed this. Huge flavor, but nicely balanced so that no one aspect becomes overpowering. BIG. But completely drinkable, fantastic sipper that only gets better and more complex as it warms... I find myself drinking it much faster than I want to - that is a good sign.
Horseheads has quickly become one of my more favorite local breweries - and this is liquid proof. Great little brewery, even better people.
Cheers, Horseheads Brewing!
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