2002 bottled edition- Very, very dark brown color overall with deep ruby highlights within its realm of dark fog when held up to the light. Thin cocoa brown head that subsides quickly and leaves clear spotty lace.
Smell has lots of good sweet roastyness to it, deep and rich, thick sweetened chocolate layered on top of heavily roasted malts, small hops and a hint of smokey woodish earth lightly showing up as it warms with a note of coffee in it.
Taste is smooth and roasty sweet, light bitter sweet chocolate, lightly tangy sweet roasted malts. Well rounded and soft, a small amount of hops pleasantly keeps a nice bittering bite and balance over the roasty sweetness. Some coffeeish senses along with a gentle effervescense of smokeyness sneaks its way past the roasty sweetness as well. There's some dark fruity bread chewyness that reminds of a x-mas favorite of mine, a dark marble rye-cinnamon-cherry bread that makes it a pleasing memorable experience for me. Its not overly complex, it has very subtle qualities and when served at the desired warmer temp the smokey characteristics become a bit more noticeable, but never enough to overwhelm.
Feel is smooth and creamy, medium, close to full body, lightly chewy aspect with a sticky roastyness covering the tongue and mouth in the finish; my favorite part of this beer, or for any porter for that matter.
A very smooth drinkin' porter that goes down pretty easy. Its not quite as bold or rich as some, but its a definate keeper; worth the effort of finding and a must try for all.