Big thanks to hoppymeal and BidDaddyWil for sending me this beer as an extra, I really wanted to try it! Cheers to both!
Pours an intensely dark color, and even a slow pour produced a good inch of foam that settled to a thin layer in about one minute.
Wow, intense aroma of bourbon and whiskey, so much that it made me shiver and shake and have flashbacks of pounding the hard stuff in my teens. Not a huge fan on such an overwhelming liquor aroma in my beers but I’ll try. Ok, after the initial shock this smells incredibly good. The bourbon tones down quite a lot and what is left is a mixture of vanilla, Irish crème, condensed milk, sweet chocolate, oak, rocky road ice-cream, maraschino cherries, whipped cream and bourbon in the background. There is so much going on in this beer; there is also brown sugar, charred wood, roasted barley, bitter chocolate and oak. Very complex but well integrated. There’s still quite a bit of heat that overlaps with the other aromas.
Now on to the first sip….wow there’s the cherry, oak, wood, chocolate, bourbon, roasted barley…hold on hold on, let me catch my breath! A little tart at first because of the cherries, then it leads to vanilla, chocolate and lots of oak (the oak profile in the flavor reminds me of the Abyss). After a few sips I begin to taste the Irish crème flavor, maybe some hazelnut, definitely some nutty flavors near the finish and aftertaste. The aftertaste is a little dry with oak chips, a touch of bourbon, chocolate and vanilla, maybe some sugar cookie too.
During the pour I could see the tiny bubbles quickly forming and bursting rather quickly, which I’ve experienced with other beers and the mouthfeel tends to be overly carbonated and sharp on the tongue, but that is not the case with this one. Well carbonated and smooth on the palate, the sourness of the cherry is what hits the tongue first and then the carbonation passes smoothly and cleans the palate.
This beer is an interesting one. I was a little apprehensive at first with the blast of bourbon but it turned out to be delicious.