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Review by SAP on 10/01/08  
 
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
64 3 8 12 3 6 2008
Bottled August 2008; Sampled September 2008
A vigorous pour into my 25cl tulip glass produces an almost three-finger thick, lightly browned tan colored head. The beer is a dark amber / brown color that shows a brilliantly clear, bright red hue when held up to the light. The aroma has an interesting toasted nut not, perhaps a touch of cocoa, a light berry note, a hint of butterscotch and a toasted, lightly burnt grain note towards the finish. The appearance, especially, but even the aroma too, seem to fall short of the black, roast influenced beer that I was expecting.

Well carbonated as it has quite the fizzy texture and a fairly light body. My first sip had a noticeable, berry-influenced sweetness to it that becomes much reduced upon subsequent sips. This actually is fairly dry with a toasted, nutty finish and a bit too much of a carbonic bite. As the beer warms up a bit and loses the carbonation, some definite, buttery diacetyl notes start to intrude in the flavor profile. The diacetyl is fairly subtle, but definitely noticeable to someone who is sensitive to it (namely me).

This has a bit of potential, especially as an American Dark Lager, but the flaws and execution are a bit distracting at this point. Dales seems to be going after the craft beer newbie market, which they might be able to do well at.

Purchased: Papago Brewing, Scottsdale AZ

Served In: Tulip