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Review by Dr. Rockzo on 11/29/09  
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
86 2 10 18 4 9 0
Big ups yo’self Joseph for the hookup here. Didn’t expect much going in but boy was I wrong. Poured from a 750mL bottle into a FOBAB 6oz. taster (twice).

A: Pours out a dark black licorice, hazy burnt-brown color with a modest 1 finger foamy quick-dissipating mocha colored head that leaves a thin cap but not a whole lot of lacing. The body gives off a nice glow around the edges when held to a light which is nice; overall, pretty good looking.

S: The smell is pretty nuts, and not at all what I was expecting. There is indeed some black licorice type aromas at first but they open up into waves of vanilla, chocolate, and mint which are friggin’ divine. Even with the age there’s not much of any oxidized sherry notes (which is good for my tastes) and for a lager there’s even a fair amount of roasted and dark malt notes. Very impressive thus far.

T: The taste, if you can believe it, even eclipses the greatness of the smell. The chocolate mint aspect is even more amplified, but in a subtle and graceful way that doesn’t come across as a fake Southern Tier-esque ripoff, and the licorice is implemented perfectly, like a mini-Abyss (which is a beer I love). There’s some backing waves of roasted grain, almost some sort of oatmeal creaminess, vanilla bean, and even a touch of dark berries/fruits drizzled in dark chocolate. Malted milk balls come to mind at times as well. Jesus Christ is this complex as hell and ever so tasty, being almost 3 years old makes this even more astounding.

M: The mouthfeel is medium/medium-thin with a crisp, higher level of moderate backing carbonation. The consistency is velvety and smooth like a melting mint-chocolate on your tongue, but ends with a bubbly bite of carbonation and some bitter roasted notes. Very smooth and pretty creamy for a lager with almost a bit of a minty cooling sensation left lingering on the tongue. No trace of 8% alcohol heat to be found anywhere either, pretty crazy stuff.

D: This was a beer that can reaffirm one’s love of a brewery, which is exactly what it did for me. I already lust for Short’s beers but this was a step above most of their already great offerings. So unique, so innovative, so tasty, so drinkable (for being high gravity and pretty crazily flavored). It’s almost 3 years old and it’s still drinking like a champ, I could see it being good to go for another year or two easy.

Joe Short is the mufuckin’ man, he brews some crazy off-the-wall shit but almost all of it is a hit. This BLL is no exception, and actually might be towards the top of what I’ve had from their imperial series so far. Super highly recommended.

EDIT: Yet again, Joey joe joe copies my shit...sigh....

Served In: Pint Glass