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Review by SAP on 08/08/08  
 
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
66 3 8 12 3 7 2008
Enjoy by Date January 2009; Sampled August 2008
A vigorous pour yields a three-finger thick, lightly browned, full tan colored head in my 25cl tulip glass. The beer is almost black and when held up to the light shows a brilliantly clear, dark ruby hue. Rich notes of blackened toffee, molasses, some tamari, broiled raisins, at times some notes of candied cherries and candied figs are lightly offset by toasty notes of toasted grain, a medium roast coffee and a slight vegetal note that I sometimes get from roast grain. I definitely like the mix of concentrated, dark fruit and dark sugars that is found here in the aroma.

Rich and creamy up front with a touch of carbonation that lightens things up a bit in the middle. This is actually somewhat light feeling, as it does not have a huge body, but does have enough of one to feel a bit viscous and to allow it to stick to the palate a bit. Lightly sweet tasting, but not overly so, this accents rich fruit flavors, some touches of chocolate, a spike of molasses and a rich, dark, almost burnt, but not quite, caramel note. Fruit flavors are not as accentuated as in the aroma (due to the reduced perception of sweetness in the flavor compared to the nose), but still play a significant role in the flavor with notes of toasted figs, caramelized raisins, some prune notes and something a bit like chalky blueberries. Other flavors of chocolate beans, dusty light roast coffee, cocoa and some concentrated malt notes that lean towards an umami richness that is a bit like tamari or a hint of soy.

This beer is actually quite quaffable, which can be a little dangerous in a beer of this strength. A tasty beer, but it perhaps doesn't quite live up to the original; perhaps it is that extra 1/2% of attenuation, as this seems like it could have used just a touch more body and malt richness.

Served In: Pint Glass