I had this the first time it came out but didn't review or rate it then, so I was excited when I saw they were releasing it again. Poured into a Pipeworks NvU snifter from a bomber. Black as the ace of spades, he was, to borrow a Monty Python phrase. As dark if not darker than most stouts, but with no thinning of color on the edges you get with that style. Constant big creamy thick head and lacing. Bold fruity, hoppy, and honey nose which follows through on the taste. There was the slightest hint of bitterness early in the bottle which softens as you go on, which can also be said about a mildly unpleasant burn on the back end of the taste which might just be the alcohol. Either way, it's a tasty and balanced offering from my favorite brewery's best series of beers.
Pours opaque from the deep black hue of the liquid. No light lightens the edges: pitch black, darker than many stouts. An inch of Frothy, creamy, dark tan foam covers. Retention is awesome. Thick lacing begins immediately.
Aroma is orange hops up front. It jumps out of the glass upon the initial pour. Lingers for a long time. Enticing. Slight roast and honey. Both completely riding sidecar to the orange/citrus hops.
Taste is bit of honey and roast up front. The middle transitions to strong orange that continues through end and finish. Not much perceived bitterness but there is a harshness that is accompanied by by traces of honey and roast.
Creamy, big mouth feel. Carbonation is on the high end. Creaminess is on the lips at the beginning of the sip. Alcohol is in the finish, lingers down the throat. Almost warming.
The look, aroma and taste are solid. The drinkability is a bit tough from the alcohol that also creates a harsh, lingering finish. Great example of a cascadian dark ale. One of the best I have had. Style wouldn't be in such limbo if they all were created so well. Enjoy!
"Well ya see, Norm, it's like this... A herd of buffalo can only move as fast as the slowest buffalo. And when the herd is hunted, it is the slowest and weakest ones at the back that are killed first. This natural selection is good for the herd as a whole, because the general speed and health of the whole group keeps improving by the regular killing of the weakest members. In much the same way, the human brain can only operate as fast as the slowest brain cells. Excessive intake of alcohol, as we know, kills brain cells. But naturally, it attacks the slowest and weakest brain cells first. In this way, regular consumption of beer eliminates the weaker brain cells, making the brain a faster and more efficient machine. That's why you always feel smarter after a few beers." - Cliff Clavin, of Cheers