A: Very deep red amber color, looked clear but not thin. Normal foam head, is a little thicker and long lasting then straight average.
S: Three prominent notes to me were caramel malt, spiciness, and cherries. The aroma is unique and inviting, but hints of potential heavy handedness to come?
T: My initial thought was overpowering. But fairly quick subsequent tastes revealed a much more balance beer than I first preceived. It's a big brew, don't get me wrong. But, the spiciness is all from yeast and hops so it's much better at melding into the other elements of the beer. While the malt is sweet, it's toffee like and mixed with the serious level of alcohol almost seems liqueur like. And the viscosity is at the perfect level, not overboard and really enriches the dark fruit flavors. Finally, I like the carbonation level, it's just enough from this sometimes flater than I like... big alcohol style.
O: Really good beer for a winter / holiday brew. I hate spice bombs, but here it comes from the right place/ingredients. Understand, it's more of an after dinner or later in the evening brew, but it will definitely enhance you day.
Poured clear with a nice, somewhat frothy foam. Retention was okay. Lacing is blotchy and sporadic.
Aroma is of a much deeper, darker beer than appears in my glass. Spicy, yeast, cherry, and an overall fruitiness.
Taste is sweet, tart cherry, yeast, spice, and some type of fruit besides cherry. There is a lingering sweet cherry flavor that I would say is ever so slightly syrupy. No alcohol was evident in the taste for me or the nose.
Medium carbonation and body. The mouth seems to be a bit thick and syrupy as mentioned before.
For a holiday beer it is a good drinker but it isn't that good of a Belgian. The cherry sweetness spoils it for me while the spicy yeast is dead on. Enjoy!