Normally I hold off until the official start of winter according to the calendar before I start sipping on stouts but with the weather being all gray, wet and gloomy over the past weekend (which it was when I sipped on this and wrote down some notes) it was a good time as any to jump the gun and bask in such a thickness.
Boy, oh boy! This is dark one. Almost black in color and just a sliver of light getting through. Half inch head that faded fairly quick but leaving slight cap when done and some spotty lacing that lasted all the way through the glass. A creamy, malty chocolate aroma with a touch of something that reminded me of hazelnuts and liquorice on the nose. The complex and pleasing scent alone had a very warming effect and made looking forward to the taste even more..and damn what a taste it is! A huge & flavorful dark roasted coffee taste up front followed by a tasty warm malt flavor. The finish is an interesting contrast in the complexities with a dry, hoppy bitterness and the liquorice nuances coming out. As it warms a bit in the glass even more of these little details come out making this a great one to sip on as the days get colder and the wind howls louder.
Though the brew itself has a bit more of a carbonation texture than in other stouts I usually go for, which makes it a little less "oily" feeling I guess, there is still a nice creamy and full body to it. One might have a hard time believing that the abv in this is over 9% because it's hard detectable in the taste but now on to my second I'm starting to feel a little buzz coming on. Such a great night cap.