“Enticingly ripe, earthy fruit rudiments awash in the open salt air of Normandy, lightly augmented with mushrooms grown in the depths of the Tronҫais forest. Delicate notes of Livarot glazed with an orange reduction and textured with toasted coconut shavings. Distinct aromas of cinnamon and ulster cherry, foxtrot in time with tangs of vanilla and brown sugar. Balanced, approachable wood zests meld charmingly with the finish of figs and Allegheny plums.”
Appearance: As black as midnight! It forms a dark brown head which swells to two fingers before it gradually recedes. Healthy lace clings to the glass as we imbibe.
Aroma: It’s remarkable how much of an impact the brandy barrels have put on this stout…cognac-like sweetness supported by dark fruits i.e raisin and dates, rich toffee, caramel and vanilla. So much so that it resembles a top shelf barleywine with its hallmark residual sugars and caramelised malts. Not to mention the warming booze and oak that isn’t shying away!
Flavour: Jeez even after three years in the cellar this bad boy still packs some heat! A wave of stinging booze, bitter espresso, molasses and charred malts hit the palate like an overhand right from Riddick! Brandy takes the back seat with its semi-sweet dark fruits and spice developing late in the piece. There’s little respite as it finishes with an aggressive espresso bitterness and an enduring burn in the tail.
Mouthfeel: Dense, oily and viscous with low Co2 giving it that extra weight. 13.3% AbV – explains that lifted booze burn.
Overall: Still a bit too aggressive in our opinion. The aroma was bang on point but the flavour is too heavy on the booze and bitterness. A bit of a shame coz this cost a few pennies!!