“The base recipe came from another Great American Beer Festival award winning Portland Pub brew called Wowzenbock. In this Strong Dark Ale, presence of Willamette hops are subtle against Vienna and Munich malts and Wheat. Aged in Spanish Rum barrels for 16 months gives this beer flavors and aromas of toasted caramel, sweet rum spice, tropical fruit, light coconut and banana esters and finishes with light oak tannins.”
Served in a Stein glass. The cola pour aroused a short khaki head that collapses instantly. After a few seconds it’s bereft of any foam, exposing the alluring dark liquid beneath. Not even an inkling of lace in sight!
Ooph, the nose is potent and seriously intricate. Our first thoughts are thick, syrupy and rich with molasses, raisin and figs spiked with a heady alcohol warmth. A suggestion of musty, oaky and dank cellar room provides the segway between the rich syrupy aromas and the somewhat lighter, wheaty and straw-like notes to come in over the top. There’s no escaping it though, this is one hedonistic little number.
The texture is oily and in a way kind of light but it’s pulled down by the monstrous 12% ABV. It certainly isn’t trying to mask the astringent warmth it provides as a slight sparkle adds a nice touch to the overall feel. Kind of drinks like a lightly sparkling red wine.
Flavour wise its rich, super sweet and warming with this recurring dry and oaky wine tannin. As it settles the rum flavours begin to seep in with hints of sherry, dark fruits and glazed cherries backing it up. It drops in to a spicy, plummy chasm before it’s lifted back out and finishes on a dry, spicy, fruity and somewhat straw-like ending.
Geez this beer packs an almighty punch. It certainly has some cloying characters but it’s so unbelievably moreish and flavoursome that it’s hard to dislike. Our main criticism would be that the 12% ABV is a little too prominent, becoming too overwhelming once it warms. Other than that it’s full on but quite enjoyable. Not bad at all.