“The intensely smooth and rich roasted flavor is complemented by the unmistakable pretence of hops. The bitterness is held in check, preserving the flavors of dark chocolate. This ale is aggressively dry hopped with Citra to cut through it all. Hail Santa.”
Appearance: Black with two fingers of brown head taking shape on top. It gradually reduced and hangs a sheet of lace down the walls of the glass.
Aroma: One of our favourite traits of an American stout is its similarity to a great black IPA. There’s a solid roasty malt structure which builds in to coffee, cocoa and mocha then there’s the distinct hop profile that cuts through the rich malts – in this case there’s pine, citrus and weedy herbs a plenty. Undertones of smoke, mild spice and charred earth also getting amongst it. Brilliant!
Flavour: Holy moly! It comes on with a delicious roasted note; coffee, cocoa, chocolate and subtle smoke before the bitter hop onslaught arrives! The middle is citric, spicy and piney which rolls in to super bitter yellow grapefruit, orange rind and lemon late in the piece. This palate-wrecking combination only intensifies as it draws out in to the long winded finish.
Mouthfeel: Quite smooth at first but it develops an aggressive bitterness in the swallow. 8% AbV and 90 IBU. Medium-full body.
Overall: Jeez there must be a fine line between black IPA’s and American stouts these days. Even for a black IPA this is insanely bitter. That aside it’s a quality drop it’s just very extreme.