This stout was conditioned with roasted, crushed cocoa nibs and a blend of Sweet Jesus coffee beans.
It pours jet black with a creamy café-au-lait coloured head. Aromas of roasted coffee (naturally) and sweet malt. The interplay of slightly smoky, dark chocolate bitterness and malty sweetness continues on the palate. The finish is pretty smooth and of medium length.
Bought an extra bottle for cellar ageing. Pair with your favourite chocolate dessert or pan-fried pork loin chops and tart sautéed red cabbage. Highly recommended.
Pours a cloudy/muddy dark brown. The nose has grown stronger and the maple more pungent. On the palate though it suffers from the same imbalance as the aged BNL Imperial Chocolate Stout—the maple and the alcohol have gone in different directions creating an unruliness on the palate. It swerves from unctuous syrupy sweetness to bitter, alcoholic bite. While definitely still drinkable it has not improved over it’s original tasting.
My original review:
Dark brown. Like walking into a pancake breakfast at the church hall, the smell of butter melting into maple syrup on hot flapjacks leaps out of the glass and follow onto the palate. The sensation is balance with a pleasant baker’s chocolate bitterness that comes through on the finish. One of the best maple-infused beers I’ve ever tasted. Highly recommended.
Still pours oily black-brown with a fluffy, undulating chocolate milk coloured head. The nose leaps out of the glass. I could smell it while pouring an arms-length away. The nose seems more ‘separated’ than I remember. As though a year in the cellar has caused the chocolate and the alcohol to strike-out in their own directions. The result is almost astringent, although underlying notes of dark cherry and vanilla come through with deeper inhales. The phenomenon is repeated on the palate where the chocolate and the alcohol seem to fight for balance. One could definitely say that ageing has brought complexity to this brew; however, this might be a case where complications aren’t necessarily a good thing.
My original review:
Motor oil black; Black Forest cake nose; chocolate & cherry on the palate with only a hint of bitterness.
Pours a slightly cloudy dark amber brown. Still plenty of smoke on the nose but there a burnt caramel sweetness reminiscent of sponge toffee. On the palate the smoke doesn’t seems as strong as I remembered. I would no longer call this the Lagavulin of craftbeer but still a well peated scotch. The finish is smooth, starting off smokey ending with a lingering sweetness balanced with some faint bitter notes. Definitely still enjoyable but probably best that I cracked this open now rather leaving it for another few months. Highly recommended.
My Original Review:
Tons of smoke on nose & palate (think Lagavulin as craftbeer) balanced by sweet molasses malt.
Deep cloudy amber. Faint hint of black liquorice on the nose. The alcohol is strong—approaching barley wine levels in taste if not ABV. This is a beer that coats the palate like lead paint—seeping in deeper and deeper with each swig. The barrel ageing has added considerable depth compared to the original Festivale with toasty oak notes throughout.
Unfortunately, I tried this a few months back and lost my tasting notes in the meantime. I remember enjoying it but being very interested to see if a year or so in the cellar would make it a bit more robust on the palate.