STYLE: English Brown Ale
APPEARANCE: Clear, chestnut brown
HEAD: Pillowy off-white head that settles down into small islands of foam
LACING: Nice and sticky, hung in clumps around the glass
NOSE: Forget the hops…this is a malt-bomb even before it gets cask-conditioned. After sitting in the barrel, the nose is pure sweetness. Roasted malt, chocolate, toffee, molasses, and buckets of caramel.
TASTE: Somehow the taste is even sweeter than the nose implies. Huge, rich, robust notes of bittersweet chocolate and espresso beans with a nice, faint vanilla flavor in the finish.
MOUTHFEEL: A little thin-bodied to be sure, but thanks to the cask, it drinks creamy and fuller than a standard draft version would.
DRINKABILITY: Casks can make mediocre beers good and good beers great. This is probably the former. I suspect on tap I wouldn’t have enjoyed it much, but on the cask it was a beauty. Wifey McHops loved the rich, malty flavor and only allowed me a few sips.
RATING: 3 Hops