100 / 100
(Best of the Best)
22oz brown bomber purchased from Ales Unlimited in San Francisco, CA. Brought back to Australia where I cracked it open on a brewday with Sam and Chris.
Pours a lovely sinewy black, with a deep brown head of slightly frothy foam that settles out into a firm ring. Some patchy lace, but that's not what you're looking at in a beer this heavy. Body is thick and silky. Carbonation is powdery. Looks the business.
Nose is wonderful. All of the bleeding-edge oak-aged vanilla and bourbon characters you would expect, laced with a foundation of extreme sweetness and twists of tomato and cinnamon. It's really excellent. There is something of the sweet biscotti to it as well, possibly entirely suggested by the name—but the naming is genius either way. I either taste it because of the name, or the name brilliantly describes the characteristics. I don't care which, I still love it.
Taste is also really excellent. Sublime even. Smooth entry leaves silky vanilla and sweetness through the centre of the palate, with leavened, slightly bulbous tones of vanilla custard and butter biscuits. Roast is bittersweet, and always coated with those lovely bourbon vanilla characters, but it leaves a fragrant, slightly aromatic bitterness towards the back. Mostly, though, it's just sweet, luscious, vanilla-potent and gorgeous. A truly phenomenal oak-aged stout.
Feel is perfect. Smooth, glossy, rich and beautifully full. It accentuates the flavours and deepens their development.
Yep—no kidding, this is a truly phenomenal beer. This is beer at its highest peak. The richness, the smoothness, the complexity—they make this beer into something absolutely sublime. Truly, one of the best beers I've ever tasted.