58 / 100
Tried on-tap at GABS 2015 in Melbourne.
Pours a deep, Vegemite-coloured brown with some solid hazing to it. Body has a bit of heft to it and holds very fine carbonation. Head is beige-to-tan in colour, and is fairly firm, full and thick, leaving solid sheets of lace. Looks good all up.
Nose has some coffee notes, but it's bright and thin where it should be mild and smooth. There's almost a touch of acid through the thinness here, perhaps with some faint sweetness or barrel character. Hmm.
Smooth entry on the palate at least with a touch of toastiness. There's something like slightly astringent berry on the mid-palate, and a weird suggestion of chilli spice towards the back. Aftertaste has a bit of a prickle like this as well.
Feel is genuinely quite wrong: it's overcarbed, and very light, where it should be smooth, soft and rich.
OK: first up, I don't get how a mild ale should ever hit 6% ABV. But worse is the fact that the 6% doesn't do anything to help this beer at all. It doesn't add smoothness or richness, and if anything, this feels thinner and weaker than it should do normally. So in many ways I'm quite unimpressed.
Hmmm, so they call this a dark mild ale but I'm not sure 6% really fits in with that... anyway...
Looks awesome in the cup. Brown colour, fair amount of cloud. Head is beige, creamy and thick and leaving some amazing lacing around the edges. Wonderful.
Smells nice and oaky as per the description. Bourbon character with coconut and plenty of chocolate malt as well. Touch of licorice spice on there as well. Nice sweet oaky notes; pleasant.
Taste is a bit too mild, after what the nose promised. Less oak character but still leaning towards bourbon notes. Chocolate malt is light and insubstantial. This is sort of what I expected from the description, but then the nose got my hopes up and I thought maybe it could be a light-bodied drop but with loads of complexity as well. Not to be.
Decent body, texture feels pretty nice as it goes down, not too heavy.
Definitely a decent mild ale, but it could have emphasised the oak on the palate more and let it sort of muscle through the beer. Still, nice.