82 / 100
Pint can purchased in Asheville. Brought back to Sydney where I shared it with Sam.
Pours a pleasant deep dark cola colour, with a thin ring of beige bubbles that persist even after the head fizzles out. Body looks glossy and firm. It's a nice looking beer all up.
Nose is very pleasant, with a lot of those mid-darkness malts coming through to give it grain complexity. I get chocolate, liquorice, carob, caramel and cherry liqueur, but everything is skewed slightly towards the savoury, which actually makes for a very fine depth. I like it.
Taste is similar, but the characters are broken out so you can see the structure a bit more. It's sweet on the front, with light carob and caramel, mingled with a hint of tamarind and date. But it develops through a hint of spicy aniseed into a toasted grain note, perhaps like a heavy grain loaf dotted with dried cherry.
Feel is smooth and glossy, but shot through with that hint of cherry acidity. It's nice.
A lovely beer to drink, and one which allows its complexities to shine. It's really nicely made, and I'd love to drink it again some time.
69 / 100
Pint can purchased from Tasty Beverage Co. in Asheville, NC. Brought back to Sydney and shared with Sam. Canning date of 01/25/2019.
Very hazy, slightly dark peachy colour with a fine ring of gauzy white that leaves specks of lace. Body is full and firm, with fine carbonation.
Nose is a little bit dirty and chalky, but it does have an underlying character of pasteurized tropical juice, with a bit of guava and banana. Slight pepper comes through as well, which again is not necessarily the character you really want. Aromatic banana and pandan leaf comes through as it warms, giving a bit more of a tropical evocation.
Taste is also a little bit gritty at the start, but it does have more of a rounded fruit character, almost a little bit berry-like, with strawberry and more guava. There's a touch of bitterness towards the back, a little more than you expect for the style, but it may just be the confluence of the extra booze and the front-loaded hops. It's still pretty nice.
Feel is smooth, but with a slight chalkiness.
Overall, it's a pleasant, drinkable beer for the most part. It's not a stellar example of a NEIPA though, so it falls a little bit down on what you feel it's trying to do. I like how well the booze is hidden, at least.