87 / 100
22oz brown bottle given to me by my mate Aaron, who's clearly a good friend. Shared with Sam back in Sydney.
Pours a deep, dense brown-black, with a firm head of pale mocha that settles out quickly fine ring. Slight spotty lace, but not a lot. Body is slick and fine, but it's also surprisingly light and swift-moving. Clarity is also surprisingly high at the edges. Looks good all up.
Lovely aromatic characters, with big chocolate base. I get characters of rosewater, soaked cherries, cinnamon and a mild smoky chilli note. It's got lovely combinations between sweet and savoury, and those little flecks of spice which enliven it with a sense of danger. Great stuff.
Taste is delicious. It does have a strong chocolate character on the front, which develops spicier tones of cinnamon and pepper as it goes on. There's not a high chilli flavour, but it does develop a small glow of warmth on the back palate. There's a pleasant vanilla sweetness on the back—again a slight aromatic character of rose as well, and a long linger of dark malt. It's very nice indeed.
Feel is smooth and slick. But yeah, there is a lightness that's surprising. It doesn't harm the breadth and complexity of the beer though.
Overall, though. This is a lovely beer. It has such wonderful balance, and the flavours are really well thought-out. It's a clearly well-crafted beer, done by someone who knows their stuff.