79 / 100
355ml can purchased as part of the 2020 Carwyn Cellars Canvent Calendar.
Pours a lovely deep, glossy black, with a full and frothy head of pale chocolate on the first pour. This settles down, but maintains a good couple of mils of foam. Spotty lace from the loose-bubbled head. Body is very dark, and hides the carbonation, but little individual flurries appear in the corners when tilted. Looks good.
Nose is also very nicely done. There's a nicely balanced matching of coffee beans, vanilla and malt, which give a sweet but vibrant whole. There's sharpness, a hint of char from the coffee, but it's there as a punctuation mark, rather than as the whole basis of the aroma. Otherwise, there's deeper sweeter notes of milk sugar, chocolate, deep mid-malts. It's quite lovely.
Taste is also good, with the malts bringing in a lovely savoury quality to the mix. There's still smooth, sweet lactose notes, which work well with the coffee, but these fade into the background to some extent. Instead, we have this hitherto unexpected grain character which gives a lovely nuttiness. Finish has sweet aromatic notes of coconut and marshmallow, which just add another level of complexity. I'm impressed.
Feel is smooth—perhaps a tad too light, but it has gloss and sheen to work around that.
Overall, this is a very nice beer indeed. It's well-made, with thought placed into all of the elements to get them just in balance. I'm a fan. I'll certainly be keeping an eye on The Mill, because I believe this is the first thing I've had from them.