Pours a dark oaky brown, thin cream head that evaporates after a short period of time, leaves a small amount of lace that is nevertheless beautifully sticky. Yeah, looks like a porter. Decent.
Nose is sweet and mostly chocolatey, with a thin but sweet main aroma. Lots of nutty yeast character and fresh cracked grain. Cereal character with some oats and a mild honey note. Nice roastedness stops it from overly sweet fragrance but still retains a pleasant sweetness, not bad.
Taste is similar. Has most of that fresh cereal character on the front, puffed rice and honey notes that descend into a mild but distinct roasty mid-palate. Yeah, weak-ish but has a nice, reasonably sweet darkness, hints of licorice with anise spice and a dark caramel malt flavour. Finish trails off in a light toasted grain flavour.
Mouthfeel is dry, and a bit sharp around the edges but quite a hefty body for the strength.
Yeah overall it's a decent mild porter, pleasantly sweet but dark, nice balance. Doesn't have a lot to offer but what's there is pleasant. Smooth and drinkable dark ale.
73 / 100
Pours a dark cola colour with mahogany hue around the edge, small ochre head of medium to large bubbles disperses quickly, leaving a thin ring around the edge. Lacing clings to the glass in stunning cascades. A lot of carbonation feeding the rim. Very fine, proud-looking beer.
Nose is a delicious mélange of sweet, dark aromas. Huge chocolatey aroma, dark with blood orange, molasses, brown sugar and some sultana sweetness. Very slight tartness suggests fresh, the rest of it suggests sweeet... Jammy and good. Very enticing.
Taste has a plummy character first, with a murky jam sweetness pervading the front to mid. Aspects of cocoa and espresso descend into a spicier palate, with hints of mint and jaffa orange. Slight treacle on the late mid adds an earthy sweetness, a bit overdone in fact, and makes that small part of the palate a bit insipid - almost like an over-sugared espresso. It's the one weak part of the palate, but unfortunately it falls towards the back, where a further injection of burnt malt would be most welcome, to make this a phenomenal roasty stout. It does have a nice lingering bitterness though, and a delightful kiss - with some tongue - of alcohol at the very conclusion. Just needs to carry its power all the way to the end.
Nice warmth from the booze, with a nice mouthfeel overall. Does have a slight sizzle on the tongue, and I'm not too keen on carbonation in an RIS, but otherwise good.
Overall this beer hints at 'harsh' but never goes all the way. Pretty great beer.