This beer was sent to me by my sister’s friend several months ago. Unfortunately, there was no date on the bottle and I’ve lost track of when my sister gave it to me. The bottle says, “Highland’s most robust beer, having a very malty body with a large, roasted chocolate flavor, all achieved solely through the use of special roasted barley grains. It is black in color with a very clean finish and a moderate hop flavor.”
Location: Poured into a slightly curved pint glass from the bottle at my home in Bloomington, IL.
Numbers: 5% ABV, 25 IBUs, 183 Calories
Ingredients: Grain: 2 Row Brewers Malt, Munich, Roasted Barley, Caramel 40, Caramel 60, Chocolate, Extra Special Malt, Malted Wheat; Hops: Chinook & Mount Hood
Appearance & Aroma: It’s dark black in color, with almost no light shining thorough when held up, the thin, tan head fell to a ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass within a couple minutes. The aroma is dark-chocolate roasty, with hints of coffee.
Taste & Feel: The body is light and the mouthfeel is crisp. The flavors up front are lightly sweet and roasty with dark chocolate flavor up front. In the middle, mostly dark cocoa came through, finishing with a good amount of roastiness. The roastiness was a slightly bitter-astringent, with a coffee-like bitterness.
Food Pairing: This beer had a lot of chocolate, cocoa, and roasty flavors. It would easily complement a chocolate or fudge dessert, like cake or brownies. The rich flavors would also match well with a thick, well-done steak or a blackened tuna.
Overall Impression: I wasn’t sure of the age of this beer and wasn’t sure how good it would be. In fact, it was great. The dark chocolate, cocoa, and other roasty flavors were very nice and presented a complex mixture of nice dark flavors. If the mouthfeel was smoother and the hints of roasted bitter astringency weren’t there, this would be an incredible beer. I hope to get my hands on a fresh one of these and see how it tastes, because this one was very good.