Every year for the last several years, my wife and I have hosted a Halloween party. My wife is huge into decorating for the party, so preparation has been going on the last several weeks. After working all evening on getting things ready, I decided to pause and have this beer. It was a beer my friend Joe gave me when we met up several months ago. He lives in Atlanta, so whenever we meet up, he brings me some new beers from down south. I like scotch ales, so I was curious to see what this one would taste like with cinnamon and cocoa in it.
Location: Poured into a tulip shaped pint glass at my home in Bloomington, IL.
Numbers: 7.2% ABV, 26 IBUs, ~270 Calories
Ingredients: Columbus and Willamette hops, roasted barley, chocolate malt, cherrywood smoked malt, crystal malts, and finished with cinnamon and cocoa.
Appearance & Aroma: It’s completely black with very little light visible through it when held up. It has a thin tan head, which fell to ring around edge of the glass after a couple minutes. It has a mostly chocolate-like aroma with some cinnamon and vanilla – which is almost bourbon barrel-like.
Taste & Feel: The body is light-medium and the mouthfeel is crisp from carbonation. Up front, it’s a mix of cocoa and sweet maltiness primarily, with some cinnamon behind it. In the middle, the sweetness gives way to a little bit of a cocoa bitterness. The cinnamon, cocoa and maltiness mix together and open up in the finish. The cinnamon and cocoa are what last for a couple minutes in the aftertaste.
Food Pairing: With the chocolate and cinnamon flavors, I would definitely pair this beer with a steak or BBQ as the char from either would mix nicely with the dark, but sweet flavors in this beer.
Overall Impression: The front of this beer feels almost decadent, and reminds me of the front of many sips of barrel aged barley wines – with the malt sweetness and cinnamon, vanilla and cocoa flavors. However, with it being a scotch ale, it was a bit lighter and smoother and fit nicely to the style. With all of these great flavors, I thought this was a very good beer and one that’s perfect for the holidays.