This might be the first beer that I’ve had from Stevens Point Brewery, and I hope it’s not the last.
It’s an extremely dark brown, bordering on black, with ruby notes at the edges in the light. It has almost no head, but what it does have is persistent. Despite being in the same type of etched glass that last night’s Sun King was, there is no discernible carbonation bubbling up from the bottom.
The mouthfeel is only slightly full, like a coffee with cream.
The nose is moderate but strongly suggests toasted nuts, and the flavor supports that first impression — although the tastes of dark chocolate with a hint of vanilla beans shows up further back on the palate. There is a surprising sweetness in the end note and the lingering aftertaste which reminds me of burnt sugar.
Actually, no. I know exactly what it reminds me of. For a few years, I worked at an ice cream stand. We had dips for our soft-serve cones: cherry and chocolate. If the chocolate got too low, which it did towards the end of some shifts, the liquid dip would start to burn. There was a five- or ten-minute stretch when it started burning that it would smell just incredible before it started getting a bit acrid. That’s the taste at the end of a drink of this beer.
For fans of browns or of black ales (which, really, seem to be just wicked dark browns), this should hit all the right notes.