Colour-wise: It’s Guinness, you know the colour by now…impenetrable black with a nice looking proteinous tan head – just like bottled Guinness used to be…The nose is simply enormous: Molasses, thick black treacle, some resinous hoppiness.
(Nepalese Temple Balls, is also something that came to mind. I haven’t seen those in years – and probably won’t either, now I choose to get my kicks in other ways…)
This is a solid slab of blackness.
In the taste and mouthfeel it’s velvety smooth, with a good micro sort-of-carbonation, it’s solid and warming. There’s quite a pronounced charry note and decent malt and hop-derived bitterness from (I’m guessing) the roast barley and ample hopping.
The taste and aftertaste goes on forever…further warming opens up more in the way of coffee notes, roastiness and dark, dark, bitter chocolate.
Occasionallly you can wrest this beer apart and detect resinous hop notes in and amongst the maltiness, but the whole is so well meshed together it’s no small feat.
Genuinely, this is a masterfully complex beer and really gives you something to think about. Very well made and very much a velvet sledgehammer at 6%.
I had a couple and slept like a log…
Well done, Guiness. Keep doing new stuff like this…the beer-buying public now demand it. Innovate!
http://www.guinness.com (I gave up trying to find a link to the product page…)