Nelson Crowle's picture

Guanabara

February, 2016
Judges Rating: 
83
Aroma: 
19 / 24
Appearance: 
6 / 6
Flavor: 
35 / 40
Mouthfeel: 
7 / 10
Overall Impression: 
16 / 20

Pours with a big poofy head of light tan bubbles that hangs around for a long time, and leaves slight Belgian lacing. The color is a very pretty, deep reddish-copper, and the beer is very clear. Initial aromas are of a fairly harsh alcohol character along with some coffee notes, toffee and lots of caramel, with undertones of earthy, herbal and a slight nuttiness. The first sip echoes the strong alcoholic character – almost a burn – and some higher alcohol fusel notes. This burns off after a couple of minutes, though, leaving lots of caramel, blackstrap molasses, slightly roasty notes and a minerally and fruity tobacco character. A fairly sweet finish is syrupy and almost cloying; it could use more balance from dark grain or additional bitterness. This is definitely a beer to pour and let warm up in order to let those strong alcohol notes dissipate. There are lots of interesting flavors in this beer, but it doesn't quite pull them all together. The late finish shows off the molasses-type notes and a bit of black licorice. This is a strong beer that would overpower most foods, but it would go nicely with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

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