Sean Coughlin's picture

Cabin Fever

January, 2016
Judges Rating: 
18 / 24
5 / 6
34 / 40
7 / 10
Overall Impression: 
16 / 20

A big chocolate malt nose jumps out of the glass and is supported by a rich biscuit backbone. The aroma is all malt with no hops or esters to speak of. The clean yeast profile allows the malt to shine, and a subtle presence of dark fruit emerges as the beer warms. The beer is a light espresso color, borderline black, with a small, creamy, beige head that falls quickly but doesn't completely vanish. The flavor follows the aroma with malt weighing heavy in the balance. Notes of chocolate, toasted bread, toasted hazelnut and a hint of roast are supported by a firm bitterness that lingers slightly into the finish. There is a lack of any discernible hop flavor, which is definitely atypical for the style. The mouthfeel contains a substantial body that avoids being heavy and a fair amount of astringency that seems derived from the darker malts. This is a nice beer but it almost comes across more like an English interpretation of a Brown Ale or Porter.