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Nelson Crowle's picture

Fresh Roast

April, 2016
Judges Rating: 
21 / 24
6 / 6
37 / 40
8 / 10
Overall Impression: 
18 / 20

Pours a beautiful, very clear, red-tinted deep mahogany with a medium head of fine, light tan bubbles that stays around. A nice caramel character with floral and woody notes leads the charge in the aroma, and a bit of honeydew melon is also apparent along with some clean ethanol and a bit of black licorice. This beer features big (but well-balanced) bitter chocolate and cocoa in the flavor, with lots of interesting complexity – a nutty note, some black raisins, and black pepper. The hops come across like a rustic log cabin and are impressively earthy. It is a pretty dry finish, slightly on the bitter side, but with a good support of caramel and chocolate malts. A medium-full body is balanced by moderate carbonation and just a touch of grainy astringency. There's also a nice clean alcohol warmth in the back of the throat that's very smooth. This is a really nice example of an American Brown Ale, with a more Northern Brewer hop profile (which works nicely with the chocolate and caramel) than an in-your-face hop bomb – so you'll get both the malt and the hops. Serve this with some turkey, mashed potatoes and brown sugar yams.