Origin: Ireland | Date: 2006 | ABV: 10% | On The Beer Nut: October 2006
recently. I've also reviewed a vintage bottle of the permanent version that the brewery began producing in 2010, as well as this one at the four year mark. But enough history, on with the drinking.
There's not much of a head to see as it pours, though a thin layer of ivory foam does stay on top of the dense black body all the way down. It smells every ounce of its 10% ABV, the dark booziness accentuated by a black marker pen solvent buzz.
The flavour is amazingly complex. This was a bitter liquorice bomb when it first arrived. Now it has settled down into a smooth and luscious mix of oily coffee and Pedro Ximinez raisin fruit. For a 10%-er it's ridiculously easy drinking, the carbonation low and the texture remarkably light. The finish is pure silky dark chocolate, the only real nod towards bitterness in the whole thing.
A stunning beer, and a shining example of the benefit of letting strong dark beers age for a decade or so.