This unique collaboration beer pours a very deep, hazy, burgundy brown color and is topped by a massive, intensely sticky, tan colored head that laces nicely and remains indefinitely. Smells of spicy Belgian yeast greet the nose, falling in line with expectations for a Belgian strong dark ale. But then it takes on a unique twist, with prominent notes of chocolate and some coffee, fudge, and a ‘stemmy’ woodiness. When swirled, look for faint impressions of cherry juice to arise, and note how the cherry notes play second fiddle to the chocolate notes that are quite prominent. Expect notes of dark bread, bubblegum and spicy, herbal notes as it warms, reminiscent of beers brewed in the Belgian Dubbel style. On the palate, notes of cherries hit upfront and are quickly blended with ample notes of chocolate, lightly roasted malts, and under ripened nectarines, giving a tart character that is also blended with some very sweet plum-like fruit notes. We found the finish very complex, evoking a variety of flavors found in a multitude of familiar styles; look for a unique interplay of fruity sweetness meets porter-like dryness meets sour/tart fruit & funky Brettanomyces (wild yeast often used in Lambic styles). While a vinous character is detected, it is nearly erased by the un-wine-like rush of chocolate. Overall, this is a very interesting beer with an unusual but delightful flavor profile. The chocolate aromas and flavors are particularly noteworthy, as is the sour, funky fruit character. But interestingly, these very strong flavor elements are blended in such harmonious fashion that they balance one another. The sharp, sour, tart cherry notes are kept from inducing a puckering of the mouth by the rich, roasty, creamy chocolate notes. Stylistically, it’s a hard beer to place, but oftentimes, styles are the first casualty of brewing innovation. It seems to be a combination of wood-aged Belgian strong dark ale, porter, and dubbel. Very unusual and very exciting to the palate, this beer is a bold experiment that delivers a robust novelty that only collaboration can bring. We suggest pairing with Belgian truffles, with moderate to high cocoa levels (medium-to-dark chocolate). Cellaring (storage at cellar temperatures) is recommended as this beer will continue to develop and mature in the bottle. If you can muster the willpower, set a bottle aside and check in on it at least six months down the road.