This unique brew pours the deepest possible shade of brown before black, however the turbidity keeps it completely opaque, giving the impression that it is black in color (it’s not—it’s a super-deep burgundy). It’s capped by a deep tan colored head, finely bubbled, and massive at the start. On the nose look for notes of Belgian yeast spiciness, chocolate pudding, burnt toast and spicy, reedy, woody aromatics. We experienced a complex melange of aromas, many difficult to describe (but we’ll try!)—conjured up images of tree bark steeped in rum, and notes of juniper berries. A bit raucous in its youth, it is quite boozy, but the alcohol is spicy and sits nicely in the mix of other Belgian spice notes. Defies style classification—you could just as well think of it as a “Belgian porter meets imperial spiced ale.” On the palate, this beer drops an alcohol and yeast spice bomb that shrapnel-coats the palate in a rich, high viscosity brew that rapidly unfurls a very complex flavor profile. Bitter chocolate meets up with gin-like juniper & alcohol notes, the two dance upon cedar planks, eat rum cake & pureed figs, and wrap up the party with a quick shot of coffee. Recharged, the party starts again—this time with grape skins, tannins, lactic sour-and-tartness reminiscent of classic English “old ales”, and a citrus rind style bitterness ushering in the finish. Expect long lasting after breaths of gin, rum, and dandelions/wild flowers. The beer offers a noteworthy balancing act between alcohol bite, tart acidity, and smooth chocolate sweetness. Despite evoking some “old ale” style flavor notes, it’s currently quite a young beer, and a bit rambunctious at the moment. Something to behold as is, but this badass 2nd verse is going to hold up nicely and evolve radically over time—so by the time that 12th verse kicks in, this is going to be one helluva prized beer—oh wait, hang on, it hasn’t even been released yet and it’s already in high demand. Ahh, beer-geekery. Membership definitely has its privileges! You can throw this at some spicy Thai noodles, heavy on coconut milk and chilies, or pair with some 60%+ cocoa chocolates—then again, burying a few bottles in the backyard for the next 5-10 years and digging up circa 2019 ought to work too.