Prescott Ales' seasonal Winter at the Sandford Park Alehouse today. It's a ruby stout, and a beautiful pint: deep red, with excellent head retention. The initial nose was overwhelmingly cocoa powder. That first taste was trickier: definitely a candied fruit of sorts; initially, I settled on strawberry, and, if I'm honest, found it a bit too sweet.
However, about halfway through the pint, the sweetness mellowed, taking on more cherry overtones. There was also some mocha in that long, lingering aftertaste, I think. Tasty stuff!
New Bristol Brewery's Super Deluxe Stout, and couldn't resist a taste. (At 7.0% ABV, I stuck with a half, though.) As the barman pulled it, he muttered, "That's the darkest beer I've ever poured." It truly did look like obsidian in the glass. As I breathed it in, my mind immediately went back to my mum's kitchen and the baker's (baking) chocolate she always had on hand.
That first taste was an explosion; honestly. I couldn't keep track of everything I was tasting: there was certainly a milder chocolate, and a fruitiness again, but, as with the Winter, I couldn't be more specific. What was clear in my mind was a word: delicious!
After a few minutes, I again settled on cherry notes, but tending to the very edge of medicinal in this case. There was marzipan in the aftertaste as well. About halfway through I picked up hints of nutmeg, which made sense, because I'd already been thinking it was perfect for the season. All in all, beautifully balanced, with great mouthfeel.