I’ve recently learned that “black licorice” is redundant, in the formal, I’m smarter than you and went to college “in Boston” kind of way. Highfalutin types will simply say this brew is kissed with licorice. And about that, and maybe only that, they’re right.
STYLE: American Stout
LOOK: Purpley black with a brown leather head. Rich consistency planted firmly below a frothy three-finger topper.
NOSE: Moon pies and thick malt. There’s something just sweet I can’t put my finger on. Maybe plum, maybe not. A little mysterious. I like it.
MOUTH: Licorice, smokey, charcoal. Phenols as it warms, more than expected for a 6% beer. A little too burnt on the back end, and despite its drinkability, maybe lacking a little complexity. The flaws, they aren’t prominent, but they keep this otherwise quaffable pint a few points from exceptional.
Beeradvocate Rating: 91
Hayward Abbey Rating: 87