Well the 1st tasting of this beer has filled me with both joy and dread!
Joy as It is getting along VERY nicley and is set to see new year 2011 in with a bang!
dread because I have no idea how I'm going to keep my hands off this untill then!
Had a side by side tasting with a bottle of winter 09/10 BBCS
On initial opening of the Stocks and Cross variety a very pleasing ffsssst of CO2. This beer has been force carbonated and bottled with a poor mans beer gun (5-6 feet of 3/16 beer line)
So the fact that it is still lightly carbonated was nice.
there was even a whiff of CO2 to be seen escaping from the top of the bottle!
holding it up to a bright light there was no hint of it coming through the beer. This is DARK!
It did have a very slight tan head to it but this disappeared quickly (before I had chance to take a pic
) I did realise after that I hadn't rinsed the glass after it came out of the dishwasher so this probably helped the head to disappear!
All in all it looks very much like the proper stuff
as in BLACK! LOL
Smell - Coffee, Chocolate, molasses, some dark fruity smells, and alcohol! I know this is ONLY 8%, but it smells very strong. Alongside the proper stuff it has a fruitier smell, and more hops smell coming across. The commercial stuff smells stronger (alcohol wise), and has more roast malt smell
Taste - my version is a lot closer to the real thing than I thought it was going to be. Again slightly more fruity flavors, but they meld into the roast coffee, bitter chocolate and roast malt flavors. I would have liked more roasted malt flavors in my version, as these are stronger in the proper version. The mouth feel of mine is bang on the money even though it is 2% weaker.
All in all very happy with how this is getting on. It will still need some months I think for it to smooth of some rough edges, but it is a lot further along than I expected!