Sunday, March 30, 2014

The Bruery Black Tuesday (2013 vintage)


4.3
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
Chad9976 (1073) - Albany, New York, USA - MAR 30, 2014
I split a 750ml bottle with five friends. I poured my share into a snifter. It was bottled on 9/18/13 and sent to me in a trade (thanks, Christopher!).

Appearance: Dark brown proper hue, slightly black with ruby red highlights. Pours to a miniscule, beige, soapy head which almost completely dissipates and leaves no lacing.

Smell: Strong aroma of sweet vanilla and bourbon, though not boozy per se.

Taste: At 18.9% ABV, Black Tuesday is a big beer to say the least and its reputation definitely precedes it. I’ve had extreme beers before, but this one doesn’t seem to be as over-the-top as others of the genre. It’s sweet and robust, obviously, but it’s not all that complex. The palette is a little repetitive with a constant combination of vanilla and bourbon. That’s okay, because those flavors are quite delectable.

Right away, the vanilla from the barrel aging makes itself known. Intense, confectionery sweetness akin to vanilla extract dominates this palette. Through the middle there’s some minor notes of sour grape, dark cherry along with additional sweetness of caramel and peanut brittle (or some kind of nutty/earthy character). Since the beer is bottle well after a year it was brewed, it’s not surprising that the hops have dropped out. It’s a bit disappointing because the malt character is so rich combined with the alcohol, that it’s quite cloying an unbalanced. Still, this beer tastes great and is more than satisfying in a small pour.

Drinkability: When a beer is as heavy as 18.9% ABV you brace yourself for impact. Though I was pleasantly surprised that Black Tuesday was not a hot mess, and that the alcohol was well-masked by the base brew. There’s definite warmth throughout, but it’s not distracting. Though I found it burned my sinuses on the first swig or two. The mouthfeel itself is soft, but does not have a slick or sticky texture. It’s comfortable and smooth, and finishes relatively clean with just a slight dry sensation from the alcohol. Best enjoyed as a standalone beverage for special occasions shared with friends. 
Grade: 9/10