I have to be honest. I debated for a while on how I felt about this one. I think the problem is that it’s a pretty big departure from most of the beers I’ve been drinking. Not very hoppy. And very rich and roasty. So, in other words, take this review with a grain of salt.

The aroma of this beer envelopes you from the start. Filled with coffee, chocolate and a dash of honey. There’s something inate about it, like you’re genetically predisposed to enjoy the sweet smells. Lightly carbonated, which seems to be fairly typical for most of the Goose Island beers I’ve enjoyed. Not a great deal of head, but what was there is a light ruby brown. The beer itself is a very nice, dark chestnut. Little to no lacing.

Now, here’s where the debate for me comes in. Once I finally got past the incredible smells, I took a slow sip, and was underwhelmed with how almost watery and tepid the brown ale came across. It’s incredibly smooth, but it’s a letdown after the robust aromas. I expected a bit more. About 30 IBUs, which you can hardly notice. Relatively weak mouthfeel. I notice on BeerAdvocate.com that many reviewers call this “a great session beer.” I’m beginning to wonder if that is code for passively likable and non-offensive (read: lacking inspiration). But I really can’t pan the beer, because even though it didn’t live up to my expectations, I recognize that most people would really enjoy this. Would I have this again? Ehh, why not. But I wouldn’t go looking for it.

B

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