Batch 10,000 Commemorative Ale - This beer pours a very dark brown, black really, with the light at the bottom showing what appears to be some ruby. The heard is an inch of creamy very light brown foam. The aroma is hop forward, very big, and complex. There is pine, resin, grapefruit peel, smoke, black licorice/star anise, dried dark fruits, sweetness, a bit of fruitcake, and more, but it gets hard to differentiate. The aroma is so full of energy, it is vibrating. The taste is massive without being overwhelming, and suprisingly light in the mouth and drinkable for all its taste. It is deep rich, roasted, smokey, but not really in a coffee or chocolate way (although more coffee does appear as it warms), more in a light peat, light whiskey, chicory manner. The aroma was hop forward, but the taste is more malt forward, with the hops appearing on the finish, providing some pine resin and a bracingly dry bitterness. 9.2% ABV.
It is my understanding that there have been some really split opinions from beer heads on this beer. I think it is massive, interesting and complex, with a bold aromas and taste, while still being very drinkable. I am in the very positive camp on this one.
From the website about this beer: "...our brewers used over 100 different malts, grains, and other fermentables, and followed them up with a blend of 60 different hop varietals between the kettle additions and dry-hopping."