The beer pours black in color, deepest, darkest ruby when held to the light. There is an inch of creamy, foamy tan head. The aroma is vanilla, light bourbon, creamy, mocha dark roasted malt. The taste follows the aromas, but with a tang on the finish, reminiscent of dark fruits. The beer drinks fairly smooth and creamy, with a low bitterness. This is close, but not quite there, too tangy on the end, needs more dark roast to it and could stand more bourbon too (see below, the 2015 was even better).
The 2015 release has that extra bourbon it needed: The beer pours very dark brown to black. There is a short lived head of light brown foam. The aroma is brown sugar, molasses, bourbon, vanilla. The taste follows the aromas, starting sweet, bourbon, dark brown sugar, vanilla, and a bit of oak. There is enough dark roasted malt to hold up the bourbon and bring all the sweetness to a dry end. It is very warming, nearing boozy, but too out of balance. The beer drinks smooth. This drinks bourbon forward, without being completely overwhelmed. I like bourbon, so I like it.