The beer pours straight black. There is a short head of dark tan to brown foam that is not long lasting. The aroma is dark chocolate, raisins, and black licorice, along with a bit of char. The taste follows the aromas, but ups the pleasant char. The beer drinks smooth with a light to moderate carbonation. It is not strongly carbonated, but it has about as much as you will generally find in a RIS. The finish is moderately bitter, and has a star anise sting that lingers lightly in the aftertaste. This makes for a nice, solid stout, not great, but trending upward.