The beer pours as black as used motor oil. There is about an inch of foamy, thick, light brown head that leaves curtains of sticky lacing on the glass. The aroma is vanilla, bourbon, dark brown sugars, chocolate, and wood. The taste follows the path started in the aromas, lots of dark sugars, browned and just shy of scorched, vanilla, bourbon, mild chocolate, dark roasted malts, with the dry astringency of the oak. The body is too thin for what the beer is doing. This is nice, but not nearly as good as XIV or XV were (I missed out on XVI).