North Coast Brewing Company in Fort Bragg, California. I had this beer once before, back in June, 2009, so let's see how this stacks up to that first review after 27 months. This particular bottle is a half wine bottle, 375mL, 12.7 oz. It is part of North Coast's American Artisan Series and depicts an ultra-cool monk in shades drinking a glass of beer while caressing a human skull. Purchases of this beer support Jazz Education at the Monk Institute. Finally, Carpe Diem Vita Brevis is posted on a banner for you to ponder.
Nice aroma. Fruity raisins and cherries with caramel and brown sugar all layered over some yeast. Raisin and dark fruit flavors also take control at the beginning, rich yet still light and kind of hard to explain. Brown sugar and caramel work excellently with those fruits. The carbonation is so fine and creamy and luxurious, delivering the flavors in such a nice way. Mmmmm.
Definitely a yeasty beer as well with a multitude of subtle and complex nuances. Acidic grapes and light tartness; interesting spiciness and candy sugar. Yeah, a lot happening, but working so well together. Especially toward the end, you will start to feel and taste that 9.4% alcohol. First the alcohol heat, then the alcohol giving a rum-like texture to the fruits. A nice, lingering fruity aftertaste is what you are left with. Great beer that I recommend for anyone and everyone.
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