|Look closely and you can see what team I coach!|
Anyway, the homebrewer that created this beer and is a winner of this contest, Joe Formanek, has a sketch of him on the label. The neck label talks a little about Joe's background and then calls this a "satisfying winter brew" which is perfect since it's 87°F here now and my A/C has been broken for 3 days. Enjoy before August, 2012.
Nice chocolate-dominant aroma, with some roasted coffee and licorice with an aggressive swirl. Chocolate also dominates the flavor profile initially, sweet and milky, creamy and silky. Licorice and a light roast are nuanced at first but become more pronounced with a bit of warmth (which as I mentioned comes quickly in my 83°F home). The 8.9% alcohol also highlights those secondary flavors while adding a little heat.
Some coffee bitterness comes through toward the end, offering a little balance to an otherwise lightly sweet beer. Those coffee flavors taste just a little stale and flat. Low carbonation, decent body. Nice flavors overall and very enjoyable. Congratulations to Joe with a very nice beer!