There is a plus, although it probably comes across as a bit of a backhanded compliment. The beers look good, which is presumably a big selling point (hence the otherwise unjustifiable clear glass), particularly the Original.
|Sorry, I forgot one!|
Rum Finish: Pours darker, the banana flavours and aromas are still there, but riper this time, as if more time's been spent in the fruit bowl. More tropical fruit and spice on the palate but apart from a bit of sweetness the rum doesn't really come to the fore. I'd suggest that this wasn't a cask from a really full on dark rum like the excellent Doorly's XO. The finish is confected, cloying and a bit unpleasant.
Winter Beer 2011: The banana is back. It's boozy, with a bit of a pithy bite - think mixed peel. It tastes somewhat synthetic, kind of carrying on from the confected character of the rum finish. It has a similar finish to that too. I definitely needed more body, and more spice.
So how to put a positive spin on this little exercise? I'd still give their recently released whiskey stout a go. From trying superb beers like Ola Dubh and some of BrewDog's Paradox range I'm beginning to think a richer, more robust beer simply stands up to oak better. To use a wine comparison. Oak use in white wine production has become a lot more sophisticated, leading to oaked whites that allow the fruit to come through rather than being like biting a twig. A lesson learnt in some brewing circles but not others?