Tree: Torreya californica (California Torreya or Nutmeg)
The start of a new decade. I wonder what they added to the brew to make this beer that much more special. In any case, it poured very similar to the year prior with a deep brown color. One could argue that it is a brown ale or mild porter base with the addition of spices. Looks as thought it would fit either style. The head billowed up slowly and created a tan fluffy head that laced.
Expecting a soy sauce-like aroma I was pleased to find it did not. Spicy, licorice, and dark bready notes met my nose. Additional hints of arise, cinnamon, nutmeg (ironic?) and hazelnut all created a nutty almost chewy smell. Rich with minor chocolate undertones it seemed to me that this bottle had withstood the test of time. It did smell as thought it was a little more aggressively hopped with an English variety.
Moving right into in big gulp my palate was picked up on the chewy malt profile and chocolate semi-sweetness. The spices mentioned above did play a part in the flavor and did so delicately. They were not overpowering in the slightest. Deep molasses notes coated the middle of the palate right before a spruce-like bitterness rounded out the finish. It was dry and had a hoppy aftertaste layered in chocolate. I enjoyed this 11 year old bottle very much.