It seems appropriate to both continue on and then end the series of Ithaca beer evaluations with a brew that is one of their anniversary beers and, as a result, is no longer available. I bet Cousin Daniel had no idea how limited the beer was when he gifted it to me. Maybe he would have kept it for himself?
This was the only one of the four that I consumed and reviewed in the comfort of my own home (months later) and there is a longer list of tasting notes to prove it. Having a note of The Wife giving it a grade of B+ also proves that I was at home (until I take that show on the road).
And to finish the series . . .
Brewery: Ithaca Beer Co. (Ithaca, NY)
Style: Sweet Stout? (different on brewery site)
Tasting Notes: Stored in the wine fridge (52 degrees +/-) and served in (my Ithaca Beer Co.) pint glass. Bottle marked with batch E!016.
Aroma: Fairly light overall aroma with light roasted malt notes and some prominent coffee character. Smells similar to an iced coffee though not as full (diluted a bit).
Appearance: Very dark brown (black I suppose). Very tall, frothy, light brown head consisting of large bubbles that has good retention and leaves a heavy trail. Opaque, though a clear dark brown at the edges when held to light.
Flavor: Dominant roasted malt flavor with some bitterness that comes through toward the finish. There is an even sweetness throughout (with some notes of coffee) that all but cancels out the bitterness. Slightly lingering coffee sweetness at the finish.
Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation (though very much toward low). Very smooth with a light creamy character and some slight warmth in back.
Overall Impressions: Sweet (though not syrupy) and drinks like a dessert. Just the right amount of coffee flavor and a good sweet character that mellows out the whole. Good and very enjoyable, but short of great. If the style is truly a sweet stout, the ABV is a bit high (typically 4-6%).