No snick, but plenty of CO2 in the neck of the bottle when opened. A satisfying pour, much like Oyster Stout (here), and with a head to match in many ways. However, this head matures into a whiter and creamier number and the darkness is more ruby than that. Definite tropical notes on the nose when whiffed, something like passion-fruit, and the bottle proclaims Chinook and Citra hops are used. It is a hoppy variety, that's for certain, and that bouquet is pleasing after some of the other offerings I've had lately. Not much fizz in evidence in the glass, but with something this moody and black that's a plus point!
The taste is strong. As in it can hold it's own. Tea is long in the past, no take out in this instance, but if I were to have this with food then I would feel that it would serve me well. Texture is cloying, a little, almost as though there's too much going on in the bottle so it slows down in your mouth. Not sure whether this is a negative part of the experience or not. As the bouquet fades there are toffee-esque qualities, like burnt cinder toffee or parkin, on the tongue and though I can taste some of that tropical fruitiness as it goes down it doesn't hang about. By the time the after-taste kicks in the toffee and caramel flavours win out and the faint echo of the hops is all that remains. I suspect that this does badly in comparison to the adventure of Wild Raven (here) but it is streets ahead of the kind of journey offered by Oyster Stout. Not a bad strength at 4.8% ABV neither, though toward the strong end of the scale I find myself drinking.
Enjoy this in the dark and when you have the lights down low. Fire up something to watch on the telly, preferably something with rich storylines and dark, brooding characters, get a big blanket, wrap yourself in it and drink well. Have just the one before moving onto to lighter fayre, something like Thoroughbred Gold (here) or Newcastle Brown (here) would do nicely. Don't talk through this one, let the darkness take you for a bit and close your eyes to savour the small amount of hops as they peer through the caramel malt. Then, when it's all over, hit the lights and curl up on the sofa.