Harrington’s Big John Special Reserve, which after the disastrous Belgium Tempest I’m slightly wary of. This however a Limited Edition, and at the same time a Special Reserve ! Cover both bases.
Dunkler Bock – The dark Bock has a deep copper to dark brown color. Medium to full-bodied, malt sweetness and nutty or light toasted flavors dominate. Hop flavor and aroma can be light to non-existent.
but they say in the notes – Strong dark ale, full flavoured brew with a hint of spiciness. Smooth roast malt flavour balanced well with hops.
Sets some expectations.
Aroma is sort of chocolate, and I thought faintly of orange but it’s not insistent, or overpowering, dark beer, reasonable head, not overly excitable carbonation.
They’re right that the flavour in this is mellow and low key, you can get the roasted/chocolate -notes, you get a mouth of fizz, and a linger on the palate. There’s a fairly decent lacing on the glass as well, not something I mention enough.
The top of this though carries an alcohol note, and that’s not something you generally look for in a beer of any kind, sure some have it and you know that you’re likely to find it, but I wasn’t expecting it with this.
The pdubyah-o-meter finds it a struggle to get to a 6 from 10 on this in it arbitrary way or all thing. My bottom line with this is that I have a friend, oh yes I do, called John, and would I give it to him as a novelty gift? And I think not. I rate it better than ‘meh’ as it really isn’t very offensive, it’d be ok to share with a friend and might spur you forward to try other dark beers, the porters, stouts etc.
But I’m glad I don’t have another if I was being honest.