The music starts very ominously. The beer as well, with its regal, golden color and turbulent and plentiful head.
Host's suite starts quiet and steady, and the beer’s aroma is calm and faint, but damp and floral. The first sip is sweeter than I expected. After a couple of dramatic beats, the music launches into what I’d describe as a staging area. It seems pleasant, even joyous. It invokes troops massing and preparing for a grand adventure. The beer’s bitterness builds with each sip, now invoking an acrid tartness that reminds of me port wine, with the potent alcohol taste present. The undertones are black currant or licorice. It’s a pleasant taste with something sinister lurking within.
The movement reaches the midpoint, and grows quiet again. It’s the calm before the storm. I stop sipping the beer during the crescendo to a battle. The two forces have met, they see each other across the long battle field and Mars, Bringer of War, is gleeful and excited as they charge. My mouth is again full of hops. The mouthfeel is rich and full on this one, full of the anticipation of battle and all the rich myriad of outcomes. The battle rages and soldiers die with each fizzling bubble of the beer’s head.
And then it’s over. The survivors lick their wounds, grieve for the dead, and roam the battlefield, the remains of battle can be seen in the lacing all the way up the sides of the glass. The battle was victorious, the defenders survived the day, and the castle is safe, but not without its cost. The 10% ABV took its toll and I’ll need to recover before having another battle like that.
Michael can be found on Twitter and Untappd where he's wondering what beer pairs best with Peter and the Wolf.