Cane Life 2020 (Green Label) | Other Half + J. Wakefield
From a 515ml bottle served warm at 14 degrees Celsius into a TeKu glass. I picked up this beer straight from the brewery about 5 weeks ago - it's still well within optimal drinkability. After having reviewed the other version of this beer just yesterday, my expectations are very high.
A replica of the red label - the beer pours a very dark brown (opaque black in the glass) with no head. No lacing and/or retention. Meh.
Strong with sweet balance. The aroma is nothing short of deep and luxurious - like a fine liquor. Rich butterscotch and vanilla character are paired with notes of milk chocolate wafers, toasted coconut, and perfumy ethanol. A touch of darkness from a black licorice essence. It's like OG Bailey's had a baby with Kahlua. The dry nose is reminiscent of coconut, toffee, and milk chocolate. Enticing.
Follows the aroma with strong intensity, sweet balance, and assertive perceived bitterness. The palate opens up salty-sweet with notes of vanilla, butterscotch, and molasses. As the flavour develops in the center, it takes on a boozy chocolate cake character which has been sprinkled with toasted coconut and soaked in Kahlua. Some indistinct hop-character at the back along with considerable ethanol help cut the sweetness. Let's toss in some black licorice for good measure. The long finish is strong and sweet-ish with notes of milk chocolate, butterscotch, wafer cookies, vanilla, and ethanol. Deeelish.
Full body with medium-low carbonation. The mouthfeel is hefty, slick, chewy, and round with considerable alcohol warming and a luscious finish. No astringency or harshness on the palate even though this strikes the tongue with a hammer.
Other Half Brewing's + JWB collaboration Cane Life 2020 (green label) is a world class pastry stout. At first - putting aside the same appearance - it all started off slightly less impressive than the red label, but in all fairness I think they score the same. I prefer the red one, but it shouldn't take away from something equally well-executed. The overall drinking experience provides great, prolonged sensory pleasure. This, combined with a hefty mouthfeel and specific ideas about Bailey's making a baby with Kahlua - I'm left satiated. This beer has the ability to transcend the present - I even forgot about COVID-19 while sipping on it. That's a feat. Another brew from Other Half and J. Wakefield which is worth seeking out. Buyer beware: there will be sweetness.