Black is Beautiful | Wellington Brewery

Score: 74/100 - above average

From a 355ml can served warm at 15 degrees Celsius into a TeKu glass. Canned on: July 16th 2020 making this just over 6 weeks old. The can comes straight from the brewery and it was acquired through a friend. My expectations are above average given the recipe and the style.

Appearance (6/6)

The beer pours a very dark brown (opaque black in a glass) with 5cm of moderately dense, creamy, deep tan head which dissipates into a partial film within 3+ minutes. Decent lacing with good head retention. Solid looks.

Aroma (16/24)

Moderate intensity with good balance. The aroma is dark, roasty, and surprisingly restrained. Pronounced chocolate malt pairs with a touch of molasses, low caramel sweetness, a hint of earth, and a splash of coffee. Low, perfumy alcohol. In addition, there's a metallic off-note which is not apparent with every whiff. The dry nose is malty-rich with notes of chocolate, roasted barley, molasses, and mild caramel.

Flavour (30/40)

Strong intensity with bitter balance and aggressive perceived bitterness. The palate opens up with notes of salted black licorice dusted with cocoa powder making way for a brash center where the beer takes on a boozy chocolate brownie character. Low earthy hops at the back while the alcohol character is rather sassy. The long finish is strong and bitter with notes of dark chocolate, roasted barley, earth, and molasses.

Mouthfeel (8/10)

Full body with medium-low carbonation. The mouthfeel is heavy and viscous with considerable alcohol warming and an off-dry finish. Mild astringency with low harshness on the palate.

Overall (14/20)

Wellington Brewery's Black is Beautiful is only slightly above average. I'm a little surprised and kind of dissappointed. It doesn't help that this goes in direct comparison to yesterday's BiB by Block Three - which was beyond my expectations. Funny enough, this looks better than the one from yesterday: it raises a nice-looking, creamy head which sticks around for quite a while. The aroma unfortunately doesn't deliver a lot of character: it simply lacks depth. There's a metallic off-note there as well which thankfully doesn't come through in the flavour. On the palate the beer has some great chocolate notes ranging from cocoa powder to brownies to chocolate cake, but the alcohol is prominent and due to its edge I find it takes away from the overall drinking experience. The mouthfeel has a lovely weight to it but it's slightly harsh leaving a low burning sensation on the tongue. Having said that - with its ups and downs - this is still a pretty good beer that I would drink again depending on the circumstances. Kippis!

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