It was pretty good, despite that. Reminds me strongly of an old ale (similar to BBC’s Outback Old Ale, if memory serves me), although it had a stronger, misplaced hop bitterness than I would have accounted for.
Here’s some abbreviated notes (from memory): dark red chestnut color; decent head. Sweet malty flavor with a nice full profile mouthfeel. I can’t say as I could detect any corn or molasses per se, though I couldn’t identify roast malt or black patent, either. Very malty, but with a striking hop bitterness that actually seemed out of place for the beer.
I had trouble placing the bitterness at first, because it didn’t resonate as a hoppy, resiny bitter flavor, but ultimately I decided it was a clean, strong hop. Maybe they dryhopped the batch? It wasn’t bad, but the bitterness was distracting, it seemed to clash with the style. I’d rather it was more subtle.
Decent beer, though I’d like to be able to sit down and take notes and be able to reflect on it a bit more—standing in the bar, shuffling out of the way frequently kind of detracts from the experience. Hopefully I’ll at least be able to try Deschutes‘ version to compare the two.