I was recently sent a bottle of Pike's Entire Wood Aged Stout. Since I can't get Pike here is MA yet, Linda, the marketing manager for Pike offered to send me a bottle. I received it this week and finally had the chance to pop it open. Below is my review.
Appearance. Pours a dark black color with a thick creamy two fingered dark coffee color head. The head was very slow to disappear and left a decent lacing on the glass.
Smell. I think I didn't give it enough time to come down to proper temperature, but there was not a big aroma. I got hints of coffee and some malty bready notes.
Taste. The malty backbone of this stout is very obvious. Very well brewed on it's own. Hints of caramel came through and sweet chocolate flavors were present. There was a small hint of oak early on in the glass, but by about half glass the oak was very obvious, but not over powering. Very pleasant.
Mouthfeel. Mouthfeel was very smooth. Velvety was the word used in the press release and I agree. At the end of the sip the crisp carbonation came through a little.
Drinkability. I was very pleased with this beer. I can picture having a few of these after dinner. The high alcohol (9.5%) was very warming. The hints of oak and chocolate were perfectly balanced with the stout base and blended together well.
Overall, I was very impressed with this beer, although it didn't start out well. The neck and cap of the bottle were dipped in wax, which presented the bottle nicely. Unfortunately, it was a huge pain in the ass to get off. This is my first encounter with a waxed dipped bottle and I was not a fan. The contents inside where more than capable of making up for the wax issue. I can't wait until this beer makes it's way out to Boston. I can already see it becoming a favorite treat at the candy....i mean beer store!!