On tap, Yin’s rich chocolate malting outdoes Yang’s tropical fruiting for resilient B & T. Roasted chocolate, cocoa and vanilla contrast currant-spiced black cherry tones. Betters most competitors.
Enormous 32-ounce can brings tinny metallic derision to slick caramel malting and phenol-hopped acridity of understated, lackluster porter-bock mix. Despite boasting ‘glacial mineral water,’ crispness lacks. Obliging brown-sugared cocoa-powdered chocolate roast overrides ashen cola-walnut singe consuming astringent purple grape, prune, and cherry whimper, weakening to chalky mocha tartness. Slight barleywine lick detected at blah dried-fruit finish. Serve to less discriminating brown ale consumers.
Whether or not fully convincing as a surprisingly light black & tan (mixing Drayman’s Porter with Hoosac Tunnel Amber), there’s plenty to appreciate. Chewy vanilla-chocolate sweetness weaves through permeating honeyed wheat spine, brown sugar glaze, milky chocolate souring, and minor hazelnut haze before enduring raisin-prune-fig expansion dominates hazelnut coffee-influenced finish of glowing copper amber curiosity. On tap at Doherty’s, fudgy caramel-burnt brown and black chocolate sweetness as well as mild coffee tones embrace fruit-spiced pale malting.
Strong fruity essence not often associated with Black & Tans. For better or worse, bitter chocolate notes overwhelmed by grainy lager sharpness. Distracting over-carbonation and sour mocha finish are letdowns, but a burst of sweetness coats the aftertaste. As with many black and tans, it loses its natural essence since it’s difficult to create in the bottle and easier to blend on tap when mixed at the time of serving.
Gentle overriding carbonation consumes faintly mocha-scented deep brown body, degrading insignificant black & tan. No bittersweet malt thickness exists and plain toasted hop finish stumbles.