Upon opening the bottle, I was hit with an overwhelming sweetness, Gillian said the smell reminded her of a big Barleywine (like Bigfoot). This wasn't surprising as I'm sure there's a ton of residual sugar in a beer this big. There was a surprising amount of carbonation and head after pouring which kicked up all sorts of aromas, most notably sweetness but also a hoppy/bitter note.
The taste isn't mouth-puckering but this young beer needs some time to mellow. There is a fantastic coffee flavor we both picked up in the finish after swallowing. It lingered around for a while, we're not sure where that's coming from but each and every sip had it.
My fascination with this beer isn't just because of the super-high ABV. There seems to be an ABV war going on today in craft beer, but a lot of the infamous 'winners' of said war use freeze distillation to achieve such a high alcohol level. This beer, along with some others like Sam Adam's Utopias, use natural fermenation only for their beers. That is, they brew a beer much like you would a Blonde Ale, add yeast and let it ferment. It's a little more complicated here because brewers yeast tend to die off past 10% ABV. In order to get the beer properly fermented a ridiculous amount of yeast has to be used as they die off in the harsh conditions. Freeze distillation is much different and doesn't pose the same issues as natural fermentation.
I'll be sure to report back after a year or two of cellaring. We're thinking of cracking another on our 1 year anniversary next Fall.