In other news, today is my one-year anniversary of my very first beer review over at Beer Advocate. Members can read my very first review here or for those who haven't joined, I'll post it below:
I've learned a lot since then. Tonight I'm planning on having my bottle of World Wide Stout -- I'll post the review here when I get it done.
Six-pack purchased from Great Spirits, Huntsville, AL.
This is a truly fantastic example of what beer can be. Pours a deep black color with amount of head depending on the aggressiveness of the pour. I tend to like a medium-aggressive pour, which produces a small but persistent red/black foam that persists until the end of the brew. An overly-aggressive pour can effect the head, and also effect the perceived sweetness of the beer -- if you want this beer to taste more like a dessert, it's best to pour more aggressively from the bottle.
After the look, the smell's the first thing that hits you. Smells like a nice stout, not a lot of hops, balanced perfectly between sweetness and bitterness. The aroma is one of the best parts of the brew; I like to sniff continually while drinking, and have been known to let it sit for awhile on my desk to let the aroma sink in for a bit.
Taste is fantastic, with coffee and chocolate flavors dominating, but still with that "beeriness" and alcohol underneath. Finishes about the same way it started, with perhaps a bit more bitterness.
The mouthfeel is good, but I the carbonation seems a bit overdone to me. It's not an extreme deal (hence the high rating) but the carbonation means I can't quite guzzle this one the way I'd sometimes like to.
This is one of my favorite beers right now. It has all of the qualities of a great stout, but instead of being bitter and dry, it is sweet and refreshing. I realize that not everyone shares my taste on matters of bitterness, but if you've tried Guinness or Rogue and didn't care for the dryness, this is an excellent brew to try.
EDIT 6/25/2005: I bought another six-pack of these and tried them again last night, and found that many of my earlier caveats about mouthfeel and drinkability were unfounded. This beer is good at virtually any temperature range, and even when I had one at nearly room temperature, it went down smooth and clean. I absolutely love this beer, and have upped the drinkability to 5 and the mouthfeel to 4.5 to better reflect what my more sophisticated palate tells me about this beer.