My first tasting notes--Fruitcake Old Ale
Aroma: BIG nose of spices, rich malt, dark berries, and alcohol aromatics up front. Cinnamon & sweetness dominate first. As it warms, I'm getting yeast notes, other spices ( maybe cloves?), then a sherry-like note with heavy fruitiness almost reminiscent of red wine: blackberries, tart cherries, raisins, and maybe plum.
Appearance: deep mahogany with orange-red glimmers at the edges when held up to the light. Pours a very low, tan head with fairly large bubbles. Head drops away within seconds to a faint rim. Good clarity.
Flavor: deep cherry and caramel malt flavors shine through with notes of spices and an almost sour tartness that lingers in the aftertaste. Hops absent or covered (as expected in an old ale). The strong fruitiness and secondary spice notes add a nice balance to the caramel malt, and that tartness clears the palate for the next sip. There does seem to be a very faint yeast/fermentation off-flavor in the background, but I only got it after warming up and it's very minor. Overall, a great balance of good flavors! My wife likes it a lot
Mouthfeel: less body than expected from the aroma, but the moderate mouthfeel allows the big flavor remain drinkable rather than cloying. The finish is thin enough to make me want another drink. Perhaps a touch higher carbonation level might add a hit of liveliness.
Overall: this is a very enjoyable beer. The balance is spot on--tartness and fruit balance out the malt and alcohol sweetness, and the spices add a perfect hint of complexity that rounds out the profile without clashing in the slightest.
Well done, and thank you for sharing!