This is a "Belgian Strong Dark Ale, " a style marked by darkness of color, maltiness, fruitiness, and complexity of flavor. I've had a few beers of this style, and frankly did not care much for them. It's the fruitiness that turns me off; the figgy/plumb/raisin-esque flavor. But for some reason this beer called to me. I mean, the description is great - it's based on the turtle candy with "cocoa nibs, toasted pecans, caramelized sugar and a lot of caramel malts." Nom.Okay. It poured out thickly: dark brown with a nice tan head. The smell was great - definite nuttiness and cocoa presence.
I took a sip -- oh man. Not at all "figgy." Smooth, balanced, with sweet notes of chocolate and nuts. A bit of tartness, a bit of spice. Mild yeast. Mild bread. Creamy and delicious. Most definitely my favorite brew of this style thus far.
At times it was a bit harsh or "astringent", particularly at the end. But besides that it was a wonderfully delicious treat that was a pleasure to drink. The bottle informs that this brew can be aged for up to 10 years (when the final release of "12 Drummers Drumming" occurs). Will-power allowing, I will do my best to age my 2nd bottle of this and will be eager to see how it drinks then.
If your true love gives you this on the second day of any holiday, they're a keeper.