Sweetness evident, moderate to high intensity. Roasted grain aromas moderate to high, and can have coffee or chocolate notes. Fruitiness medium to high. May have a molasses, licorice, dried fruit, and/or vinous aromatics. Stronger versions can have a subtle clean aroma of alcohol. Hop aroma low to none. Diacetyl low to none.
Very deep brown to black in color. Clarity usually obscured by deep color (if not opaque, should be clear). Large tan to brown head with good retention.
Quite sweet with a smooth dark grain flavors, and restrained bitterness. Roasted grain and malt character can be moderate to high with a smooth coffee or chocolate flavor, although the roast character is moderated in the balance by the sweet finish. Moderate to high fruity esters. Can have a sweet, dark rum-like quality. Little to no hop flavor. Medium-low to no diacetyl.
Medium-full to full body, often with a smooth, creamy character. May give a warming (but never hot) impression from alcohol presence. Moderate to moderately-high carbonation.
A very dark, sweet, fruity, moderately strong ale with smooth roasty flavors without a burnt harshness.