Panda is an American Stout brewed by J. Wakefield Brewing, and for the purposes of this craft beer review, the ale was served in a nonic pint glass from a can.
The Stout pours an opaque mahogany brown and is topped by a thick and dense cap of tan-colored foam that shows good retention. An aggressive pour yields the best results. Suspended bits of sediment are visible along the sides of the glass. A couple of patches of sticky lace cling to the sides.
The aroma is sweet and roasted with a scent of smoke and vanilla. Once the beer warms, the Stout smells more like an espresso.
The palate begins with a slightly sweet with the taste of bready malt blended with cocoa. The sweetness grows intensely with a swell of chocolate syrup. The balance on the backend is mild with most of it going towards the roast malt. But there’s also some earthy hops in there as well. The session then sweetens again with flavors of chocolate and vanilla.
Its feel is smooth and creamy and the sweetness coats the back of the mouth. The body is medium-full with moderate carbonation and finishes dryly with a less-than-moderate warming sensation.
The appearance of sediment is a bit odd but otherwise, this brew looks good in the glass. The aroma is pleasant and the feel is spot on. The palate leans towards the sweet side and makes sense considering its Oreo cookie concept. Even so, this brew could use a bit more balance. Otherwise, the Panda is a fantastic Stout.