A few minutes later, this is a smoother beer—the coffee seems a bit more subdued, although it could just be that my expecations are different. The flavors are more unified; definitely improved by the change in temperature. The only thing I can immediately imagine eating along with this beer is a steak, and I think that would be absolutely wonderful. Spaghetti with meatballs might do well, too. Though when I give it some thought, this could also be an amazing beer to have with a variety of cheeses. Strong, not necessarily hard; cheddar, bleu, asiago. Sharp cheeses with bite rather than smokey or smooth cheeses. I could also see this pairing well with an earthy pilaf or couscous; whatever it is, it should be fragrant and commanding. In general I think I'd go for constrasting flavors rather than similar flavors, with the single exception of dark chocolate; that would be the perfect complementary flavor, if you're drinking this after dinner rather than during. But then, dark chocolate goes with so many things. If I had to pick a vegetable to pair this with, it would have to be spinach or brussels sprouts, and I don't like sprouts, so there you go.
Once the beer starts to approach room temperature, the hops become much more pronounced; I preferred it before it got to this stage. So I'd take this beer out of the fridge ten to fifteen minutes before serving. All in all, I wasn't expecting so much coffee, but it's not overwhelming, and it sure doesn't show many signs of the 7.2% ABV in the taste. My impression is that I really want to drink this with a meal; it's got more flavor, and stronger, than I want for a refresher, and drinking this on its own seems like something of a waste of its potential; I want to appreciate its complexity along with other flavors. Someone with more of a taste for coffee, or for IPAs (this is a blend of the IPA, brown ale and scotch ale styles), might find this a more acceptable beer for casual drinking.