The nose is a bit astringent on the opening. With a little air, it gets honey and black pepper. The palate is pancake syrup (not real maple syrup, the fake stuff). It's thin without much substance. On the finish it turns a bit spicy. While Rhetoric was was a bit less interesting than Old Blowhard and Barterhouse, Forged Oak is a solid step down from those earlier releases. It's sweet and flat and that's about it.