Archive for the tag “Imperial Stout”

Black Belle Imperial Stout – Blackstone Brewing Company

 

blackbelle_bttl10.2% ABV
Gifted by Nick M. and poured into globe glasses.

This imperial stout “infused with cacao nibs and aged in bourbon barrels” was brewed by Nashville, Tennessee-based Blackstone, and it pours a thick, oily black with a sliver of a brown head.  Black Belle has an exceptionally rich and dessert-like nose of dark chocolate-covered coffee beans, toasted marshmallow, cola, and some booze.  The alcohol is even more upfront on the first swallow, but the magic of Black Belle is that it expertly manages to offer all of the flavors of hard alcohol (i.e., chocolate and coffee take more of a supporting role to vanilla and toast) without any discomforting throat burn.

toasts-4.5   4.5 Toasts

BlackBelle

 

toasts-4.5   4.5 Toasts

 

Beer Geek Vanilla Shake – Mikkeller

vanilla_bttl13% ABV
Purchased at LowBrau ($/ oz. pour) and served in tulip glasses.

Beer Geek Vanilla Shake pours an ebony black with a vaporous brown head, and emits a gigantic candy shop nose of vanilla, milk chocolate, candied nuts, black coffee, sweet breads, and caramel.  There is a massive sweetness on the first swallow as well, including flavors of vanilla beans, coffee grounds, and melted chocolate, although it’s a little smoother and more refined than the nose would have you believe.  It has the overall taste of coffee-vanilla syrup, or a coffee crème brulee, finishing with some pecan and wood bitterness that asserts itself more on subsequent swallows.  Mikkeller has brewed a beer that is very tasty in small servings, but might be a bit too much for large pours and solo bottle shares.

toasts-4   4 Toasts

mikeller_vanilla

toasts-5-small   5 Toasts

Black’s Dawn – Cismontane Brewing Company

cismontane-blacksdawn_bttl8.5% ABV, 50 IBUs, 30 SRM
Purchased at City Beer Store in San Francisco ($5.99/16 oz. bottle) and poured into pint glasses.

This imperial coffee stout brewed by Rancho Santa Margarita-based Cismontane pours a licorice black with a bubbly brown sugar head and a nose of chocolate-covered coffee beans, caramel, wood, and dark fruits.  Black’s Dawn leads with strong coffee and hay, with mocha coffee and a prominent bitterness coming to dominate the back end.  The finish is pretty clean, with neither the syrupy residue you often find in strong coffee beers, nor the velvety and decadent texture of many imperial stouts.  Instead, the lasting impression is of wood, smoke, and a profound coffee and hop bitterness, along with touches of vanilla and an unusual grape or berry note that I can’t quite place. 

toasts-3.5    3.5 Toasts

Cismontane_BlacksDawn

 toasts-3.5   3.5 Toasts

 

Serpent’s Stout – The Lost Abbey

serpent_stout_bttl11.0% ABV

Purchased at Pangaea Bottle Shoppe ($12.99/25.4 oz. bottle) and poured into globe glasses..

This imperial stout pours a midnight black with a medium-sized, brown sugar-colored head, and a beckoning nose of dark chocolate, roasted coffee, port grapes, and a little licorice root.  The profound aroma suggests little in the way of sweetness, and the first swallow follows suit, offering bitter dark chocolate, dark-roasted coffee, a pronounced wood character, rich loam, and a fairly heavy hop profile.  Mostly black coffee flavors are present throughout, but a bit more black forest cake-style sweetness emerges as it warms in the glass.  More barrel wood comes through than booziness, even at 11% ABV, and there is nothing silly or gimmicky about this beer – it’s a heaven for fans of big stouts.


toasts-4.5
   4.5 Toasts


SerpentsStout

 toasts-4.5   4.5 Toasts

 

Post Navigation

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 485 other followers