This is the one you’ve been waiting for. Ever since rumors first surfaced of Deschutes bringing their beer to Ohio folks who knew of Deschutes had two words on their lips, The Abyss.
Simply put The Abyss is Deschutes take on bourbon barrel imperial stouts. Less simply I present Deschutes blurb on their beer:
A deep, dark Imperial Stout, The Abyss has almost immeasurable depth and complexity. Hints of molasses, licorice and other alluring flavors make it something not just to quaff, but contemplate.
As for the great “drink it now or let it age” debate, we stand clearly on the fence. Distinct and delicious on release, the flavors meld and fuse into an entirely different pleasure after a year or more in the cellar.
After my recent post on Victory’s Storm King imperial stout the comments on reddit brought to my attention a delicious idea I’d never heard before. Turns out that at the Victory brewery you can order a beer called a Silverback, now you won’t find this on any store shelves, it’s a mixture of half Victory Golden Monkey and half Victory Storm King. The white head from the Monkey on top of the black body from the Storm King give this brew it’s Silverback name. I’ve had a black and tan before, Guinness stout & Bass pale ale, and quite enjoyed them. However I have no idea what to expect from a stout and a Belgian tripel except for one thing; both of these beers are over 9%,so I will be drunk!
I poured the Golden Monkey first and ended up using a bit more then half of that before I got to the Storm King. I’d read that this didn’t separate this well like Black & Tans so I tried a trick and poured the Storm King on a spoon over the Monkey, as you’ll see it didn’t layer well either.
Very interesting appearance for sure. Kind of a dark brown or purple color beverage with a milky white head with streams of brown from the Storm King.
Woah, pungent aroma with plenty of roasty malt action as well as some flowery hops. Oh and a strong dose of alcohol.
Taste is curious as well definitely picking more of the stout here then the tripel. Strong malt body and taste with citrus and pineapple hops not found in any other stout I’ve encountered. Hints of chocolate, caramel, orange peel, and lots of “zest”.
Holy carbonation Batman! I’ve had fresh soda flatter than this, man those are some tingly bubbles, all riding atop a smooth medium body.
This has to be one of the most interesting beers I’ve tried. Not nearly my favorite by any means but most interesting for sure, no style has ever come close to this menagerie of taste and flavors. They’re good and all but not great, and that carbonation is a little over powering. This is certainly worth a try just bring a friend to split it with. Remember what’s interesting isn’t always the same as what’s good.
In the beginning of my adventure into stouts I had one of Great Divide’s Oak Aged Yeti bottles and didn’t think too highly of it. With all the other imperial stouts coming out recently I decided to pick up the Chocolate Oak Aged Yeti and give it my thoughts. First off here is Great Divide’s sales pitch:
CHOCOLATE OAK AGED YETI IMPERIAL STOUT is another revered incarnation of our legendary imperial stout. We toned down the hops a bit to allow cocoa nibs to contribute some pleasing bitterness, while vanilla notes from the oak combine with the cocoa to create an aroma and flavor akin to a gourmet chocolate bar. A dash of cayenne keeps things lively, adding just a bit of heat to the finish. Another great Yeti? Hell yes.
Back in the heady days (of 2 weeks ago) when folks (or just me) were hounding around town trying to track down every last bottle of Founder’s KBS (my review) Josh told me to look for Epic’s Big Bad Baptist Imperial Stout. This is a bourbon or whiskey, barrel aged beer just like KBS and from what I’ve been told it has a very similar profile. Luckily though, unlike KBS, it’s much more available much more often. I scored this bottle at Arrow Wine & Liquor up in Centerville and they had 2 more bottles left. Each batch of the Big Bad Baptist is slightly different than the others and this one, batch #10, has the following:
Big Bad Baptist Imperial Stout #10
Brewed on August 24, 2012. Packaged November 15, 2012.
This release was aged in both whiskey and bourbon barrels, primarily first-use whiskey casks, and second-use bourbon casks. Additional dark chocolate and fruit flavors mingle with the whiskey and bourbon notes.
Muntons Maris Otter Malt, Briess 2-Row Brewer Malt, Crystal Muntons, Weyermann Light Munich Malt T1, 2-Row chocolate malt, 2-row black malt, roasted barley
Ibis Coffee (Gayo Mountain Sumatra Dark) and Cocoa Nibs.
Following up last week’s review of Victory HopDevil, their IPA, I’m switching tracks and trying their imperial stout, Storm King. First here’s what Victory says, then on to the review:
Emerging from the deepest shades of darkness, a rolling crescendo of flavors burst forth from this robust stout. The thundering, hoppy appeal of Storm King subsides into the mellow subtleties of roasted malt, exhibiting an espresso-like depth of character in its finish. An exquisite blend of imported malts and whole flower American hops merge harmoniously in this complex ale. Discover the dark intrigue of Storm King, as it reveals the rich, substantial flavors that it holds within.
I’ve been meaning to come to one of these for months but things keep coming up and it’s not all that close to me. But I finally prioritized it and I’m so glad I did.
First of the important stuff, the beer list:
The way this works is that there are 6 tables each with 1 beer and 1 snack. The tables are spread throughout the store, but I got here early so I snagged a seat at the bar for a pint before everything started. While the bar does count as 1 table you still have to get up and walk around so getting here early isn’t a huge advantages. The tables are setup 1 – 6, light – dark, Hors d’oeuvre – desert. I’m not sure, and didn’t ask, if they were consciously pairing beer & food, but for the most part it seemed like they did.
You start at register 7, its $6 for a mug and the tasting but if you bring your mug back you save a dollar. At each table they hole punch your list of beers and give you an appetizer. Pretty simple setup that keeps things easy and awesome.
The first station was Bell’s Oberon and vegetable medley, both were delicious however I have problems with drinking a summer ale while it is snowing.
Station 2 is Left Hand JuJu brewed with ginger and paired with cajun catfish. That catfish was quite spicy and paired a little weird with the ginger.
Station 3 is MadTree PsycHOPathy paired with quinoa and farro topped with haloumi cheese. I love quinoa and have now discovered that farro is another awesome grain. This whole thing went great with the hoppy/bitter IPA.
Station 4 matched Kona Koko Brown Ale to a pepperoni pizza. They went well together but not outstanding.
Table 5 was a winter fruit cracker topped with brie cheese and spicy plum chutney paired to Ballast Point’s Dorado Double IPA. The Dorado packs a vicious kick of alcohol and bitter hops. It washes off the strong flavors of the cracker. I didn’t dig the snack but loved the beer.
Station 6 brought out Founders Imperial Stout and matzo crunch, which is a matzo cracker dipped in chocolate and sprinkled with walnuts. This pairs amazingly and the Founders imperial stout is just plain awesome! The interplay with the chocolate and the Imperial Stout was absolutely amazing.
Overall this was a fantastic experience that was well worth my $6. However the beer list and apps changes each week. They post the beer list on their Facebook page before hand, seems to be around noon on Tuesdays, so I’d suggest to check and make sure they have beers you like or are interested in first, hopefully they’ll start posting what the snacks will be as well. The store also has a decent bottle selection that includes a variety of single bottles.
Seriously I strongly recommend checking out one of these events and will definitely be back myself. This store is also hosting it’s own Whole Foods Craft Beer Festival on May 18th, so we have that to look forward to as well!
I’ve been slacking on posting reviews for some reason or another so here are 2 reviews I wrote over the past few days. I’ve finished my latest bout of stout/porter action with the strongest 2 of the bunch. Bourbon County Brand Stout (BCBS) comes in at 15% and Blackout comes in at 9%. Both are very well reviewed on rate beer and beer advocate, BCBS is also highly sought after in online trading. Blackout is available at any better beer seller while BCBS is too strong to sell in Ohio and rare enough that you have to ask someone at the Party Source to get it for you from a back room. Continue reading “Beer Review: 2 Strong Stouts – Goose Island BCBS and Great Lakes Blackout Stout”