If anything screams Halloween, this treat from Ommegang Brewing does…
My first two words for this beer are sweet and sweet. This is a Halloween treat yo’ self for damn sure. The beers pours pitch black and initially has a big chocolate aroma. Flavor wise, it is a mix of milk and dark chocolate and quite roasty. For me, the peanut butter promised on the label us too faint. As it warms, more peanut aroma and taste arrive, but it is not peanut butter.
Did you think I would NOT review a bourbon barrel-aged beer this month? I specifically hunted a good choice to start with and who better than Firestone Walker who collaborated with Highland Park Brewery on the excellently named, No Ends, Only Beginnings.
This is a simple and effective beer. No bells. No whistles. There is a lovely sugary, caramel aroma here. Not much in the way of oaky barrel. I could see comparisons to brown sugar or a restrained vanilla cupcake. The booziness is really held in check by the sugar. If tasted blind, I would not say bourbon but I would rate it highly.
Last of the three featured reviews is the famed Bourbon barrel stout from New Holland Brewing, Dragon’s Milk.
The Dragon pours pitch black with a nice tan head to it. Quite nearly the prototypical, approachable bourbon-barrel stout. Slight bourbon nose with a smaller, tiny alcohol burn to it. A little sweet with a hit of vanilla. A little vinous quality as well. It does not taste anyway near 11%. I would have liked to see a little more heft to it.
For my birthday, I received a few blast from the past beers. By that, I mean beers that I thought good but for many reasons, have not had in quite a long time.
First up is Old Rasputin from North Coast Brewing…
Roasty and chocolately come to mind right off the top. This pours jet black with a great espresso head to it.
Now, considering current events a Russian Imperial Stout might seem a poor choice to review but this is a California take on a British styled stout for Russian monarchy. That, like history, is not easy to untangle.
For a 9% beer, it is a bit thin in the mouthfeel. But that strong flavor carries the day. This is and probably ever will be a great beer float beer. This would pair so perfectly with a coffee ice cream.
AleSmith wants to honor the Christmas warrior with their Holiday Hero. It is an Imperial Stout with Vanilla, Chocolate and Nutmeg hitting 10% ABV.
I haven’t had a Great Notion beer in awhile but SoCal has been getting quite a few beers from the PDX brewery that I thought the time was right for some dynamite, or lack thereof.
You will read about where I bought it later today, but here is the review from me and two fellow tasters…
This was not a well loved beer. One gave it the lowest rating she had given a beer and the other found it not to his taste. Me well, I found toasted coconut big time with a neapolitan ice cream aroma. There was some tropical notes but more strawberry. It was almost like a sour stout in which the ABV over 11% does not really show.
It may be another while before I have another pastry stout
Time to crack open the impressively packaged Imperial Double Mash Stout from MacLeod Ales…
This is a gentle giant of a beer. Pours dark brown in color with just a few, fast dissipating bubbles on top. I get cherry, chocolate and a slight nutty taste at first. This is a smooth beer. The ABV is not showing. As it warms, I get Dutch chocolate pudding with a bit of coffee bean bitterness.
Thanks to a certain virus, I don’t think I have been in Hollywood in over a year, but now there is a reason to visit…
…yup, Stout has created a bottle shop next to their Cahuenga Boulevard restaurant. I checked their online store and they have quite a few aged bottles to buy.
When I saw that the classic Black Tuesday was going to be put in 16oz cans, I was happy. I will be even happier when they come in adorable little 10oz bottles.
So, I typed that intro before I received a mega bounty of Black Tuesday 2020 which included cute little 10 ounce cans of three different variants!
You’ve got your maple, vanilla and Port barrel-aged versions but those will wait until November. Can’t rush a beer that hasn’t been rushed.
First, let’s talk the original. Almost drank it straight out the can like a libertine. It is boozy. But not as hot with alcohol as I feared. There is a burn. At 19+%, there is going to be one. But this drinks smooth and might well smooth more with extra aging. I get raisin and fig and big bourbon notes swirling. I can totally see why other flavors would appeal as additions to this.
It may be passé to say that we as beer fans need to hew close to our roots but there are relatively few beers that I believe need to be tasted each year. Black Tuesday is one of those beers.
Chapman Crafted is nearing the four year mark and they are doing it in a plain, VANILLA way with an Imperial Vanilla Stout. Take a closer look at the stat box, I love that the third flavor note is celebration.