This is the fifth in a series (of five) stouts from Dark Horse Brewing Company. I read about this series and promptly decided I needed to try them all. Derek and I posted dueling reviews of the blueberry stout, which was a LOT better than it may sounds. I picked this one up last February and figured it was time to open it up.
Anyhow, I was looking forward to trying this one for Stout Day and here’s my review.
The packaging is subdued, not something that would grab my eye, but sufficient. This beer pours deep, dark and oily. There is no light getting through this sucker. The head is short and dense (see photo below) and disipates quickly. The first smell is charcoal and chocolate, with hints of roasted (burnt?) malt. I was too excited to spend much time smelling this beer, so let’s jump in.
The taste is everything you expect from an imperial stout… rich and complex. Roasted malt really jumps out at me early and mellows as it goes down. I taste mollases, dark chocolate (like 85%) and faint hints of dried cherries as the beer coats my mouth. The hops are there, but definitely take a back seat to the malt in this one. The finish gives me a slight pucker, but it’s not unpleasant. Truly a great beer and I’m glad I have at least one more of these in the cellar.
Taste: A. Great representation of the style.
Drinkability: C+. While this is delicious, it took me out for the night. It may have been something else entirely, but I was ready for bed soon after I polished this off. Be prepared.
Vitals: Served from a 12oz bottle at 45F. I let it warm significantly during the review and noted more bitterness as it warmed. IMHO it tasted best at 50F.