Tag Archives: Stout

Sierra Nevada Chocolate Chili Stout

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From Sierra Nevada’s High Altitude series, Chocolate Chili Stout is exactly what it sounds like. The nose is roasty with cocoa and a hint of coffee. The middle is rich and exceptionally dry, with cocoa powder, light molasses, and starchy tannin. The finish is malty and woody, and a bit of heat from the chilies. The body is medium, and the alcoholic is an Imperial-ish 8.2% ABV. I have to admit that I’m slightly disappointed that there isn’t more heat from the chilies, but it is there, and it lingers and grows after the finish, and that aside, this is a really excellent beer, and everything that is here is fantastic. Top notch brew.

I give it a 4.7 out of 5.

Allagash Black

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Allagash calls Black a Belgian-style stout, brewed with roasted and chocolate malt and caramelized candi sugar. The nose has a bit of coffee and dark fruit. The middle is silky smooth and bready. It’s brown sugary sweet, but only mildly so; not too sweet. Coffee and chocolate rise in the finish. The body is medium to heavy, and the alcohol is high for a stout, but not for a Belgian at 7.5% ABV. A beautifully executed stout, in all, and lovely to drink.

I give it a 4.6 out of 5.

Howe Sound Diamond Head Oatmeal Stout

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Diamond Head is a traditional Oatmeal Stout from the fine folks of Howe Sound Brewing in beautiful British Columbia, and I love a good Oatmeal Stout. The nose has roasted grain and caramel. The middle is smooth and silky as an Oatmeal Stout should be, and bready and toasty with hints of coffee and oatmeal. The finish is dry, as the oatmeal kicks up and the sweetness in the middle disappears. The body is light to medium and the alcohol level is 5% ABV. A really nice, classic Oatmeal Stout.

I give it a 4 out of 5.

Sierra Nevada Rain Check Spiced Stout

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Sierra Nevada has expanded east, and to celebrate the opening of their new brewery in Mills River, NC, they released Rain Check Spiced Stout. Though released in summer and tasty any time of year, this has all the flavors of a classic winter treat with chocolate, ginger, cardamom and cinnamon coming through and just a hint of citrus. This is a sweet beer from start to finish, with the flavors transitioning from sweet and spicy in the middle to sugary at the end, with brown sugar and caramel notes, and a bit of root beer right at the end. It’s wonderful to see the success of a great brewery like Sierra Nevada lead to an expansion like this, and this was a great brew to celebrate the achievement.

I give it a 4.6 out of 5.

Samuel Adams Thirteenth Hour

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For the second beer in my Samuel Adams Barrel Room Collection series, I’m trying out Thirteenth Hour. It’s called “A Dark Belgian-Style Stout with Notes of Spice, Coffee, Chocolate, & Oak.” So, what does that actually mean? There’s a bit of oak in the nose, with some traditional Belgian fruit. The middle is mostly Belgian strong dark ale, with cherries, plums, prunes, and a bit of brown sugar, but then some stout flavors start to come through in the finish…Chocolate and coffee, and a big kick of vanilla from the oak. There’s still tart fruit all the way to the very end so you never forget this is predominately a Belgian, but the malty notes of a big English stout are a fun twist and they blend well; this is a nicely executed beer. The 9.0% ABV is more typical of a Belgian Strong Dark ale than a stout, and it hides nicely and is never boozy. This is another very nice beer.

I give it a 4.3 out of 5.

Stone Imperial Russian Stout

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I suppose the name tells you all you need to know about the style. The interpretation is Stone standard, hop heavy and west coast. The nose is chocolaty and warm. The middle starts out the same, with some lovely milkiness and currant notes, then transitions to heavy bitter pine and coffee. The finish is roasted grain and fading coffee and anise. The body is quite heavy as you’d expect, and the alcohol level is equally stout at 10.6% ABV.

I give it a 4.6 out of 5.

Founders Imperial Stout

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I don’t know what it is about Founders, but this Michigan brewery knows how to do big heavy beers like few others. Today I’m having an Imperial Stout, which is one of their specialty beers, with availability from January through March. Which, again, makes this a winter seasonal. It’s brewed with ten different varieties of malted barley for a rich, complex flavor. It pours a dark inky black-brown. The nose has chocolate and unique woodiness that reminds me of the smoke from a mesquite fire, and a bit of hickory and toast. The head is thick and the texture of light whipped cream. The middle explodes with different flavors including chocolate, molasses, brown sugar, raisins, and coffee. The finish settles down and is sweet, heavy, and milky with a little well-balanced maple syrup and coffee lingering on the back of the tongue right at the end. The body on this beer is well and truly heavy. This is a stout’s stout. The alcohol is high at 10.5% ABV, but very well hidden. This is one of the finest example of a stout that I’ve had.

I give it a 4.7 out of 5.