Well, here we are in the middle of February. Make it through this month then see whatever Mother Nature decides to throw at the Great Lakes region in March. Hopefully, nothing to extreme (especially after the record snowfalls and antarctic temps more than usual we've had to endure this season) and spring will be in complete force by April. All one can do is keep their finger's crossed and sip on some stouts til then.
The 2nd of Dark Horse's winter stout series, "Too", is their cream stout. It pours pitch black in color with a modest reddish tinted head the dissipates fairly quickly leaving a slight ring around the edges and minimal lacing. The aroma is fairly sweet with the scent of baker's chocolate and cream up front and the smell of very dark roasted & slightly bitter coffee in the background. The flavor has a very roasted malt taste up front with a slight bit of dark fruits, unsweetened chocolate and coffee laying underneath. A little hint of bitterness is there but is quickly mellowed out by a sweet cream base. It's not supercrazy in it's complexities but the flavors balance each other well. The finish is a bit lighter than your average stout but not in that weak ass watery Guinness way. Quite flavorful but nothing overbearing which makes it more sessionable than a majority of this style can have.
Fruit infused beers always seem to be a hard bargain with this reporter. It seems a lot of the time for me the "fruit" in them tastes like an extract, syrup or, even worse, something artificial like Kool Aid flavoring. Oh sure, there's a here & there fruit beer I like but it's rare. Dark Horse Tres, the 3rd (natch) in their winter stout series, is one of those rarities.
Very dark brown in color but a very slight bit of light can be spotted glinting around the edges. The modest head is a warm dark tan color that leaves a thin cap and spotty lacing. The scent is all about blueberries. Not a fake one either. Like whiffing a bowl of them. Sweet and natural. It does jump out of the a little almost like there's blueberry muffins baking in the oven but none of those "something may not be right" thought that I've experienced plenty of times in the past.
A creamy warm roasted malt is the base of it's flavor. Dark coffee and chocolate abounds til the blueberry envelopes them in a stately but not overstated manner. The finish is a nice balance of all the flavors that leave enough time to savior but not staying around too long.
Quite lively and robust and not too heavy. My better half, who cowers a lot when I bring a stout home took an initial sip then a few more and said "Now this is a dark beer I could drink on a regular basis". So there you gentleman. Trying to introduce a lady friend to the world of beer geekery but she curls her nose at them-try this. It's dude real beer tasting yet still enough fru-fru for her. Like Dark Horse's Raspberry Ale (one of the other rare fruit beers I actually like) Tres has the flavors but still tastes like a beer and not one of those dumb malt beverage experiments gone awry or someone dumped some extract in your beer.