Showing posts with label stout. Show all posts
Showing posts with label stout. Show all posts

Nov 12, 2018

Ellison Tiramisu Stout


Winter. It's hard for this writer to find reasons to get all excited about it anymore. One I can find though is stouts. Their roasted flavors provide some sort of psychological warmth for what will seem like endless days of monochrome views from here on into the spring.

That warming effect is pretty much instantaneous from opening the can of this offering from Lansing, Michigan brewery Ellison. Dark roasted coffee and chocolate rise from the glass immediately like welcoming you from coming in from the cold. Notes of sweet dark fruits and caramel add slight but rich details to the aroma.

While the coffee, cocoa flavors (along with a hint of smoke) are also the star of the show flavorwise, it's also where those aforementioned little details get to work some tasty magic. More than a smidgen of vanilla cream makes it place known too, really giving this stout a legit claim to tiramisu flavor. It's sweet but not syrupy. Bold but not burly. The finish is slightly sweet with enough coffee bitter to keep any sugary, weird candy flavor effect away.

I made a note that I am going to stick on my fridge. It's a list to remind me what stouts I should be sure to keep on hand once the snow starts blowing all around (and, from what I read today, that very well may start tonight.) This is one of the beers that is on it.
Pour yourself a cup at www.ellisonbrewing.com

Jul 9, 2013

Arcadia Ales Cocoa Loco Stout

Smashin' Transistors unpaid intern, The Ripper, investigates this brew before it was tasted.
     Sure, it is summer. And, yes, I am usually one of those kind of people that believes stouts are only suppose to be drank in autumn and winter. It's, y'know, one of those "things". Like not wearing white pants before Easter and after Labor Day or something.
     Sometimes though you gotta break the rules. And if you're gonna break the stout rule might as go full bore. No boring ol' Guinness is gonna do. Now, a triple chocolate stout with some molasses and lactose included in the brewing process? Yep! That'll work.
     A moderate soft pour of this almost black in color pour leaves just a slight cap of froth on the top. That froth does hang all most of the way through the glass and leaves spots of drifting lace all the through. The cocoa does stand tall in the aroma with notes of espresso with double shots of milk sugar and cream. There is a slight hint of alcohol in the nose too but not any more than one would expect from a 7% abv.
     Baker's chocolate and the slightly burnt coffee from only gas station for miles bitterness is the first thing pronounced in the flavor. It's a little bit of a punchy opening along with some smokey bits but then the sugars from the lactose come along to soften the blow with just a enough sweetness to take the edge off while giving the beer a bit of creaminess in texture that was not noticed at first.
     As the beer breathes and adjusts to room temperature-the molasses becomes more noticeable adding another level of subtle complexity. The finish leaves a large does of dark chocolate coating mixed with sasparilla soda fizziness behind in the mouth.
     I don't think I could know back more than a couple of the current Michigan summer climate of thick humidity and shoulder frying heat. They are very chewy and quite warming. When the cold wind start blowing again (and they will-they always do) though I could spend a few hours sipping on these.
http://www.arcadiaales.com/

Dec 28, 2012

Sierra Nevada Narwhal

     Looking outside the window at the 10 inches of snow that dropped in my yard the last couple of days it is most definitely winter time in these parts. Time for some slow sipping beers that bring a nice warmth to the body and encourage contemplation. Not just contemplation of the beer but just things in general.
     Pouring almost black and letting no light in at all (I tried it in several rooms, against several windows and lamps), minimal head (might be from a super soft pour or the glass as I had one of these a week back and it boomed with an inch and half frothiness that hung on for quite awhile) and slight lacing (again maybe the glass and the soft pour) this is quite a rich looking stout.
     Aromas starting bursting as soon as the hit the glass and filled the room. Reminded me something of a port wine with hints of chocolate and a good dose roasted coffee for good measure. 
     Bitter dark fruits come first in the flavor. Quite rich and distinctive. Notes of bourbon, coffee and a tad of hop bite follow it adding a the first twist to the brews complexity.  Another twist comes in the end as there is a bit of creaminess followed by a dry baker's chocolate finish.
     The mouthfeel of the beer itself is interesting for as thick as it may appear there is bit of airiness to it but is still a bit chewy. The kick of the 10.2% abv is present all throughout the sips but is never overbearing but has enough warmth to make the frigid temps outside not seem so bad. This is a good one to nurse on a day like today where there is no need to go outside, there's a hearty meal cooking in the oven (though one of these is almost a meal in itself) and wool sock provide the perfect buffer zone between feet and a cold floor.
www.sierranevada.com

Mar 23, 2011

Founders KBS (2011 edition)

 A week or so ago when we had temp's in the 60°F range I told friends and family "I have to finish up whatever straggling stouts I have kicking around. The warm weather is here to stay and it's time for warm weather beers. These thick stouts just ain't the kind of thing that cut it in that kind of climate."
"What about KBS" It'll be in stock in a few days" a buddy who orders the beer at one of my go to party store's in town asked.
"Well, that doesn't count because it's not just a stout but something close to pure manna" I said to him "but even after that NO MORE STOUTS til the old man winter weather returns."
Then last night BOOM! ANOTHER FREAKING WINTER STORM. Mean, thick, heavy sleet fell down. It was some back breaking work digging the car out of the nasty and wet mess that had dropped from the skies out but it had to be done. KBS had arrived to the area. It's a rare bird and is not something that can be put off picking up "sometime later in the week" because it doesn't last long on the shelves after it's released and when it's gone IT'S GONE FOR A WHOLE 'NOTHER YEAR (unlike this freaking snow though it seems).
A thin but hearty coffee with cream colored head sits on top on what has the be the darkest stout brew on this and, though it melts a bit, still hangs on all the way through the session. The aroma is first and foremost bourbon and oak wood due to it being casked in whiskey barrels for over a year. Other scents that follow it are coffee, chocolate and vanilla.
The scent alone is enough to make one smile and the flavor bursts open the tastebuds senses in ways the aroma was just hinting at. The bourbon characteristics warm the tongue and body even faster than they did the nostrils. Warms the heart of a serious beer lover too as it is making me smile despite no matter where I look outside I see a six inches of cold and clumpy mass covering everything.
The bourbon flavors don't overtake everything in this velvety and thick brew though as the sweetness from the chocolate and vanilla flavors and coffee bean bitters come in and balance each other out. Compared to other years this finishes with a slight hop hotness but it works incredibly with the bourbon warmth that goes along with it.
Other brews attempting the same kind of thing that Founders is doing with this may try to come close but none of them can match the twists of  complexities that are going on here. There's a reason why KBS gets ranked one of the top end beers of the world in places like Beer Advocate (where it currently ranks as #4). Utterly amazing stuff here. No doubt about it.
http://www.foundersbrewing.com/