Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Review - Southern Tier Imperial Choklat Stout

Southern Tier Brewing is not known for their mellow beers. They are purveyors of numerous "Imperial" beers, meaning usually more malt, more alcohol and more hops. Perhaps their most famous brew is their Unearthly Imperial India Pale Ale, a beer that is incredibly drinkable considering its staggering alcohol percentage. Continuing in this tradition is the Imperial Choklat Stout, made with actual bittersweet Belgian chocolate.

I was lucky enough to try a bottle after Lon, beer expert at The Strath, recommended it to me. For this one I would need a couple of confidants, so my buddies John and Kierin were good enough to sit down and help me drink it. As would be expected it is an impenetrable black colour and it pours with no head to speak of. Its aroma is of deep, rich chocolate with hints of caramel. It is filled with the scent of malted chocolate, reminiscent of a chocolate milkshake. I can't remember the last time the scent of a beer intrigued me so much, it was strong and endlessly complex. About this time Kierin piped up, "smells like maltesers!" Not to be outdone John chimed in as well, "its like the inside of a crunchy bar!"

The mouthfeel was thick, creamy and rich, almost silky in texture. Its flavour was permeated with chocolate, like drinking a chocolate malted."It tastes like toffee!" John said. "More like brownies!" Kierin replied. It's finish had a touch of higher alcohols, and a hint of sweetness, "like rum!" said Kierin. We all agreed that the only fault could be a bit of an alcohol finish that is somewhat lingering and drying, but as Kierin put it "thats being pretty damn picky!"

This beer is not exactly easy to drink, but it isn't supposed to be. Shared with two or three others, this is a perfect beer for enjoying after a meal or during a session of gentlemanly discussion, a beer to be sipped slowly and enjoyed. We all tried to guess at this beer's abv % and all guessed between 7 and 8 %. Wrong. This bad boy weighs in at 11% abv, and the only way I could have known that was from the way I felt the next morning. A fine beer.

Rating: Very Good

No comments:

Post a Comment