Thursday, April 8, 2010

282. Smuttynose Imperial Stout

Another from the Smuttynose Big Beer Series—you remember, the one I would sign up for, but they don’t ship. Stupid Smuttynose. They do also now have a half-case option, which again does us no good since you have to go to Portsmouth to pick it up. Oh, the humanity. Anyways, I digress—this is our fourth beer from Smuttynose, in addition to Shoals Pale Ale, Finestkind IPA and Farmhouse Ale.

Imperial Stout pours an inky black with reddish orange highlights and a latte-colored head that provides good lacing on the glass—let’s just say it’s got some legs. The nose is mostly roasted malt with a slight touch of herbal hoppiness and possibly grassiness in the background. Starting with a roasty sweet molasses front, Imperial Stout moves into bitterness and coffee flavors, ending with some slight alcohol and chalkiness and a bit of lingering bitterness. Medium to heavy bodied with a thick, viscous mouthfeel, Imperial Stout does have a bit of alcohol bite to it—it tastes a bit young, as the alcohol is sharp and slightly astringent. As well, the flavors haven’t really established themselves as of yet—everything comes across as still in process. We’re guessing in about six months that this will taste much more delicious once the flavors have a chance to better marry in the bottle, so we’ll be throwing our other bottle down into the basement and check back on it then. We’ll keep you posted.

From the Smuttynose website: “Originally brewed in the early 19th century for export from Britain to the imperial court of Russia’s Catherine the Great, imperial stouts are characterized by their dark color & full body. This style features a rich, malty sweetness coupled with aggressive hopping (especially in American interpretations). Notes of dried fruit as well as roasted malt flavors are typically present. For more information about this style, please consult the Brewers Association Style Guidelines.”


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