Monday, February 21, 2011

458. Kevin Lolli Pumpkin Stout

Somebody, it would appear, has learned how to clean bottles since his last visit. I’d actually be afraid that I’d been given the same bottle as last time if I hadn’t recycled that one on my own. That is, unless Kevin is stalking my recycling. Which is always possible. Something, however, tells me Captain LSAT has a few more pressing concerns than scavenging back alleyways looking to get his creepiness on. And the sound of inevitability he hears at the end of the tunnel signals the end of the cool, laid back days of Beardo the Clown. Sorry, but I gotta get my digs in while I can. I will note, as a means of turning this back towards the beer, that while listed as a Pumpkin Stout, the pumpkin is pretty minimal (which means the spice is pretty minimal), and that this beer is more a sweet stout than a pumpkin stout.

Photo gleefully stolen from here. Looking good, Kevin.

Pouring a rich, thick, dark chocolate brown, Kevin Lolli Pumpkin Stout has a mousse-y tan head that both hangs around and reciprocally laces the glass a decent amount. It would appear, Kevin, that you’ve mastered the art of head retention with your beers, as both have been abundant and voluminous. The nose is sweet chocolate malt laced with a low level of pumpkin—I am ever so glad the spice volume was dialed down to uber-minimal, as there is balance between the components currently, although I expected to pick up a bit more roastiness in the nose. There is also a slight touch of bubblegum phenol, although that could be from either the pumpkin or some light banana fruit esters; I am not 100% certain one way or the other. The roasted malt is more discernable in the body; flavors start with dry chocolate malt in the front before giving way to light coffee and sweet chocolate in the middle. There is also a touch of pumpkin/light spice flavor and just a touch of roastiness in the middle, which leads into the bigger roasted malt and sweet chocolate finish. If there is any bitterness, it is covered over by the chocolate sweetness, and the malt character continues to build throughout the profile. There is a touch of roastiness and a slight off-flavor that could be from the spices that lingers just a touch too long on the tongue. The mouthfeel is creamy, silky, and sweet; the medium body and medium carbonation help round the beer on the palate—it is gentle and delicious, and goes down easy. As with the last beer, the head is still omni-present as I finish the beer—what kind of deal-with-devil did you make to create the retention here, tiger? Nice work overall—I think you should run the same beer sans pumpkin and spice, and see how it works as a straight up Sweet Stout, since it is already pretty darn solid.


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