This is a new beer to try, I've never even heard of the brewery, but fortunately we have those kind folk who bring these beers into the brewery and enable us to hone in on our palates and compare our beer with theirs. Tasted Monday afternoon during my day off.
Appearance: Dark brown and of coffee complexion. The pour looked viscous and unsettlingly syrupy. A 1/2" of dense beige head grew after several seconds of being in the glass following the pout. No light penetrates this beer.
Aroma: Vanilla, chocolate and notes of toasted barley waft up from the glass. Initial impression leads to a very sweet and rich tasting beer. Some fruity undertones are present, but nothing from fermentation, all intentional. Oak and wood, with fire roasted nuts, brown sugar and molasses. There is a lot going on in this one.
Taste: The foretaste really does remind me of what's on the label - the tri-fecta of ice cream. Vanilla, chocolate and even a faint strawberry undertone are present. Very impressive and assertively balanced. Sweet from start to finish with a slight bittersweetness at the end. This beer is by all means malt forward, with perhaps alternative adjuncts. Nutty and toasted malts dominate as the beer warms, along with a subtle kick from molasses. The sweetness is intoxicating!
Mouthfeel: Very thick and chewy. The beer leaves a tackiness to the lips. Smooth going down with the right amount of carbonation to slightly loosen up the body and enforce a soft velvety texture.
Overall Impression: This is a fantastic stout! It incorporates all desirable flavors into one beer. I find that the chocolate and vanilla complement perfectly the Lactose used to create the body. And the strawberry adds a finishing touch to one of the best dessert beers I've ever had. Extremely delectable and overwhelmingly satisfying.
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Bell's Special Double Cream Stout
Two Brother's North Wind Imperial Stout
Bear Republic Big Bear Black Stout