My second beer from Smuttynose was their Robust Porter, which is usually a stronger, hoppier and/or roastier version of a typical porter. The beer poured with a thick tan head and the beer itself was a pitch black that foreshadowed an intense and rich drinking experience. The aroma was heavy on the coffee and dark chocolate notes with a tinge of sweet malts. The taste was resolutely robust with a deep and full roasted malt flavor that was slightly sweet but full of chocolate and slight hints of coffee. The deep chocolate and coffee notes became more pronounced as it warmed along with the sweetness. The creamy and smooth body left a lingering burnt roasty bitterness on my palate which quickly disappeared with each sip. The Robust Porter was a bountiful and complex porter that lived up to the Robust moniker. Another great brew from Smuttynose.
March 25, 2015
March 18, 2015
It took me a while to get around to the Bourbon Barrel-Aged Arrogant Bastard out of my Bastard Box, but the wait was worth it. The beer poured a deep dark ruby-amber color with a significant off-white head with great retention and lacing. The Bourbon Barrel aging was prominent in the aroma with hints of vanilla and coconut that overtook the base Arrogant aromas. The Bourbon notes were not overwhelming as in some barrel-aged beers but more subtle. The base Arrogant Bastard shined through upon the first taste where the bitter Bastard hops poked through and that signature flavor emerged. The Bourbon qualities were still present with the vanilla and coconut but adding a nuanced profile to the Arrogant Bastard rather than overwhelming it. There was an almost fruity floral quality lingering on my palate between sips that I attribute to the hops fighting through the barrel-aging. In the end the Barrel-aging took that Bastard and gave it even more palate pummeling power. Stone showed nice restraint as well as I could see more Bourbon may have been too much. I hear this is coming to six packs of 12 oz bottles this year so be sure to grab some if you missed on the Bastard Box. These Bastards get me every time!
March 16, 2015
Beers with some tie to SXSW was our theme for March which allowed for plenty of creativity, pun intended. These were all Texas beers as well, and all but one from Austin. I was surprised at the Circle Blur which was a good classic German Hefeweizen, but the Gypsy Dubbel Coffee Porter took the prize as the best of the bunch.
Next Month, April – Spring!
March 11, 2015
I am finally getting to Lakewood’s The Temptress Imperial Milk Stout that gets great reviews. I had the Mardi Gras version that was brewed with Cafe Du Monde and it was amazing so it's about time I had the base version. The beer poured a deep chocolate brown with a full khaki head that left a lingering ring. There was a noticeable presence of vanilla and the lactose sugar in the aroma that was a good indication of things to come. The taste followed the nose with a nice dose of vanilla and the typical sweetness from the lactose sugar. I also found the taste to be surprisingly bitter for a milk stout with some bitter roast and bittersweet chocolate. I felt the bitterness, while surprising was, a nice counter balance to the typical sweetness of a milk stout. The Temptress is a very well done Imperial Milk Stout that becomes a terrific treat as it warms. Another gem from a Dallas Brewery. Cheers!
March 4, 2015
The Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Stout gets its reputation for a reason. It is a full tilt face melting drinking experience that starts at your lips and rides down your throat grabbing every pore of your internal orifice on its way. The beer poured an opaque black with a subtle tan head. The bourbon aroma hit me when I opened the bottle and continued to waft from the glass as I leaned in for my first anticipatory sip. I also detected vanilla and hints of anise coming from the glass. The taste took over my mouth with a huge hit of bourbon that melded into large doses of vanilla and cocoa. There was a slight burnt bitterness at the tail end that lingered along with the bourbon. The BCBS was a big bourbon bomb that was surprisingly smooth and drinkable considering the ABV. With more and more Bourbon Barrel-Aged beers on the market it is still at the top of the list and one that should be emulated. In the end: You don’t drink a BCBS, it drinks you.