*This week’s review comes from my good friend Phil at My Life As A Foodie. I’ve been sick with laryngitis the past couple of weeks so instead of ruining a beer with a funked palate I called in the big guns. Thanks Phil!*
The old adage “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover” has served as a lifelong proverb for everyone to simply give things a chance, no matter what your first inclination is. To not try something simply because of its appearance at first glance is short-sighted, and can sometimes cheat you of an incredible experience. That’s exactly the case with Ten Fidy, an Imperial Stout from Oskar Blues Brewery in Lyons, Colorado. Ten Fidy, like all of the beers from Oskar Blues, comes packaged in 12 ounce cans. And I’m here to tell you that canned craft beer is here to stay.
In 2002, Oskar Blues became the first US microbrewery to brew and can its own beer, destroying the myth that cans impart flavor to it. These days, aluminum cans are lined with a water-based coating, so the beer goes untouched. There are many advantages to canning craft beer. Among them, it allows you to chill the beer more quickly, and it keeps light from striking it. So beers loaded with hops (such as IPAs, and Imperial Stouts) won’t be victim to skunking if exposed to light for long periods of time.
Oskar Blues Ten Fidy
brewery: Oskar Blues Brewery – oskarblues.com
beer website: www.oskarblues.com/brew/
style: Imperial Stout
serving size: 12 oz cans (yes, cans!)
glass used: snifter
price: $10 (4 pack)
It’s the beer equivalent of decadently rich milkshake made with malted-milk balls and Heaven’s best chocolate ice cream. Ten FIDY is about 10% ABV and is made with enormous amounts of two-row malts, chocolate malts, roasted barley, flaked oats and hops. Its huge-but-comforting flavors hide a whopping 98 IBUs that are deftly tucked underneath the beer’s mountains of malty goodness.
What I think
Imperial Stouts are generally known as Winter beers. Because of their high alcohol content (in this case, 9.5% ABV), they tend to lay heavy on your tongue which some find less palatable in warmer seasons such as this. But this beer doesn’t do that. It’s lush, yes — rich with malt and chocolate and slight hints of vanilla. With such a sweet overall balance of malt, it almost seems that the hops play a very minor role in the overall flavor of the beer. Even the roasted barley, one of the most integral ingredients of any Stout, doesn’t take over. Ten Fidy almost seems like a beer that doesn’t take itself seriously, when it should. It couldn’t be less assuming. It is in a can, after all.
Don’t judge this beer by its appearance in its package. Because once it’s in your glass, it’s a whole new ball game. Available coast to coast. http://www.oskarblues.com/locations/
Phil’s rating: A