Archive for Imperial American Stout

52 – Oskar Blues Ten Fidy

hdh52_tenfidy

*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
abv: 9.5%
serving size: 12 oz cans (yes, cans!)
glass used: snifter
price: $10 (4 pack)

Overview
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

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/

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40 – Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout

hdh40_founderskbbas

I missed posting last week since Teaspoon is officially home with us now and as you can expect things have been hectic. I picked up this bottle at D’s 6pk Shop in Regent Square. Unfortunately there was no price on the bottle or shelf (that’s common in the beer cave) and was part of a special on mixed 6packs.

Founders have finally arrived in Pennsylvania and have made a huge splash as one of the most sought after brewers of the year now available in the commonwealth.

Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout
brewery:
Founders Brewing Company – foundersbrewing.com
style:
Imperial American Stout
abv:
10%
serving size:
12oz
glass used:
pint (snifter ran away. please come home)
price: $6.00

Overview
A bit of backwoods pleasure without the banjo. This stout is brewed with a hint of coffee and vanilla then aged in oak bourbon barrels. Our process ensures that strong bourbon undertones come through in the finish in every batch we brew. We recommend decanting at room temperature and best enjoyed in a brandy snifter.

What I think
I can say that since the start of this blog I’ve now reached beervana twice. KBS is in my top 5 of best beers ever. I was able to get KBS to appropriate room temp but my snifter is missing so I had to settle on a pint glass. Even with different glassware this was a fantastic experience. There was about a medium sized head on the pour but that was my fault. Instantly I was picking up strong coffee. I’m not a coffee drinker but I love the smell. The pour wasn’t as thick and dark as motor oil but a coffeehouse dark blend.

Now the taste. Oh sweet Jesus the taste. Someone new to craft beers would never believe this is a beer. A delightful balance of coffee, chocolate, vanilla and malt that took me back to my coffeehouse days of the early-mid 90’s while sporting my grunge swag. The mouth feel smooth and creamy but not overpowering. Each savor you pick up something new. It’s like the chewing gum from Willy Wonka without the need for de-juicing. Started with coffee, picked up some vanilla, then a bit chocolate and finished with malty goodness. Have I mentioned this is aged in bourbon barrels?  Oh yeah. the final treat is the grand finale of bourbon wood.

If you’re going to win over the beer downers in your circle of friends this is what you want to serve them. Although, you give them the best off the bat and they’ll expect it from every brewery. Give them a sample and taunt them forever.

Spoon’s rating: A+

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34 – Big Black VooDoo Daddy

Big Black VooDoo Daddy

This is the second of the 2 imperial stouts that are new to the area from VooDoo Brewing. If you ever get the chance to try Matt’s line of beers I highly suggest it.

Big Black VooDoo Daddy
brewery:
VooDoo Brewing – voodoobrewery.com
style:
Imperial Stout
abv:
12.5%
serving size:
22oz
glass used:
pint
price: $9.00

Overview
This Is our Imperial Stout that we age in conditioning tanks with oak staves. This adds a classic character of old world aging with out the Bourbon tones. This black ale is about 12% alc. and very rich in roasted and chocolate malt tones. Velvety smooth and able to be aged for years.

What I think
After last week’s slight disappointment I was really looking for a saving grace and with the results in, I found it. The body was very similar to that of the Black Magick but instead of a nose full of alcohol there was slight chocolate and a medium amount of coffee and bourbon. With each drink take a deep breath and capture the goodness of the aroma. I’m finding a nice coffee taste lingering on my palate without the nasty film that comes with drinking coffee (I get my jabs in when I can). Each drink I’m getting a smooth up front flavor and a mild chocolate coffee finish. Oh yeah, redemption has been found. In fact it’s safe to say this is my new fav imperial stout. Matt, you nailed it on this one.

Spoon’s rating: A

Comments

33 – VooDoo Black Magick


This beer has had much hype coming into our area. VooDoo Brewing is 90 minutes up I-79 from Pittsburgh but I think we were the last market to get our hands on some.  I’ve met Matt Allyn many times and have the utmost respect for what he’s doing in Meadville and Titusville. He’s brewing what he likes and honestly I’ve never had so many unique beers from one brewery. Cheers to his creativity and hard work!

VooDoo Black Magick
brewery:
VooDoo Brewing – voodoobrewery.com
style:
Imperial Stout
abv:
15.5%
serving size:
12oz
glass used:
pint
price: $11.00

Overview
This is an Imperial Stout that is of great strength and complexity. We then gently age that beer in Elaigh Craig 13 1/2 year old Bourbon Barrels for 6 months to 1 yr. and then primed and bottled to bottle condition for continued aging and cellar life. Black Magick should be able to be aged up to about 5 years, to heighten the complexity and smooth nature of this beer.

What I think
Right off the bat all I could smell was alcohol and not in a good way. It poured the blackest I’ve seen a beer in quite some time. This would be a rare case where my family is right saying a dark beer is strong. In fact I think this has more aroma kick than the Weyerbacher XIII. There was a thin cocoa colored head on the pour as I kept staring at it wondering if I’d be sucked into my beloved Foundry Ale Works pint glass.

The bourbon taste I expected was actually stronger than anticipated. Reminded me of the first time I had a Shipwreck Porter. It was a punch in the teeth of bourbon.  Once I got past the strong alcohol tones I my palate went into spaz mode of the delicious chocolate malt back end. Unfortunately the alcohol came back and I had a hard time getting this out of my mouth.

This would have been a B+ or A- easy if it wasn’t for strong alcohol taste I kept getting. Tone it down a bit and I think it would be one of the best imperial stouts ever made. At $11 a bottle I would only suggest it once though I may have to buy one to age for a year or 2.

Spoon’s rating: C+

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