Today is the first Beer Blogger Friday--a day when beer bloggers from around the world unite! In honor of St. Patrick's Day, we will be reviewing stouts. The only rule is that it cannot be "your father's Irish stout." My thanks to Stan at Appellation Beer for setting up the event. It looks like Al over at A Good Beer Blog will be hosting the next event.
I decided to review one of my all time favorite seasonal beers, Brooklyn Black Chocolate Imperial Stout 2006-07. Simply put, this stuff is amazing. As with many seasonal brews, the recipe for this beer changes each year and I have to say that Garrett Oliver has really outdone himself this time.
Weighing in at a whopping 10.6% abv, this beer is certainly unrelated to any of the beers my father drinks. Despite the high alcohol, I find this beer exceptionally, almost dangerously drinkable. It pours a rich black tar color with a decent tan head with lots of Belgian lace. Ok, check, this beer looks incredibly appetizing.
Upon pouring, the beer fills the nose with a sweet blend of dark chocolate, mocha, and cocoa aromas. It smells like a great dessert and it very well could be the perfect after dinner winter brew. This beer has a slightly syrupy mouthfeel, but surprisingly finishes a bit dry. Did I mention it was drinkable...holy crap, it goes down way to smoothly, but it carries a comforting warming sensation in the back of the throat.
A wide range of chocolate, cocoa and espresso flavors bounce around the palate with each sip. I have paired this beer with tiramisu, dark Belgian chocolate, and with a Richardson's Dairy Brickle Pie on my 35th birthday (for non-Boston locals, this is a dairy in Middleton, MA that makes all their incredibly rich ice cream on premises with their hormone free cows). Among other things, the pie has a coffee ice cream base and complemented the beer well. I often have this beer as a dessert in itself. This is the last beer I serve in my beer appreciation courses this year.
My advice, light a nice fire, grab a good book and sit back with a couple of these and relax cold winter's night away.