Saturday, March 31, 2007

Re-visiting a local friend...

Ipswich Oatmeal Stout is on of my favorite local beers. I haven't had it in a while, but I picked up one of their mixed 12 packs a few weeks ago. You really can't go wrong with any beer in the bunch, the IPA and Dark Ale are very good and the Oatmeal Stout and Ale are exceptional.

This beer pours a rich black with a solid dark tan head that slowly dissipates. It starts with coffee and fresh chocolate chip oatmeal cookie aromas with touches of citrusy hops. The first sip brings roasted nuts, rolled oats, espresso and dark chocolate flavors, but it doesn't end there, the hearty malt flavors are balanced by a subtle hop finish that lingers on the edges of the tongue and the back of the throat. This is an exceptionally fresh tasting beer that can hold its own with any stout and is right up there with the best oatmeal stouts I have tasted. The beer is full-bodied with light carbonation--it is somewhat dry at finish, but exceptionally drinkable at the same time. Citrusy hops and mocha flavors battle it out with each sip. The complex flavors collect at the back of the tongue and throat and linger--I think the coffee flavors win out in the end, but the hops still hold their own in a complex, delicate, balancing act. This is a beer to be revisited again and again. I give it a 4.6 out of 5.

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