Liam Deegan

Archive for the ‘Imperial Stout’ Category

Beer Review: Nøgne Ø Dark Horizon 2. edition

In Imperial Stout, Reviews on March 5, 2011 at 12:17 pm

I’ve been holding onto this beer for at least a year and decided it was time to crack it open.  It came in a cylindrical tin and wrapped in tissue paper.  The packaging is pretty cool I have to admit. Nøgne Ø knows how to sell some beer.  Now to find out if they know how to brew it.  (Spoiler alert: They do).  Here’s my review:

Pours a sinister thick black liquid with small dark brown bubbles rising above and receding almost immediately to leave just a halo around the darkness.

Right away the color and aroma strike me and let me know that this is no normal beer.

Port was my first thought when smelling it then there is some oak, cherry and hints of smoke and chicory with espresso on the tail end.

This beer is thick and chewy on the palate with fig, dark plum and cherry, followed by vanilla, wood and smoke that fades to tobacco and leather with a lingering coffee and warming alcohol finish.

This beer is really a beast.  It should come wrapped in a leather jacket riding a Harley.  If there ever was a cigar beer, this is it, just make sure it is a dark leaf.  On that note, this beer is also great for dessert maybe some serious dark chocolate could pair well with it, but don’t insult it with any old chocolate or espresso, this beer can stand alone

Style: Imperial Stout

ABV: 17.5%




Beer Review: Mikkeller Rauch Geek Breakfast

In Imperial Stout, Reviews on February 19, 2011 at 12:45 pm

Mikkeller, as I’ve said before is a favorite brewery of mine.  They do some really interesting stuff.  The use of American ingredients, getting shipped over to Copenhagen, then back in bottles to America makes their stuff a little  more expensive, but it is usually worth it, and in many cases well worth it.  Their “Geek” line, starting with Beer Geek Breakfast, an Oatmeal Stout Brewed with coffee, then went in other directions with Beer Geek Brunch Weasel and now Rauch Geek Breakfast to name a few.  The Brunch Weasel was really incredible and you can read my full review here.  This beer is a smoked (rauch is German for smoke) version, which means they smoke the malts and it makes for a really meaty smoky flavor that is really interesting in a beer.  Here’s my review:

Pours thick and oily out of the bottle with an impenetrable black color and tight mocha head that fades to a halo of foam.

Sweet chocolate, vanilla, and coffee quickly fade to a strong smoky and meaty aroma with some woody smoke notes that linger.

It is velvety smooth on the palate with the sweet chocolate, vanilla, caramel that transforms to a faint wood and smoky flavor which then evolves to a bittersweet espresso finish, with a touch of metallic taste.

This as usual in the Geek line, is a delicious, full and rich stout with some hints of smoke flavor that are way stronger in the nose.

The high carbonation, slight metallic taste and the lack of harmony in the sweet, coffee and smoke flavors was a bit of a let down but still a really good stout in my opinion.  My favorite is still the Beer Geek Brunch Weasel but this was an interesting beer and I do love the bacon on the label.

Style: Imperial Stout

ABV: 10.9%


Beer Review: Oskar Blues Ten Fidy

In Imperial Stout, Reviews on December 4, 2010 at 12:35 pm

More cans!  After finishing these two 10 percenters in a can, it’s hard to suppress the urge to smash it against something (your head), but try and resist, or at least practice before you try it in public.  Ten Fidy, is a beast wrapped in aluminum.  Here’s my review:

Comes out of the can like motor oil.  Thick and black but produces a bit of dark brown foam to top it off.  Don’t pour it in your car.

Strong aromas of dark fruit, fig, molasses, chocolate, coffee, wood and smoke.

The thick and sweet molasses comes through first with an oily arrival of oak, vanilla, chocolate, coffee, raisins, figs and smoke, with a bittersweet coffee finish.

Awesome Imperial Stout, and you can take it hiking, to the beach, the pool, although I wouldn’t advise shotguning it… would I?

This is 10% in a can done right.  Enjoy this after dinner, with a cigar and toss out that bourbon or peaty single malt.  This stout is rich satisfying and can also double as your coffee, espresso and after dinner drink as well.

Style: Imperial Stout

ABV: 10%



Beer Review: Mikkeller Beer Geek Brunch Weasel

In Imperial Stout, Reviews on November 25, 2010 at 12:46 pm

This beer is certainly interesting.  It’s from weasel poop, and it is delicious.  First, let me explain.  Kopi Luwak is a rare and expensive coffee using the coffee cherries that have been digested by the Civet, a weasely animal in Asia.  Their digestive enzymes create a distinct flavor and aroma that is prized by coffee enthusiasts.  Due to the nature of harvesting the digested beans, only about 1,000 pounds of civet coffee is produced each year and means a cup of it will cost you around $100.  Pretty extravagant.  This Imperial Stout, was brewed with this coffee, as part of the Beer Geek series from Mikkeller, which are brewed with coffee and are rich and delicious.  Here’s my review:

Pours out thick and black with a small, light mocha colored head.

Dark coffee aroma, big malt presence, some wood notes, vanilla and dark fruit.

The taste is sweet and dark malt, with rich coffee flavors throughout and a bitter finish.  Notes of dark, semi-sweet chocolate, espresso and vanilla and wood are all there supporting the flavors.

This is a full-bodied beer, rich with light carbonation, which lends to it not being too heavy to drink.  Sticky on the palate and not too oily of a mouthfeel.

Maybe it’s the fact that I know its made with these special coffee beans, but I really liked this beer.  I love the coffee element in stouts and this is my new favorite.  It’s a bit expensive at around $13 for a bottle, but absolutely worth it if you want to splurge, like coffee beers, or just want to be able to say you drank weasel poop.  All good reasons in my mind.

Style: Imperial Stout

ABV: 10.9%


Beer Review: Dogfish Head World Wide Stout

In Cellaring, Imperial Stout, Reviews on October 28, 2010 at 12:20 pm

More from the Delaware brewery.  Also look for Sam Calagione and the rest of the Dogfish crew on a new Discovery Channel reality show about craft beer.  Here’s my review:

The beer is deep black, but not as thick as I suspected and it produces about a finger of head that is dark khaki with fine lively bubbles.  I expected something looking more like Ten Fidy, very thick and oily.

The aroma on this is absolutely incredible.  Strong roasted coffee and espresso notes mingle with cocoa powder and underlying dark chocolate sweetness.  It’s hard to smell it without drinking it so that’s all I’ve got…

The brew tastes amazing, the smell does not lie.  Very lively carbonation rushes in and brings very complex flavors.  Sweet coffee and roasty malt flavors meet the tongue and a coffee bitterness rolls to the sides immediately, while the beer simultaneously gives off a distinct earthy and woody note with a hint of vanilla and dark chocolate.  It is chewy, with hints of dark fruits, molasses and licorice appearing as a mirage before disappearing and coffee and chocolate return to be the true stars.

The warm alcohol finish leaves the mouth slick with some residual sweetness and a lasting bitter espresso taste.

World Wide Stout is a really great after dinner beer, pair it with some rich chocolate desserts, or replace your after dinner port or brandy with this dominant stout.  It is great fresh, but I recently had a 2006 and the alcohol was tamer, while the flavors were sublime.  Drink one (or more) now, and stick one …or more, in the cellar!

Style: Imperial Stout

ABV: 18%


Beer Review: Goose Island Bourbon County Stout (2006)

In Imperial Stout, Reviews on September 23, 2010 at 12:59 pm

I got this as the main beer in a package from a BeerAdvocate member.  This is a highly sought after seasonal release from the Chicago brewery, Goose Island.  It is an Imperial Stout which is a great beer to age as the high alcohol content helps it gain complexities with age.  Here’s my review of the 2006 vintage.

Pours a thick, oily deep brown, with no head, just a tiny halo of dark bubbles.

The nose of this beer is strong, sweet licorice with fig, dark cherry and earthy tones, with some oak in the background.

It is thick and sweet on the palate.  More licorice and fig with some molasses along with vanilla and tobacco on the back that rolls into a mellow and warming bourbon finish.

The mouthfeel on this beer is really what sets it apart.  You can almost chew it.  It is slick and oily with a nice stickiness to it.  It is everything an Imperial Stout should be and the barrel aging just adds to the complexity and the warming alcohol taste.

One 12 oz. bottle would probably be best poured into two snifters and shared with a friend.  Most purists would get upset about this, but if I had to choose a cigar beer, this one would be the top choice, as long as you try it without the smoke first.  With food, indulge with some dark chocolate for dessert, or just let it stand on it’s own after a meal.

Style: Imperial Stout

ABV: 13%


Top 100 Beer Tastings at the Avenue Pub

In Double IPA, Imperial Stout, Reviews, Uncategorized on June 16, 2010 at 8:04 pm

For those of you not familiar with BeerAdvocate, it is a great website dedicated to beer and brings together all of us with a great affinity for all things beer. They have user generated reviews of beers that culminates in the coveted “Best of BA” Top 100 list. Many make a mission to taste all that are on the list and some choose to argue the top 10 and especially the number 1 spot.
One of my recent reviews, Black Tuesday was a very controversial #1 before falling a few months after its release day.
Thanks to the owner, Polly Watts, The Avenue Pub on St. Charles in New Orleans, has done several tastings which feature many top 100 beers. I have been to most of them and they have all been great, especially since many of the top 100 beers are unavailable in Louisiana and some are even hard to get without standing in line for hours.
Below is a list of the beers from the tastings and my notes on them.

La Fin Du Monde – Unibroue
Prickly carbonation and a clove spice, lots of esters and a pairing of clean grain with bright fruity notes that ends in a dry finish with the yeast shining through.

Peche Mortel – Dieu Du Ciel

Saint Lamvinus – Cantillon
Purple, rosey color with an initial burst of dark and tart cherries, raspberry and cranberry, with green apple fleeting through sparkling carbonation. A citrus and acidic puckering leads to a dry and light finish.

Bourbon County Stout – Goose Island

Hopslam – Bell’s
Golden straw in color with a tight white head. Strong pine and floral aroma with fruity pineapple and grapefruit citrus notes over a hint of malt. The taste is all hops up front. Mango, pineapple then some earthiness that turns to a bitter pine finish with a creamy mouthfeel. Great warm weather Imperial IPA

Dreadnaught – Three Floyds
Golden straw in appearance with a creamy white head. Bready malt nose with floral, citrus rind and grapefruit. The taste is reverse with mostly pine coming through, followed by a good dose of malt. Another creamy Imperial IPA that starts a bit perfumey and bitter and then changes to a sweet yet piney finish.

Heffeweissbier – Weihenstephaner
Yellow straw colored. Strong banana and clove presence in the nose with spice, yeast and bubblegum. Bright esters on the palate, more banana and clove followed by clean grain and some bread notes. This classice heffe is bubbly, crisp and has a nice spiced finish.

Hop Rod Rye – Bear Republic

Saison – Fantome
Cloudy gold color, fruity peach and mango nose. Fruity taste upfront with an effervescence mid palate that delivers grain and an earthiness on back which gives way to a spicy, tart and dry finish.

Breakfast Stout – Founder’s
Dark brown with a mocha colored halo of foam. Rich roast coffee bean aroma, chocolate and a hint of vanilla. Deep coffee taste with those roasty flavors coming through very well. Dry cocoa powder lends to a fantastic and lasting finish. The lighter body makes it a perfect breakfast beer.

Edmund Fitzgerald Porter – Great Lakes
Dark brown with hazelnut highlights. Fruity nose with roast malt and a light oat and nutty aroma. Dark roasty malt rolls over the palate with a sweetness followed by a light floral and bitter hop presence on back with a lasting bittersweet and roasty finish.

Ten Fidy – Oskar Blues
A deep dark brown liquid with a fine brown bubbles that encircle the top. Sweet licorice, toffee, malt and sweet bread aromas introduce this soft and silky beer to the palate with dark fruit, fig and licorice. Bittersweet chocolate and roast coffee burst through as the silky mouthfeel gives way to some carbonation followed by a warming alcohol finish.

Grand Reserve – Chimay
Dark fruit and brown sugar. A very tasty Belgian.

Angels Share – Lost Abbey
Raisins and fig are strong in the nose. The taste is rich and dark with raisin, licorice, wood and vanilla with some hints of brandy. Some alcoholic heat on back. Very delicious.

Pliny the Elder – Russian River
Golden, orange with a sticky lace. Delicious floral hop followed by a punch of grapefruit, then delicious tropical fruit and citrus flavors. Incredible beer!

Damnation – Russian River
Lemony citrus strong clove and spice presence. VEry bright and crisp, definite belgian yeasty quality.

Quelque Chose – Unibroue
Deep red in color with cherry, curran and pomegranate flavors. The fruits faded and turned to a sweet herbal slightly unpleasant cough syrupy taste. Great with ice, very refreshing in small doses.

Chambly Noir – Unibroue
Brown in color, strong banana abd clove in both taste and aroma, some yeast spice. Light and refreshing.

Dark Lord – Three Floyds
2009- dark and thick liquid with a tan ring of foam. Notes of raisin then cocoa powder and a deep and roasty espresso bitterness. Delicious!

2010- less raisin and fig notes. Same delicious cocoa and roasty flavors. This years has some dark cherry flavors that I didn’t pick up with the 2009 I drank side by side.
Both are incredible dark beers. Extremely rich and such an incredible mouthfeel like liquid velvet. Not sure if I like Dark Lord or Black Tuesday better. I think I need another sample!

Beer Review: Black Albert

In Imperial Stout, Reviews on June 3, 2010 at 1:58 am

This Imperial Stout is from De Struise Brewery in Belgium.  It pours a flat, thick liquid which has a delayed dense and creamy mocha colored head that stays throughout the beers time in my glass.  Imperial stouts are always beautiful dark beers and this one is no exception.

Black Albert gives off a strong roasty aroma of cocoa, coffee, sherry, oak, and dark fruit notes of dried fig, however no raisin notes as I expect from many Imperial stouts.

The velvety smooth liquid pours over your tastebuds and coats them with sweet chocolate followed by a maltiness that fades to a bitter coffee kick on the back.  Very complex flavors throughout, most notably oak, sherry, powdered cocoa, fig and maybe dark sweet cherries although I am not well enough versed in horticulture or cherry varieties to pinpoint it.

The mouthfeel is creamy initially and then becomes oily and slick with some stick from residual sweetness.

It’s decadent rich qualities, with the sweet and creamy flavors lend to the drinkability as a dessert beer.  At 13% it is deceivingly easy to drink.

Black Albert will be incredible with a carrot cake.  The sweet flavors will blend seamlessly and the fruity notes in the beer will highlight the carrot and cinnamon and make for a tasty dessert.

My final thoughts are that this is a really great Imperial Stout.  It is a bit expensive at around $9 retail, but the beer inside is worth it, with sweet, complex and inviting flavors.  Black Albert is deep and dark and delivers all the indulgent qualities of the finest chocolate.

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

ABV: 13%


Beer Review: Black Tuesday

In Imperial Stout, Reviews on May 20, 2010 at 9:49 pm

It’s been a while since the last post. So here’s a special review!

Something impassable has come to pass.  I have had the pleasure of receiving not only one, but two of the highly coveted Black Tuesdays.  The Bruery has been in operation for just about two years now and this October was the release of their Imperial Stout, Black Tuesday.  Their beers are as delicious as they are thought provoking.  I am lucky enough to have a good friend living in Southern California, a great locale for beer geeks.  Through many telephone calls, a splash of persuasion and much enthusiasm on both parts, the day in October was set, funded and much anticipated for the purchase of the allotted three per person bottles of Black Tuesday.

After many website checks, phone calls, and shipment tracking.  Two bottles of Black Tuesday arrived at my door in Louisiana.  This massive Imperial Stout has most likely been in the state in less than a dozen bottles, all through trades or extensive travel.  While it is hyped on the Internet and heated discussions, the taste is not to be ignored.

One rainy day, when I decided it was right to open such an indulgent bottle, I poured out the thick, deep brown liquid that would accommodate no light to shine through and only some mere ruby highlights on it’s edges.  It was an exciting moment I had anticipated for months.

The minimal carbonation that culminated right after a vigorous pour, dissipated to leave a halo of moderately sized bubbles where the cherished booze touched the glassed edges.

Black Tuesday’s gives off a deep aroma of dark cherries, chocolate, with roasty, as well as prune, raisin and fig notes.  Lots of alcohol in the nose with licorice and very rich bourbon to sweeten things out on the end.  So far the aromas do not disappoint.

The taste is as complex as it is alluring.  The velvety smooth liquid tastes of caramel, chocolate, vanilla, dark fruit, prune and dark cherry that all appear miraculously with a syrupy, sticky alcoholic heat on the finish.  In the most simplistic manner, Black Tuesday is one big dark chocolate covered cherry that has been soaking in bourbon.

The complex flavors are a lot for one’s palate to contemplate.  Its oily yet silky smoothness makes this beer incredible in mouthfeel alone.  This revelation simplifies the complexities of flavor, yet the syrupy sweetness leaves the palate with full-bodied remnants that could almost be chewed.

Hype can be undoubtedly bad for a beer, just as it could be good.  My opinion of this beer suffered greatly through my first sips, expecting a life-changing event after reading how great it was.   Upon more thorough contemplation, and drinking much more Imperial stouts, I realized the intensity of flavor this beer offers. This is a must drink in my opinion.

Again I would like to thank Harrison Weinfeld, who drove out to the brewery, and can be seen below in a picture from the Bruery’s coverage of Black Tuesday release day.  If you’re ever in LA, look out for Jammin Salmon.

Style: American Imperial Stout

ABV: 19.5%