Friday, December 19, 2008

Tasting: Red Hook's Double Black Stout with Coffee

Sitting down to Tarantino and Rodriguez's three hour double feature Grindhouse called for something special. Red Hook's "DB" Double Black Stout with Coffee should fit the bill. I don't typically like beers with food in them (for lack of a better way to put it), but I have a soft spot for chocolate and coffee stouts.

Anyway, on to the tasting. Be gentle with me. It's my first time:

Appearance: 3/3 Solid black, dense. Brown where light shines through the meniscus, but otherwise dark.
Head: 1/3 No head to speak of, but I didn't expect one.
Aroma: 2/3 The coffee scent overpowers pretty much everything else.
Flavor: 2/3 Mellower than I expected, but I suppose I was calibrated for your typical Russian Imperial Stout. Low to average carbonation, a coffee flavor somewhat balanced by fair bit of hop bitterness. A slightly sweet start gives way to a medium bodied coffee taste with a roasted malty, hoppy finish.
Mouth feel: 2/3 Medium to thick body, low to average carbonation, seems right for the style.
Overall: 2/3 It started better than it finished. As coffee stouts go, it seems out of balance...kind of a Jeckyl and Hyde with it's sweet start and bitter finish.
Buzz: 2/3 It'll do.

The Double Black Stout is the first beer in Red Hook's Limited Release line of beers. If you want to try it, you should be able to pick it up until around February of next year.

The bottle advertises it as a "smooth, Imperial Stout enhanced by coffee and dark malts with a big, roasty flavor." It got better as I spent time with it, but the finish left me wanting for something more well rounded. It'll do for a change of pace, but nothing in it knocked me out.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Tasting Stone Double Bastard

Stone releases an extra-strength version of their flagship Arrogant Bastard called, Double Bastard each holiday season. At 10.4% ABV it is a potent brew, but not too heavy. I actually enjoy it more than the original, although I think that the Oaked Bastard is probably my favorite variant.