Howe Sound Pothole Filler Stout

The previous Howe Sound beer was pretty damn spectacular. I was actually in the process of checking out at City Sliquors the other day when the owner told me that I needed to try this beer. As a result, I knew two things: it was probably expensive, and it was probably excellent. Not one to dismiss his recommendations, I grabbed a bottle immediately and checked out before he could point out another.

Blacker than the blacktop that it is compared to in the name, this head-heavy beer smells of cherries and smokey malt. The smoke isn't all that strong, and I might be convinced that actual cherries were involved in the manufacturing of this beer. I may also be convinced that a little bit of chocolate had been added to the beer, as the sweet malt gives the impression of chocolate, as well.

First sip is a malty and overwhelmingly rich beverage. It is thick with smoke and bitterness, which is surprising, as I expected quite a bit of sweetness with the addition of molasses. Instead, there is a kind of coffee bitterness that spreads its way through the mouth. I also taste a bit of nuts in there with it all. It's a lot to deal with in a sip, and I have no doubt that this beverage will work out much better as a proper gulp.

Tip-in is heavy bitter malt with nuts and coffee being overpowered by the carbonation burn. The middle comes down like a concrete slab with smoke and smoothness. It is easy going down with the carbonation giving way to milk and nuts. The middle is a tremendous hunk of beer, and it is why I drink beer. As the finish arrives, the nuts and smoke bid your mouth goodbye and trail off with fairly mild bitterness and coffee. As the beverage warms, I noticed it getting even better.

Bottom Line: If potholes were actually filled with this, I would be drinking the road outside my house.



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