Red Brick Imperial Stout

I've had some good barrel-aged beer, and then there was the whole run of Innis and Gunn beer that got pretty much middle of the road marks across the board. I still have hopes for the technique, and that recent Mayday beer makes me think I may be onto something. Let's see what this beer can do for me.

The brown head is full and creamy. It sits atop a beer that is so deep brown that it feels almost frightening, but I may be projecting my own childhood fears of that terrible stuffed teddy bear, Brownie, who sat in the corner and watched me sleep. He was almost always still there in the morning. He almost never tried to smother me with the pillow. That memory aside, the aroma is chocolate malt, oak, and a slight hint of coffee.

First sip is Not as sharp as most imperial stouts that I've had in the past. It's definitely chocolaty and milky smooth, and it is absolutely perfect when you allow it to get a bit warmer than your fridge would keep it. Fortunately, I have dogs who demand attention as soon as they see that I've opened a beer, so they make sure I don't drink beer too quickly.

Tip-in is oak and nuts with no noticeable carbonation effect. The middle is slight chocolate, along with the bitterness, and milk, and it's an absolutely delicious middle. The finish hints at coffee, hands out some oak and chocolate, and adds a bit of plum to even things out. It's a sweet finish, and it rounds out a very good beer.

Bottom Line: The oak may not all that much, but the base beverage is pretty darn good.



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