Schlafly Extra Stout

Irish stout can be very good, but it's very hard to make a good Irish extra stout. The one that Guinness has made for years used to be pretty good, but then they outsourced the whole shebang to a Canadian company, and the product is too watery and tasteless for me anymore. This is not to be confused with that one, though, so let's try her out.

The beer is a ruby black with a tan head that pays passing homage to sticky heads of the past, but the lacing it leaves is short lived, as the tiny bubbles meander back down the side of the glass to the top of the beer to wait for their inevitable demise. The aroma is very nice, indeed. It is a lot more chocolate than I expected, and that is joined by cherries and smokey oats.

First sip is less chocolate and more coffee. It has molasses and chestnuts. In fact, nuttiness abounds in the smoke-filled attic that is this Irish beverage. There's dark fruit in the form of mostly plums that gives even more substance to this impressively complex beer. But I need to drink like an Irishman.

Tip-in is dark fruit and chocolate bitterness with an ever so slight carbonation tingle. The middle is meaty with nuts, coffee, and molasses. The finish brings more plums, smoke, and oats. The whole experience of the beer is very substantial and complex from beginning to end.

Bottom Line: A very good example of an extra stout... from St. Louis, Ireland.



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