New Heights Navel Gazer Imperial Stout

When it comes to stouts, my undying love is pretty well known. While I have certainly said that a well made porter is about the best thing ever, frequent visitors to this blog (and people who have heard my explanation of how you should properly quaff a Guinness) may find that I can enjoy a stout exactly as much as I enjoy a good porter.

It's as black as the starless night of some misbegotten, overcast nightmare land. It's just black and impervious to light. The tan head dissipates to a very light ring around the sides of the glass. The aroma is a rich landscape of chocolate, vanilla, wood, and toasted malt. It's all very inviting, I have to say.

First sip is exceedingly smooth. Yes, there is a hiccough right at the end with a kind of bitter, woody twinge, but the meat of the beer is smooth. I wouldn't say that it is milky like a Guinness or a Dragon's Milk, but it's easy going with an earthiness and dark fruits that is very unassumingly welcoming.

Tip-in is sweet, smokey wood with vanilla and chocolate gently lounging in the background. The middle swings in with its slightly acidic halo and a rush of wood, earth, dark fruit, and some dead flowers slowly composting in the earth. The finish is bitter chocolate and burnt embers.

Bottom Line: Better than the average imperial stout, but room to grow.



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