Blackstone Black Belle Imperial Stout

This is possibly the nicest looking bottle I've ever gotten from Blackstone. I've been exceedingly underwhelmed by their beers so far, but maybe something that says it is a "Limited 2017 release" would be more up my alley than their other beers have been (this is being reviewed in 2017). I want all of the Nashville breweries to be great, so let's see how close to great this can get.

The syrupy-thick black beverage has no head, but the little that I am able to coax out is definite brown - no tan here. There are tiny little bits of stuff floating on top of the beer - but it isn't head, it is stuff. As soon as I start to pour this, I can recognize the syrup, no head look of a beer that has been aged in bourbon barrels. The aroma backs up the idea that this was aged in bourbon barrels (also evident on the label where it says this was Blackstone in cooperation with Belle Meade Bourbon).

First sip is a rough one. There is too much going on in this beer. I taste bitterness, bourbon, chocolate, coffee, earth, and coconut. Honestly - what the hell? None of those tastes take a back seat to the others, so they are all trying to be top dog. It's hard to get a balance with two forward ingredients, and this one has more than that. I'm going to swig this, but I didn't like the sip.

Tip-in is bourbon, vanilla, and earth with no carbonation anything; instead, this is a syrupy beer from the get-go. The middle is bitter, chocolate, earth, bourbon, and hints of vanilla; the middle isn't too bad, but it's really going to depend on the finish at this point. As is so often the case, the beer is a misfire on the finish with its hit of coconut, bourbon, and heightened bitterness.

Bottom Line: I'm increasingly being convinced that Blackstone doesn't make beer for me, and I don't know who they make it for.

1.5/5

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