Hi-Wire Horchata 10W-40 Imperial Stout

When beers start to call themselves things like Pothole Filler and W00tstout, it becomes apparent that marketing is integral to the success of a good beer. Yes, Budweiser can sell itself on pure Americana (with a Czech name) but most other brewers have to work for it. So, claiming to be a kind of oil intrigues me enough to try this out. The fact that Hi-Wire's summer lager was so good means that this is tracking pretty good.

Black as the oil from which it gets its name, the beer has a brown head that disappears quickly and leaves a soft dusting of bubbles on top and around the ring. The aroma is thick with chocolate, vanilla, and spices. It smells damn good.

First sip definitely includes almonds. I almost expected the sweet smoothness of a milk stout, but this one is definitely the imposing malt of an imperial stout. It has those almonds almost mixed into almond milk and then added to the chocolate's bitterness.

Tip-in is heavy earth and sweet chocolate with almost no carbonation to speak of. The middle opens into a smooth vanilla, spice, and and a deeper understanding of the dark chocolate. The finish rises into a bit of a coffee flash before the bitterness of coffee and chocolate ease the mouth back down to the ground and earth takes over.

Bottom Line: It's no shrinking violet. It knows what it is, and it stands alone.

3.25/5

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