Tagged: stout

Smuttynose Rocky Road

ROCKY ROAD: 93 Points

Liquid Ice Cream

Liquid Ice Cream

This Stout is released in limited quantities in 22 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “Rocky Road is Smutty’s first dessert stout. An indulgent blend of marshmallow Fluff™ and chocolately cacao nibs in a full bodied, sweet stout beer that has been aged on amaretto soaked oak chips.”

My Description: This sounds like a novelty beer, but this is a nicely brewed stout that keeps those Rocky Road flavors in check. It begins with a large, dark beige colored head with an excellent retention level that leaves behind some lacing. The aroma is welcoming with notes of coffee, cocoa, vanilla, and faint marshmallow notes; this beer smells great. Rocky Road is medium/full bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. The flavor profile is enjoyable and nicely balanced, the sweetness from the marshmallow addition doesn’t ever set the beer to that cloying sweetness level. A dark chocolate backbone holds up notes of roasted malts, burnt sugar, and char undertones. This transitions cleanly into an aftertaste that is slightly bitter with lingering marshmallow notes. Overall, this is clean stout that is well executed. It is best served around 50°F and pairs nicely with chocolate desserts, tiramisu, or smoked ribs.

ABV: 7.3% Color: Black Sweetness: 3/10 Bitterness: 3/10

Odd Side Java Chip Mint Stout

JAVA CHIP MINT STOUT: 88 Points

Mint cookies anyone?

Mint cookies anyone?

This java stout is available year-round in 12 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “Craving ice cream? This stout will ease your taste buds. It the perfect marriage of mint-chocolate-chip-ice cream and roasted coffee.

My Description: It’s nice here and there to have a liquid dessert. This stout begins with a weak, beige colored head that fades to a ring leaving behind a minimal amount of lacing. The aroma straight-forward with notes of mint cookies and a minor touch of chocolate. Java Chip is medium bodied with a slightly lower carbonation level and a dry finish. The flavor profile showcases understated notes. One can detect notes of mint, coffee, tobacco, and roasted notes but they are all faint. Plus, the texture is thin with faint astringent notes. I enjoyed this beer but I feel it would really delight if the focus was more on bringing out more flavors and thickening the body some. Either way it is a great beer for those who like it more on the soft side. It is best served around 50°F and pairs nicely with chocolate desserts. potent cheeses, or a maduro cigar.

ABV: 6% Color: Black Sweetness: 1.5/10 Bitterness: 2/10

Ballast Point The Commodore

THE COMMODORE: 95 Points

To Arms

To Arms

This Stout is available year-round in 12 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “The Commodore came out of our search for a medium-bodied American Stout. The recipe began at our R&D pilot brewery, but quickly became a favorite of our crew. Strong flavors of roast coffee and bittersweet chocolate balance with light citrusy hop aromas, highlighted by a crisp, bitter finish. One sip of this gold medal-winning stout will have you ready to take command of your own fleet.”

My Description: I salute this Commodore. It begins with a large, dark beige colored head with an excellent retention level that leaves behind a wall of lacing. The aroma is robust with a roasty presence and notes of coffee, bitter notes, and subtle chocolate notes. The Commodore is medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. The flavor profile is clean and tasty with roasted notes taking center stage along with deep coffee notes, pine hops, and hints of char. The aftertaste is moderately bitter with lingering dark coffee notes. It is best served around 50°F and pairs nicely with BBQ ribs, strong cheeses, and vanilla ice cream.

ABV: 6.5% Color: Black Sweetness: 1.5/10 Bitterness: 4/10

Great Lakes Ohio City

OHIO CITY: 85 Points

Rather Bland

Rather Bland

This Oatmeal Stout is released in the Winter in 12 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “Dark and roasty yet light and smooth as a fresh coat of snow, our Oatmeal Stout will kick your cabin fever and inspire you to toss another log on the fire.”

My Description: This beer makes for a great session beer when craving a stout-like beer. It begins with a good sized, dark beige colored head that fades to a ring that holds the whole way leaving behind some lacing. The aroma is pleasant enough with notes of roasted malts, milk chocolate, and some coffee. Ohio City is light/medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. The flavor profile is on the softer side with faint notes of chocolate, roasted notes, and a touch of sweetness. The aftertaste is slightly bitter with lingering hints of caramel. Overall, this is a fine representation of the style but it is lacking in the flavor department. It is best served around 50°F and pairs nicely with grilled steak, BBQ pork sliders, or chocolate desserts.

ABV: 5.4% Color: Dark Brown/Black Sweetness: 2.5/10 Bitterness: 3/10

Ommegang Lovely, Dark, and Deep

LOVELY, DARK, AND DEEP: 91 Points

Ahh Winter

Ahh Winter

This Oatmeal Stout/Belgian Stout is released for a limited time in the Winter months in 12 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “Welcome to our winter seasonal – Oatmeal Stout, brewed to keep you company on a winter’s eve sitting beside a crackling fire, wit this fine beer in hand , the woods will always look Lovely, Dark and Deep, enticing you to a rendezvous with your winter dreams. Deep with roasty aromas, coffee with cream and chocolate notes, Ommegang House yeast imparts light fruit and spice character.”

My Description: It begins with a good sized, beige colored head with an excellent retention level that holds the whole way leaving behind some spotty lacing. The aroma is interesting with notes of roasted malts and chocolate, along with dark fruit notes such as cherries and black currants. Lovely, Dark, and Deep is medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. This beer is not thick or dense, instead it takes on a more delicate texture that still feels right for the season. The flavor profile is enjoyable and clean. There are subtle roasted malt and chocolate notes along with a hint of caramel malt but I feel the yeast takes center stage with notes of dark fruits and spice undertones. The aftertaste is slightly bitter bringing a terrific balance to this brew. Overall, this beer is smooth and flavorful. It will not necessarily warm you up but it makes for a great beer when staring out into the deep woods. It is best served around 50°F and pairs nicely with dark chocolate, beef stew, or a maduro cigar.

ABV: 5.3% Color: Black Sweetness: 2.5/10 Bitterness: 2.5/10

Ballast Point Indra Kunindra

INDRA KUNINDRA: 95 Points

Like I'm in SE Asia

Like I’m in SE Asia

This Specialty/Herbal Beer is available year-round in 22 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “Our India-style Export Stout is a unique collaboration with award-winning homebrewer Alex Tweet. Released in limited quantities, this explosion of South Asian flavors is reason enough to kneel down and thank the heavens. It’s further proof of San Diego’s status as a brewer’s playground, and a beer lover’s utopia.”

My Description: The flavor profile reminds me of eating Indian cuisine, they did a great job turning that into a beer that still feels like a big stout. It begins with a large, dark beige colored head that fades rather quickly but leaves behind an excellent amount of lacing. The aroma is complex and intriguing and spot on with the description including notes of curry, cayenne spice, coconuts, chocolate, and roasted notes. Indra Kunindra is full bodied with a slighlty lower carbonation level and a dry finish. The flavor profile is tasty with the heat from the cayenne spice taking center stage along with notes of coconuts, roasted malt, faint lime notes, and traces of chocolate. The aftertaset is slightly bitter with lingering spice notes. Overall, this is a very creative beer that makes you feel like your in SE Asia. It is best served around 50°F and pairs nicely with ribs, fried rice, or Mongolian BBQ.

ABV: 7% Color: Black Sweetness: 1.5/10 Bitterness: 3.5/10

Right Brain Naughty Girl Stout

NAUGHTY GIRL STOUT: 87 Points

It's like drinking the cookie

It’s like drinking the cookie

This Stout is released seasonally in the Winter months in 22 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “A deep and chocolaty stout with a cooling minty finish. Commonly hailed to as “thin mints in a glass.” Made with locally grown organic Mint.”

My Description: Right Brain did a good job creating a liquid cookie that isn’t too over-the-top but subtle and satisfying. It begins with a very large and dense, beige colored head with an excellent retention level that leaves behind a good amount of lacing. The aroma is interesting in that it has the typical roasty stout notes with chocolate but there is also that herbal/minty character that makes it smell similar to a girl scout cookie. Naughty Girl is medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. This ale is smooth with a nice concept, but the body feels thin and the flavors are subtle. I think the beer should be bolder and thicker, but not necessarily more minty because the ratio of flavors seems spot on. Chocolate undertones and herbal notes blend cleanly to give off that cookie flavor without it being a novelty. The aftertaste is slightly bitter bringing balance and drinkability. Overall, this is a fun stout to drink in the Winter months. It is best served around 50°F and pairs nicely with chocolate desserts, grilled steaks, or baked kibbee.

ABV: 6.3% Color: Black Sweetness: 2/10 Bitterness: 2.5/10

Right Brain CEO Stout

CEO STOUT: 83 Points

Small Business CEO

Small Business CEO

This Stout is available year-round in 16 oz. cans.

Brewer’s Description: “A dark bodied yet sessionable American Style Stout brewed with locally roasted gourmet espresso beans. CEO Stands for Chocolate, Espresso, & Oatmeal.”

My Description: This is more of a session Stout than anything else. It begins with a good sized, beige colored head that fades to a film that holds for some time leaving behind some lacing. The aroma is welcoming enough with notes of coffee, roasted malt, and a hint of smoked malt. The aroma isn’t complex at all and suitable for a small stout. CEO Stout is medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish, however at times this beer feels thin. The flavor profile tastes pleasant but lacks depth, even for a 5.5% Stout. Hints of caramel and coffee notes can be detected along with an overall roasty presence. The aftertaste is slightly metallic with lingering coffee notes. I couldn’t find too much chocolate in this beer and the oatmeal didn’t really give that creamy texture I was expecting. This makes for a good everyday stout that is easy to drink and satisfying. I just thought it could have been executed better. It is best served around 50°F and pairs nicely with smoked brisket, vegetable chili, or a chocolate dessert.

ABV: 5.5% Color: Black Sweetness: 1.5/10 Bitterness: 3/10

Belhaven Scottish Stout

SCOTTISH STOUT: 92 Points

Nice Job Scotland

Nice Job Scotland

This Stout is available year-round in 500 ml. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “This deluxe stout is brewed for a full roasted chocolate flavour with a hop character that complements a blend of triple malts. Drink, savour and enjoy.”

My Description: This stout surprised me; upon first glance it seems that this is going to be your average English stout that wouldn’t be memorable because the head is pretty weak and the aroma is basic but when I started drinking this beer I feel in love. It begins with a good sized, tan colored head that fades to a thin film quick leaving behind very little lacing. The aroma is on the sweeter side with notes of caramel and chocolate but not much else. Scottish Stout is medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. The flavor profile is where this ale really shines. Deliciously balanced and slightly complex, this beer boasts notes of cocoa powder, toffee, some smoke, and a hint of raisins. A mild roasted note is apparent throughout and the alcohol is beautifully hidden. This transitions cleanly into an aftertaste that is slightly bitter with lingering espresso notes. Even though this beer has a 7% alcohol content, this beer drinks more like a chugger than a sipper. It is best served around 55°F and pairs nicely with dry rubbed ribs, smoked sausage, or dark chocolate.

ABV: 7% Color: Black Sweetness: 2.5/10 Bitterness: 3/10

Stone Coffee Milk Stout

STONE COFFEE MILK STOUT: 88 Points

Bittersweet

Bittersweet

This Milk Stout is released randomly in limited quantities in 12 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “There’s no shortage of talented people at Stone, and each makes their presence known in their own unique way. Brian Gallagher, a brewer who learned the art of fermentation in the UK, used the beer you now hold, a take on a traditional English milk stout, as his vehicle for personal expression. Originally brewed as a limited edition offering at Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens – Liberty Station, this coffee-laced milk stout quickly became a favorite among Gallagher’s peers. Made bittersweet and creamy while remaining smooth and easy-drinking thanks to the addition of milk sugar, it’s clear in one sip why this is a brew we needed to share with fans everywhere.”

My Description: This is definitely a different beer from Stone because the alcohol is low and the hop content is low. Still, it’s a really good beer. It begins with a good sized, beige colored head with a nice retention level that holds for a while leaving behind a good amount of lacing. The aroma is inviting with notes of roasted malts, roasted coffee, and dark chocolate. Coffee Milk Stout is light/medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. This beer showcases a great balance between bitter and sweet and the low alcohol content makes this a good session beer for those who are craving a stout to drink a few bottles of. Roasted malts set the backbone for this beer holding up notes of roasted coffee, some sugary sweetness, and a hint of chocolate. The aftertaste is slightly bitter combating the sweetness nicely. This makes for an easy drinking beer for any occasion. It is best served around 50°F and pairs nicely with smoked sausage, chocolate desserts, or a cigar.

ABV: 4.2% Color: Black Sweetness: 2.5/10 Bitterness: 2.5/10

Fullers Black Cab Stout

BLACK CAB STOUT: 92 Points

Dry and Tasty

Dry and Tasty

This Irish Style Dry Stout is available in the U.S. in 500 ml. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “Brewed with a combination of five different malts, some heavily roasted for a near jet black appearance, and beneath its dark exterior features luxurious red berry notes, toasty aromas on the nose and culminates in a dry, bitter finish.”

My Description: This is a great everyday stout that keeps you attention with good flavors, a semi-creamy texture, and a satisfying finish. It begins with a decent, beige colored head that fades to a film that holds for a while leaving behind a good amount of lacing. The aroma is faint but there are notes of chocolate, roasted malt, and a hint of coffee. Black Cab is light/medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. A mild roasted malt flavor creates the backbone for this sessionable stout with notes of chocolate, some earthiness, and a hint of licorice. The aftertaste is slightly bitter and creamy making for an easy drinking ale. It is best served around 55°F and pairs nicely with Scotch eggs, fried fish, or cheesecake.

ABV: 4.5% Color: Dark Chocolate Brown Sweetness: 2/10 Bitterness: 3/10

Jolly Pumpkin Madrugada Obscura

MADRUGADA OBSCURA: 89 Points

Sour Stout

Sour Stout

This Belgian Stout is released seasonally in January in 750 ml. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “A Belgian inspired stout that is as dark as a moonless midnight, brimming of roasted malts and bitter hops. It will keep you good company in all places, be thay light or dark.”

My Description: Extremely smooth and very interesting, this stout by Jolly Pumpkin grows on you. At first it takes a few minutes to adjust to sour notes mixing with roasted malts and chocolate but afterwards this beer becomes a pleasure to drink. It begins with a good sized, dark beige colored head with a great retention level and it leaves behind an abundant amount of lacing. The aroma immediately brings on the sour notes along with a deep chocolate presence and subtle notes of funk and oak, it is really nice. Madrugada is medium/full bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. Roasted malt flavor notes blend cleanly with sour notes to make the base for this beer. Other more subtle flavors include dark cherries and chocolate. The aftertaste is slightly bitter and the alcohol is nicely hidden. I would like to try this again. It is best served around 55°F and pairs nicely with chocolate desserts, duck with raspberry sauce, or grilled steak.

ABV: 8.1% Color: Black Sweetness: 2/10 Bitterness: 3.5/10

Deschutes Obsidian Stout

OBISDIAN STOUT: 99 Points

Excellent Stout

Excellent Stout

This Stout has an IBU of 55 and is available year-round in 12 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “Deep, robust and richly rewarding, this is beer to linger over. Obsidian has distinct notes of espresso, chocolate, roasted malt and black barley, with just enough hop bite to cut the sweetness.”

My Description: I love this stout. It is highly drinkable with delicious flavors and a great mouthfeel. It begins with a good sized, dark tan colored head that holds the whole way leaving behind a nice amount of lacing. The aroma is welcoming with notes of espresso, bitter-sweet chocolate, and a slight caramel malt sweetness. Obsidian Stout is medium bodied with a slightly lower carbonation level and a dry finish. The flavor profile is not as sweet as the aroma would indicate, which is great because it is the dryness and bitterness that makes this beer so satisfying. Roasted notes build a great backbone that hold up other flavors such as dark chocolate, coffee, and robust malt notes. This transitions cleanly into a moderately bitter finish with lingering caramel malt notes. This stout is smooth, tasty, and clean. It is best served around 55°F and pairs nicely with grilled pork chops, chocolate desserts, or a cigar.

ABV: 6.4% Color: Black Sweetness: 2/10 Bitterness: 4.5/10

Brooklyn Dry Irish Stout

DRY IRISH STOUT: 82 Points

Perfect For St. Patty's

Perfect For St. Patty’s

This Irish Stout is released seasonally between January and March in 12 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “Brooklyn Irish Stout is brewed the old-fashioned way, without the nitrogen addition. A large portion of the grain is roasted like coffee beans, developing the typical color and flavor of this beer. Aside from British pale malts, the beer includes caramel malts, black patent malt, unmalted black barley and a proportion of flaked raw barley, which helps the beer develop a beautiful, thick natural head. The famous East Kent Golding hop lends to the earthy aroma. The beer is neither filtered, nor fined and has a light, brisk carbonation. The blend of grains gives the beer an espresso-like bite, followed by coffee and chocolate flavors. At 4.7% ABV, this is among the lightest beers we make, and one of our favorites. Be sure to serve it with “two fingers” of foam, and enjoy the flavor of Brooklyn Irish Stout. Slainte!”

My Description: If looking for a stout that you can drink all day long on St. Patrick’s Day then I would recommend this one; it is smooth, low in alcohol, and the flavor profile is not too shabby. It pours a weak, beige colored head that dissipates rather quickly leaving behind a minimal amount of lacing. The aroma is pleasant but slightly faint with notes of coffee, roasted malts, and baker’s chocolate. Dry Irish Stout is light/medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. It has a slightly sharp mouth-feel but overall this beer is easy drinking. Roasted malts are apparent in the flavor profile as is coffee. Hints of earthiness and chocolate are also present but faint, probably due to the carbonation level which I found to be a little high. The aftertaste leaves nothing lingering and doesn’t necessary invite for another sip. Never-the-less this is a good choice for a session stout. It is best served around 50°F and pairs nicely with corned beef, Shepard’s pie, or braised cabbage.

ABV: 4.7%  Color: Black/Dark Brown  Sweetness: 2/10  Bitterness: 2.5/10

Bells Cherry Stout

CHERRY STOUT: 85 Points

Strong Tart Notes

Strong Tart Notes

This Stout is released seasonally between September and May in 12 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “This unique ale begins its life as a powerful and richly sweet stout to which Michigan tart cherries are added. The resulting black brew is complex, sweet and tart with a distinct cherry finish. It will improve with cellaring.”

My Description: It begins with a good sized, dark beige colored head with a good retention level and it leaves behind a minimal amount of lacing. The aroma is inviting with notes of chocolate, roasted malts, and a hint of cherry. Cherry Stout is medium/full bodied with a lower carbonation level and a dry finish. This beer is interesting in that the cherry tastes great and the roasted notes too but they seem to somewhat clash when blended together in this ale, perhaps because there is just too much tart for this stout. Chocolate notes and some bitterness add to the flavor profile nicely and the alcohol is beautifully hidden. This is a good beer every now and then but it is hard to have more than one bottle and a time. It is best served around 50°F and pairs nicely with chocolate desserts, strong cheeses, or roasted duck.

ABV: 7%  Color: Black  Sweetness: 2/10  Bitterness: 3/10

Terrapin Moo-Hoo

MOO-HOO: 91 Points

Cow's are great

Cow’s are great

This Milk Stout is released seasonally in the Winter months in 12 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “The Terrapin “Moo-Hoo” Chocolate Milk Stout proudly uses cocoa nibs and shells from Olive and Sinclair Chocolate Company to give this beer its great taste! An  appetizing cold weather treat this sweet stout is rich creamy and uniquely satisfying. Beer and Chocolate together they truly make one of life’s great indulgences.”

My Description: It pours a good sized, beige colored head with a good retention level and it leaves behind a decent amount of lacing. The aroma is pleasant with notes of chocolate and cocoa nibs, not too much else though. Moo-Hoo is medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a very dry finish. Deep cocoa notes are apparent throughout with some roasted notes and a touch of sweetness that shines through. The aftertaste is slightly bitter bringing a much needed balance for the sweetness. This beer is easy drinking and tasty but felt rather thin at times. Never-the-less, it is a must try. It is best served around 50°F and pairs nicely with aged Cheddar, braised chicken, or rich raspberry desserts.

ABV: 6.1%  Color: Black  Sweetness: 3/10  Bitterness: 3/10

Ommegang Take the Black Stout

TAKE THE BLACK STOUT: 82 Points

Gimmick

Gimmick

This Belgian Stout is brewed only once and is available in 750 ml. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “Take the Black Stout is a 7% beer, brewed with base, caramel, chocolate and roasted barley malts. Hopping includes Northern Brewer and Columbus; spices are licorice root and star anise. Hue is black with full tan head. Aromas include chocolate, caramel, and earthy hops, light roastiness, a touch of fruitiness. Tastes include chocolate, coffee, rich malts, and balanced roastiness. Clean hop bitterness joins with slight woody character and spiciness; the finish offers sweet malt character leading to spicy, earthy, hop bitterness.”

My Description:  There are so many great stouts on the market that it is hard to settle on this one. Even though Ommegang brings a different element to this stout because of their house yeast, this beer needs some tweeting before it becomes memorable and a sought after stout. The head is very impressive; it is huge and thick with a beige color. The retention lasts forever and leaves behind a nice amount of lacing. The aroma is pleasant with an underlying dark fruit presence accompanied by notes of licorice, chocolate, and earthy hops. This stout is medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. This beer tastes good enough but it is not robust and the overall flavor profile seems watered down. There are notes of woodsy hops, roasted malts, chocolate, and some caramel but they don’t satisfy like other stouts. The aftertaste is minimally bitter and not enough to combat the sweetness, which hurts this beers drinkability. It is best served around 50°F and pairs nicely with pork tenderloin, potent cheeses, or steak sandwiches.

ABV: 7%  Color: Black  Sweetness: 3/10  Bitterness: 2.5/10

Innis & Gunn Bourbon Aged Stout

BOURBON AGED STOUT: 79 Points

Gives bourbon a bad name

Gives bourbon a bad name

This Stout is released from time to time in 11.2 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “This Innis & Gunn Red Stout has been brewed using rye crystal malt to give it its deep ruby colour. Whitbread Golding hops complement the sweet biscuity malt with a soft hop bitterness. It was matured slowly over Bourbon-infused oak which gives it its mellow vanilla flavour and a nice warming Bourbon kick.”

My Description: The more I drink this beer the less I like it. The flavors are thin and do not blend cleanly together, the hops taste stale, and this just does not feel like a stout. It begins with a good sized, light beige colored head that lasts for some time and leaves behind a great amount of lacing. The aroma is decent enough with notes of vanilla, toffee, oak, and some spice. This stout is medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a very dry finish. The texture is chewy but not very smooth. There is a noticeable bourbon flavor in this beer but the flavor profile overall just doesn’t taste that good. There are notes of toffee, caramel, some oak, a touch of vanilla, and some alcohol. The aftertaste is minimally bitter but not satisfying. This ale was a slight disappointment. It is best served around 50°F and pairs nicely with grilled steaks, smoked Gouda, or a cigar.

ABV: 7.4%  Color: Garnet  Sweetness: 3/10  Bitterness: 2/10

BLACK: 84 Points

Highly Quaffable

Highly Quaffable

This Stout is available year-round in 440 ml. Nitrogen cans.

Brewer’s Description: “Belhaven Black Scottish Stout really is something completely different. Bursting with roast coffee and chocolate flavours, this is a truly genuine and premium pint. Brewed using pure Scottish water and a unique blend of Scottish triple malts sourced from the finest locally grown barley.”

My Description: This beer is a good choice for slamming back a few and the nitrogen ball in the can really brings out the head. It is large, beige colored, and that lasts forever leaving behind a bountiful amount of lacing that sticks to the glass. The aroma is pleasant and rather mild with notes of roasted malts and a touch of cocoa. This ale is medium/full bodied with a lower carbonation level and a dry finish. The flavors are nicely balanced, not too sweet or bitter, but very basic and faint. There are notes of roasted malts, chocolate, and coffee but they are not pronounced. The silky smooth texture and low ABV make this beer an easy drinking pub stout.  It is best served around 50°F and pairs nicely with fried fish, grilled steak, or your favorite burger.

ABV: 4.2%  Color: Black/Deep Mahogany  Sweetness: 2/10  Bitterness: 2.5/10

ARBOR MICHAEL FARICY’S STOUT: 89 Points

Worthy rival to Guinness

Worthy rival to Guinness

This Irish Dry Stout is available year-round in 12 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “This crowd-pleaser has a dark coffee-like appearance with a creamy head and smoky, roasted grain aromas. It is rich and creamy on the palate with chalky, burnt flavors balanced by lush dark chocolates and never turns too dry through the smoky finish. Full-flavored yet highly drinkable—rich and creamy without being thick or heavy.”

My Description: To me this isn’t very rich or creamy but the rest of the brewer’s description is spot on. It starts with a decent, beige colored head that fades rather quickly and leaves behind a minimal amount of lacing. The aroma is rather robust with notes of dark chocolate, roasted malt, and a hint of smoke. It is medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a very dry finish. This beer has good drinkability and a nice balance of flavors. Upfront, there are flavor notes of roasted malt, dark cacao, some smokiness, and a touch of caramel. Sometimes, the roasted notes do taste burnt and slightly harsh but nothing overpowering. The aftertaste is mildly bitter and satisfying. It is best served around 50°F and pairs nicely with smoked salmon, corned beef hash, or cheesecake.

ABV: 5%  Color: Black  Sweetness: 2/10  Bitterness: 4/10