The beer pours a dark brown and glistening dark ruby. There is a relatively short head of very light tan foam, somewhat creamy. The aroma is caramel and cherries, with subtle effects from the oak. The taste follows the aromas, rich and deep caramel, dark fruit, mostly cherries, with an astringent oakiness. The finish is dry, more woody than bitter, and a bit spicy and/or alcohol heat. It has the fine, but intense carbonation of bottle-conditioning.
Friday, December 19, 2014
This is a 6.0% ABV stout made with cocoa nibs and bourbon vanilla beans. It is from the West O Beer Company of West Okoboji, Iowa. They invest part of their sales in the preservation and improvement of the Iowa Great Lakes Region. This is a gold medal winner from the 2014 Great American Beer Fest in the Sweet or Cream Stout category.
The beer pours black in appearance, with deep ruby when held to the light. There is a short head of tan foam. The aroma is dark roasted malt, dark chocolate, mocha coffee, sweet, creamy, with that tang peculiar to stouts. The taste is dark roasted malts, rich, nutty, chocolate, coffee, light char. There is sweetness, but it never gets out of hand, and finishes roasted and dry with a light bitterness. The beer drinks smooth, with a tingle of carbonation. This is really, really good. It could use just a tiny bit more heft or fullness in the mouthfeel to match those wonderful flavors. I see why this got a gold medal. Now, it’s done all the time, but I still can’t wait for, and really hope they do, a barrel-aged version of this.