Friday, July 25, 2014

Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Maillard's Odyssey Imperial Dark Ale

This is part of the 2014 Beer Camp Across America special release from Sierra Nevada Brewing of Chico, California. They invited breweries all across America to join in a collaboration brew with them and/or join them on their Beer Camp Tour with seven stops across the USA as their bus makes its way to the site of their new brewery in Mills River, NC (there are actually 8 stops with a little publicized stop at El Bait Shop in Des Moines, Iowa). The release features a mixed 12 pack of twelve unique beers, two in cans.

This 8.5% ABV beer is a collaboration with Bell's Brewery of Michigan. It is intended to be a dark, rich and roasty beer named after the Maillard reaction, the browning of sugars and amino acids that creates carmelized toffee-like and roasted flavors as are shown in this beer. I don't know if this is technically a "stout", but it sure sounded like it rated my specialized stout glass.

The beer pours deep black, even when held to the light. There is a tall head of thick, creamy, tan foam. The aroma is mocha, light coffee, dark chocolate, with a light tang of dark, dried fruits. The taste follows the aromas directly, loads of dark cocoa and mocha, adding in pleasantly dark roasted char. The mouthfeel is very smooth and creamy, with a pleasantly tangy and moderately bitter finish. Absolutley excellent.

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