Well, in keeping with the festivities, I might as well review Flyin Lion's Irish Stout here.
Oh wait. first, I have to say, I had Legend Brewing's Brown Ale last night. Normally, I find Browns to be too watery for their level of hoppiness. However, Legend's brown impressed me. It was a very balanced beer, lots of tasty malt. That was a good call on that one.
Ok... Where was I? Oh yeah. The Flyin' Lion's Stout.
Oh but first, funny story. Somebody's posted pictures of another person's beer on this thread. The reason is that someone is in for a surprise. I will elaborate no further.
Anyway. Where was I? Oh yes. Flyin Lion's stout. He calls it a clone of Murphy's Irish Stout. I'm not sure I've had that before, though I probably have. Let me google the label.
Nope, guess I haven't had it. Bugger. After a few sips of the clone, I think I will definitely have to put it on my list of beers to try!!!!
Flyin Lion's rendition of the beer has a great head. It just lasts and lasts. And it's a creamy head too, a thing of beauty.
The carbonation, however, is a little acidic, like carbonic acid. I wonder how long it's been carbed for and also whether it was carbed with gas? Either way, I'm going to let the other one sit for a few weeks or longer and see if it mellows.
The color is black. SRM whatever. It's black.
No perceptible hops aroma. There is a bit of hops flavor present, but it's mostly swallowed up by the roasted barley. In fact, it may be a little heavy on the roasted barley, but it's nothing that won't mellow out in another month or so.
The beer is quite dry, true to style. There is, however, a bit of astringency. This may be the carbonation, but it could also be the roasty barley.
Speaking of the carbonation, when you tilt the glass to the side a bit, then back straight up, the bubbles in this beer do an awesome little dance as they work their way out of suspension. It's nothing like the downward cascade of a guinness, but it's quite pleasing nonetheless.
I am now halfway done with the beer... and I'm leaving a solid trail of bubbles down the tall pint glass. This is not a "lace" of foam, this is a freaking curtain. Well done there!
The Lion says he added some chocolate and lactose to this brew. I haven't made up my mind on either of those matters yet. Let's wait until I'm further down the glass before I comment on them.
And now, an intermission while I go take some naked pictures of my girlfriend or something.
Ok. That was fun. NOT. SWMBO is sick and I've been making her chicken soup all day. Mental note: No more naked pictures when SWMBO is sick. Ouch! That hurt.
Ok. I think I've made up my mind on the lactose. It's a good call. It's not really sweet by stout standards, but it just adds a little bit of creaminess that is a welcome addition to this dry beer.
Did I mention it's been 40 minutes and there is still a quarter inch of head on the beer and the foam is still stuck all the way up and down the side of the glass?
Now, as for the 8 ounce chocolate addition, I've got to say, **** or get off the pot. There either isn't enough or else there's too much. Perhaps, once the carbonation has mellowed a bit more, my opinion may change, it may add to the complexity. But right now, it's like a layer of flour on a loaf of fresh moist bread... what I'm trying to say is that the complexity that it could impart is overshadowed by the rawness of the ingredient. If it was stronger, if it jumped out a bit more, it could be a really awesome addition. I'm largely blaming the carbonation on this though. Another month down the road and I may have a wholly other opinion. Anyway, it'd be really good if it were stronger, but I wouldn't miss it at the moment, but it could be really good down the road. Beer is funny that way.
Ok... SWMBO now wants me to chase her into the bedroom. Crazy woman! Be right back...
I'm guessing the FG is around 1.008 before adding the lactose. This is a pretty dry beer. It goes well with an omelet and hash browns though. I'm going to take the other one out of the fridge and let it sit at room temp for about a month. I think this has potential to be a really good beer. I'd pair it with some greasy, heavy foods to balance out the dryness. A pork sausage, a greasy bacon burger, something like that. Mmmmm yum!
The beer is almost gone. I'm really looking forward to the other one.
As it warms toward room temperature, the chocolate comes out more strongly in the aroma and adds nicely to the bouquet. I very much look forward to trying this beer again in a month.
Overall, great job, Flyin Lion!!!