Joe didn't ask for this, but I figure after the bombers, plus what may be the only 888 RIS that I ever get to taste...this was the least I could do. I wanted to be very critical and say all about the improvements that could be made, but it's just too damn good to really be critical of.
I'm following Yoopers judging critique format, so here I go.
Aroma: Smells like roasted barley. Maybe a hint of sour funk, but minimal. There is a very pleasant aroma of spice that I can only describe as brisk manly scent (SWMBO says it smells like soap).
Appearance: Black as strong coffee. Light Tan head that is thick and creamy. This is as nice as a stout can look.
Flavor: This beer tastes of roast malty goodness. There is a mildly sour flavor, but it's very light and refreshing. It feels like Perrier on the back sides of the tongue.
Mouthfeel: VERY light. In fact, this is the one area that I'm not 100% satisfied. I'd like to see a bit thicker of a mouthfeel, as I always think of stouts as being a bit more of a bread substitute. HOWEVER, I could and would drink this ALL summer long. I'ts just not what I was expecting.
Overall impression: I would be proud to have brewed this. I am proud to drink this. This is one dry stout that you'll never mistake for Guiness! I think we have a good example of what can be accomplished with a bit of imagination and a whole lot of know-how.
I wish I were a better qualified judge, and now have to investigate that too. I've never really tried to critique anyone's beer but mine, which I always like, but never like enough.
Joe...Thanks for this opportunity.