I finally got around to opening this 13% bottle of oak aged stout from Goose Island. (Normally it's 11%, but apparently they had improved efficiency on this batch) :D
Sir Humpsalot included a bottle in my Secret Santa package and I’ve been waiting for the right evening to enjoy.
Well, yesterday it was rainy, then snowy, then some thunder, then some lightening and then some more snow. I figured a cold Wednesday night was as good as any and since the SWMBO had a fire going when I got home, that cinched the deal.
Sir Humpsalot suggested I pour this beer into a tall coffee mug and drink it at around 45-50 degrees.
Man…if ever there was a beer that should be served in a mug, this is it. It was black as oil with a dark bronze head. I only poured half the bottle though, because I knew I was going to sip slowly and I wanted to be able to have “seconds”. The smell was sweet, lots of caramel, some currant aroma and the definite smell of alcohol warmth. Only a slight head that faded quickly.
One sip and my whole face warmed right up. Very sweet. Bursting with a rich raisin, chocolate flavor and a very subtle oak undertone. The mouthfeel was not so “chewy” as to detract from the flavor, but it definitely warranted a swirl or two around the palette before swallowing. For such a huge beer, it was surprisingly drinkable…though I forced myself to take small, slow sips and enjoy each like it was a shot of rare scotch. The real treat of this beer was that oak aged taste.
Once the first half of my gift was gone I didn’t hesitate to go pour the second six ounces. All in, it took me about 40 minutes to sip my way through 12 ounces. By the end, the temp had risen to probably 60 degrees and the flavors were really coming through. This beer served ice cold would be a waste. As I sipped along, I was nibbling on some triscuits. A beer this big really needed something flavorful (salty) for balance.
The buzz factor was pretty darn nice too. Mellow. Warm. Cozy. And since it was only one beer, I didn’t have the discomfort of being bloated. On the downside, about an hour later I decided it was time for some more “refreshment” and drew a pint of my Kona Fire Pale Ale. While normally a very flavor-rich and satisfying beer, it seemed (for some reason) a bit thin tonight. ;)
If you can, I’d suggest you get your hands on a bottle (or two) of this beer. It is seasonal and definitely meant for a cold winters night.