Beer Take the Black Stout
Location Cooperstown, Ny
Type/Style Belgian Stout
We just had out first snow of the season this year, and while it may have melted within a few hours, it put me in the mind of the changing seasons. My friend, Nigel, had given me this brew about a month ago, so I decided to embrace the simple fact that Winter is Coming. Time to Take the Black.
To The Eye: Thick and black, no real other way to describe it. Pours somewhat syrupy, with next to no visible carbonation. Leaves roughly one finger of a coffee-and-cream colored head with a long retention.
To The Nose: Very rich dark malts smell, mixed up with a little bit of dark fruit and the wild Belgian yeast smell that is not unusual with Ommegang brews. Slight spiced elements, probably due to the anise seed (and maybe licorice?)
On The Lips: Dominant flavor is the robust roasted, verging on burnt malts. A little bitter chocolate in there as well. This fades to the more delicate anise and wild yeast flavors, but still maintains a dark profile.
On The Tongue: Smooth drinking, with a brisk carbonation up front, which quickly dies down to next to nothing. Pretty solidly in the medium bodied category. A good mouth-coating remains after a few sips. You get a nice chest warmth on the way down, but not as strong as some 7% beers I’ve had.
While the burnt and roasted flavors are a bit heavy-handed, even for a stout, there are the lighter elements of the added spices and Belgian yeast to mix things up. I hoped this would be a big more complex, but I still enjoyed it. Dark and bitter with some strength, it’s not the powerhouse you find in a lot of American brewing these days. And for that, I do enjoy it.