Saturday, November 22, 2008

Stone 12th Anniversary Bitter Chocolate Oatmeal Stout

Another in my ongoing beer reviews.

I love this one -- dark, a nice bitterness, and better at room temp, or slightly cooler. Beer Advocate gave it an A-, and that seems fair.

Here is their take on this fine beer:
A great beer that I was told by the server that was poured way too cold, and that I needed to cup it with my hands for a while to allow it to warm to bring out the malts. A fairly typical necessity for a lot of beers, especially stouts, but this one changed dramatically as it went. More on that later.

Appearance: Poured into a snifter glass, it came to me black with a fairly short, dark tan head. The head lingered briefly and quickly faded to a thin lacing that didn't stick around for the entire glass.

Smell: At first, when cold, the smell was not really overly distinguished. A little malty, a little semi-sweet hanging around and just a little bit of roast. However, as it sat and warmed, the alcohol really became a strong presence in the nose and took over the beer. I love it when it a beer changes like that, but this was so dramatic.

Taste: The first sip was bitter up front and a little roasty afterwards - not much unlike when you get a cup of coffee that wasn't filtered quite properly and there's still some grounds -- a very nice touch to the beer though because I love a strong roasty flavor. As it warmed though, as to be expected with the way the smell changed, the alcohol really started to take over and was followed by a bittersweet chocolate.

Mouthfeel: Early on it was chewy and I thought it would be a pretty easy beer to get through, but the longer it sat it really started to leave the mouth extra dry due to the alcohol and I had to slow down on it.

Drinkability: A great, complex beer. There's a lot going on with it and even though I was told it was served too cold, I really feel that experiencing how it changed was part of the intensity of this beer. The alcohol content is pretty high with it, so it's definitely a "once-a-night" kind of drink for me.
I agree -- could definitely taste the bitter chocolate. As it warmed, the alcohol became more prominent, but the depth improved. Some smokiness, some strong hop flavor, even a little (I'm guessing) woodsiness.

Highly recommended for those who like bold beers.


Post a Comment