Today I have a guest review from Mike over at Mike’s Brew Review (a video blog and I recommend you check it out). Mike is relatively new to the beer blogging scene, but not new to craft beer. He’s consumed the stuff since he was 21, but only started REALLY appreciating it in the last couple of years. Mike’s goal with his blog is to “show people that homebrewing is easy, and that trying a new beer is easy and rewarding.” Mike has asked me to provide a guest review for his site (my first guest review!), so keep an eye out for my post on Mike’s blog.
Today happened to be another long day. You see this past Monday our town shut down due to a freezing cold snow storm which locks us away until Old Man Winter takes a break. Living in North Dakota during the winter time really has its ups and downs and one of the main downs is the temperature. Fortunately, I recently found myself a brew that warms my insides and feeds my grizzly bear appetite.
Samuel Smith’s Imperial Stout from the N. Yorks, England Brewery is such a brew. The temperature dipped below -15 tonight and I needed something to keep me warm. I had to pull out my big boy glass, as this brew comes in a 1 pint bottle. I often find myself giggling like a little school girl when I pop the top on this. I think its the foil, it reminds me of that scene in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory where the kid finally finds the “Golden Ticket.” And just like Charlie, once you pop this and pour, you get that hint of sweet, sweet chocolate.
It pours with a thick head, but it doesn’t stay around long, maybe 3 minutes, but if your lucky enough to get your tongue on that head the sweetness nips at the tip of your tongue. That is the last time that the chocolate sweetness stings. From there on it melts into the grain alcohol and dark malty flavors that reign supreme from there on. It isn’t really crisp or overly carbonated, and has a definite thicker mouthfeel that goes all the way down the throat. This beer comes in at 7.0% ABV, which isn’t a lot, but on an empty stomach and after a pint it does seem to have its effects. It does leave a bit of a bitter after taste, but the warmth the alcohol gives in the mouth and throat is completely worth it on a freezing cold winter night in the upper midwest.