Tonight I have a very special guest review lined up. Kevin from the blog “Boston Beer Guy”, whom I met through my buddy Adam, agreed to guest review Kate the Great for me! Pretty sweet since I have zero interest in jumping through the flaming hoops required to get the beer. You may remember Kevin from the last beer brainstorm I did. Enough yak-yak from me though, let’s hear what Kevin thought of Kate…
I’m going to start this whole review by giving a shout-out to my mother. I was out of town when the Kate the Great scratch tickets went on sale, and being as awesome as she is, she went up to the Portsmouth Brewery for me and picked up a set of scratch tickets. I managed to win two bottles, but ended up trading one ticket for some other amazing beer. She’s pretty much now known as ‘mom the great’.
That being said, I had to do a tasting of Kate with a bunch of friends, because that’s simply not a beer that should be had alone. I had it last year on tap, and let me tell you, this was a much better experience. I was a little down on the beer last year, likely from waiting in line for hours in the rain. Thanks to the ticket system this year, I got my beer with no hassle. And yes, I did get the actual tulip glass because I just had to. I find it kind of hilarious how nonchalant the bottle is. It doesn’t even say ‘Kate the Great’ anywhere, just Imperial Stout.
As for the beer itself, it’s just amazing. Rich aroma that’s kind of chocolaty and a bit complex. It tastes unlike any other stout I’ve had before. Nice and thick and just stays on your tongue. You get your roasted and dark fruit flavors typical of your average Russian Imperial Stout, but there’s something extra that’s just kinda hard to explain. It comes from the aging on port chips, and you can kind of get that from the beer, but only if you’re thinking about it. It’s absolutely one of the best beers I’ve ever had, but then again, I can’t put something you can maybe only have once a year as my favorite. It’s too hard to get, and might not be worth the hassle. I wouldn’t wait in line for hours upon hours to get it again, but I would for sure pay a bit of extra money to get the scratch tickets like they did this year. Be sure to keep an eye open for ticket sales next year, you don’t want to miss it.