Work has been crazy busy this week, and I’m just today able to take a deep breath and relax. One of my favorite ways to mellow out is to hike with my dog, and fortunately today’s mild weather made for a nice hike in Great Falls National Park. Of course, there’s no better way to kick back after a good walk in the woods than with a good beer.
I went on a pretty big beer run last week, and am just now starting to make my way through the my review brews. I’ve been on a bit of a dark beer run lately, and kept it that way with Bell’s Special Double Cream Stout.
This is one of Bell’s winter seasonals, and it definitely fits the profile of a cold-weather brew. It combines eight specialty malts into a bottle of pure roasted, creamy, and rich goodness. The pour is just what you’d expect, black and completely opaque, with a cream-colored foam crown. I didn’t know what to expect from the aroma, but it’s full of sweet malty goodness.
This beer really stands out on flavor. I was expecting roasted malts, but got a significant blast of chocolate and coffee-like rich espresso on the front. I can’t remember another beer I’ve had recently that tasted this much like cocoa and coffee, but it really works well. It mellows into a sweet malt flavor through the middle, and ends on some strong roasted malt notes – just about one step above tasting burnt.
All these different strong flavors may seem like they’d compete, but the creamy texture really smooths out the different complexities, and you’re left with a great tasting, very drinkable beer. And, at 6.1% ABV, it’s not too strong where you’ve got to watch yourself.