It completely slipped my mind to tell you about finishing up my latest tattoo. The piece, a Spanish bull, is in memory of our trip to the Azores. And no, it’s not a fighting bull, as I’m strongly against it. This bull is wild, free and as you’ll note, has not been pierced by swords. As always, it came out super awesome, and I have to shout out to George Motta at Pino Bros Ink. Take a look at the finished piece at the end of this post.
OH, and in related news, George recently re-published his portfolio, featuring yours truly. Photos below.
Tonight I’m reviewing Southern Tier Salted Caramel, an imperial stout. This beer is the epitome of a dessert beer. CRAZY sweet. Also, crazy delicious, assuming you’re into sweet malty dark beer. Although it’s brewed with sea salt, I couldn’t pick up on any salt. I did get a TON of caramel and vanilla notes. The beer immediately reminded me of another amazing dessert beer from the same brewery: Creme Brulee Stout. Now, I haven’t had the Creme Brulee for a while, so I can’t compare them side by side, but it sure brought back some distinct memories, if for only the super sweet character. Highly recommended as a sipping, post-dinner treat.
Following Sunday afternoon’s debacle of a beer, I decided to treat myself to something guaranteed to wow: Spencer Trappist Imperial Stout. Spencer Trappist is the only Trappist brewery outside or Europe, and I’m lucky enough to live less than an hour away from it. And despite the fact that I’ve been blessed enough to visit the brewery, which is closed to the public, I somehow have never reviewed their flagship Spencer Trappist Ale! I’ve had it a number of times, but somehow never reviewed it.
Just recently, the brewery decided to brew another style of beer. Frankly, I was beyond surprised to hear that the new style would be an imperial stout. Trappist brewery + stout?!? The beer is 8.7% ABV and comes in a 750ml bottle. Before popping the cork, I preemptively apologized to the wife for the buzz I was about to get, and for almost certainly passing out at some point.
The aroma is amazing, with strong vanilla notes. Head and head retention kick ass. Body is damn thick. In the flavor department, the beer is close to a home run, but comes up just a little short. It starts off with sweet vanilla and chocolate, but the finish is just slightly too harsh (super roasted flavors). It’s still a very good beer. I just wish it had a touch more of balance.