YOWZA! This is a Stout’s Stout. Great espresso aroma and taste, with a chewy mouth feel, Oskar Blues Ten Fidy Russian Imperial Stout is one of the top beers that Tilting Suds has come across in a lifetime of beer drinking. The pour is a beautiful, deep, deep black with a long lasting cappuccino colored head, and the bouquet from the malts and the hops in this beer is outstanding. The overwhelming flavor profile is of roasted grains and dark coffee, but there is enough hoppy bitterness to provide balance to any sweetness from the malts. The 10.5% ABV is nicely warming. With the weather as warm as it is here in North Jersey, I do not think I will be revisiting this beer any time soon, but when the leaves change and the weather cools, this will be a regular part of the stout rotation, 9.5/10.
Despite it being the warmest weekend of this young year, when my thoughts usually turn to hefeweizens and saisons, I grabbed a few different stouts this weekend. I chose one stout billed as having a coffee flavor, and one with a chocolate taste.
First up was the Coffee Stout, part of the Brewer’s Reserve Series from Vermont’s Long Trail Brewing Company. There was absolutely no head at all on this deep, dark pour. Although this is brewed using Vermont Coffee Company Dark Roast coffee beans, specially roasted for Long Trail, the first thing I noticed in the aroma and the taste was chocolate. There was a slight coffee aftertaste on this, which as it warmed tasted somewhat like cola. This was a smooth drinking beer even with an 8% ABV. I give it a 6.5/10.
The Dragonstooth Stout from Elysian Brewing is brewed with rolled oats, roasted barley and chocolate malts, with centennial and cascade hops to give it some bite. The first thing I noticed on this beer was the taste of dark coffee, with a hint of cocoa in the background, along with some smoke. The hops are prominent in the aftertaste. This poured with a frothy cappuccino colored head, which lasted to the bottom of the glass. Not as smooth as the Coffee Stout, but I liked the hoppy bitterness. 7/10.
To sum up, the Coffee Stout tasted chocolatey to me, and the chocolate stout tasted like coffee. There is a good chance that I have no idea what I am talking about.