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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Tuesday Tasting: A Little Dark Brew to Ward Off the Cold

Tuesday Tasting is a regular feature of Lyke2Drink that explores some of the best beers, wines and spirits on the market. This week we taste five dark brews perfect for Thanksgiving gatherings.

When the days grow shorter, the nights a little cooler and the wind picks up a bit, I think it is perfect weather for dark beer. The touch of extra flavor from the roasted barley goes perfectly with robust foods and Fall traditions.

In the last week or so I have enjoyed five different dark beers. Here are my notes from those tastings.

Saranac Black Forest Bavarian Black Beer: This brew pours a brown amber color with a thick, firm head. The flavor was dominated by the caramel malt and provided a rich, smooth taste.

DB Double Back Stout with Coffee: From Redhook this limited edition beer is 7.0 percent alcohol by volume. This is a re-release of a classic Redhook offering and it reminds me of how things have progressed on the craft beer scene. When this beer first hit it would have been considered an extreme beer. Now it would be just outside of the mainstream of the craft movement. Don't get me wrong, it is a good brew, with nice roasted notes in the finish. It is just not the in-your-face flavor monster I recall from back in the 1990s.

Hook & Ladder Backdraft Brown: This brew pours a nice hazelnut brown color and has a moderate head. The flavor has a good sweet malt base that lingers. This would go very nicely with a turkey leg and a football game.

Kona Pipeline Porter: This limited release beer is made with 100% Kona coffee. It has a nice mocha nose and a deep roasted coffee flavor. Well put together and a treat for anyone who loves beer and coffee.

Highland Imperial Black Mocha Stout: Another limited edition brew. At 9.5 percent alcohol by volume this beer is thick and offers up coffee and chocolate flavor characteristics. It is black and nearly impervious to light. Good level of roasted aroma and flavor round out the beer.

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