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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Tuesday Tasting: A Six Pack of Delectable Darks

Tuesday Tasting is a regular feature of Lyke2Drink that explores some of the best beers, wines and spirits on the market. This week we sample six rich and complex dark beers.

It snowed in Charlotte last night. Not the kind of snow I grew up with in Upstate New York, although some areas around the city claim they received 4 to 5 inches. (Hint: If you can still see the tops of blades of grass on your lawn, you did not get five inches of snow. It's what we used to call a dusting.) However, Charlotte has had some cold days during the last two weeks and when a cold snap hits I think in terms of dark beer. And when I say dark, I mean dark. Check the ambers and the brown ales at the door. I want to hold the glass near a 100 watt bulb and only see a slight glow around the edges of the glass.

After enjoying these beers during the last four days I'd gladly accept them as the six beers to be stranded with on an arctic ice flow.

Bell's Kalamazoo Stout: These folks know how to make beer and are especially adept at stout. The Kalamazoo version is almost a black purple color. They use brewer's licorice in this stout, which starts off with a decent head that thins out a bit. The flavor is firm with roasted grain and a sweetness that does not linger.

Shiner Bohemian Black Lager: This pours jet black with a nice foamy head. Not overly heavy, this beer has just a touch of smoky roundness that leaves you asking for more.

Moylan's Dragoons Dry Irish Stout: This 5 percent alcohol by volume stout makes you think of Dublin, even though it is brewed in California. Right out of the bottle the head was creamy and stayed throughout. Classic Irish flavor profile.

Steelhead Scotch Style Porter: OK, Mad River Brewing has really come up with something with this beer. There is a nice level of sweetness in the 6 percent alcohol by volume package, along with a peat smoke character. The flavor combinations throws a few curve balls for you palate, which is exactly what you need on occasion.

Stoudts Fat Dog Imperial Oatmeal Stout: This pours with a nice thick tan head. Dates and sweet raisin flavors flow forward, followed by touches of roasted coffee in the background. One of the best stouts I've had recently from a northeast brewery.

Pike Entire XXXXX Extra Stout: This beer is 10.73 original gravity, 60 IBUs and 9.5 percent alcohol. Those are the statistics. They tell you nothing. You have to taste a beer like this. This stout is a blend of three beers, one aged in Bourbon oak. The stout shows a hint of the whiskey, a touch of pine and biscuit malt. This is one of those limited edition beers that you feel lucky to find. Very nice.


BeerMechanic said...

Where did you happen to find the Pike Stout? I assume it was during some travels, or it was mailed to you? I'd love to get my hands on some of their bottles after enjoying their brewpub on a trip about 4 years ago.

Rick Lyke said...

This was a limited release beer and I was lucky enough to request and receive a sample bottle. If anyone sees this product at retail, buy it. You won't see it again anytime soon.