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Sunday, January 24, 2010

Day 24 Drink: Empire Black Magic Stout

Empire Brewing Co. first opened in Syracuse in 1994. The brewery quickly became a hit, with decent food and beer. It won medals at major competitions like the Great American Beer Festival. After expanding to Buffalo and Rochester the company ran into issues in those markets and ended up closing down all together in 2003.

In 2007, Empire resurfaced and opened in its original Syracuse location. I made a visit back during that first year and found the service and the beer to be a shadow of the original. But if Empire has been anything, it is persistent. A stop this weekend found the place to be crowded and the beer back up to old standards.

Empire Black Magic Stout is a 4.8 percent alcohol by volume Irish dry stout. While the pint I had would have been helped by a two step pour, it was still rich, creamy and smooth. A small, but lasting tan head was there throughout the pint. It had a full roasted grain nose. The flavor offered up hints of coffee and malt. Any pub in Dublin would be proud to pour this pint.

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