Subscribe via Email and get post sent straight to your inbox!

Thursday, December 31, 2015

My Favorite "New" Beers of 2015

And now for the obligatory "best of" year end post, recapping my favorite "new" beers of 2015.

"New" in this case simply means  "new to me".

Jacks Abby Framinghammer "Italiano"
1. Jacks Abby- Framinghammer "Italiano"

This new, brewery only, draft only variant of the immensely popular Framinghammer Baltic Porter series is simply, absolutely, amazing.

The recipe was recommended by Italian workers who came over from Italy to help set up some of the brewing equipment at the new Clinton  Street facility.  Brewed with coffee, Star Anise, and lemon zest and packing an ABV north of 10%, this brew is stunningly delicious, super smooth, soft on the palette and absolutely perfect in every way.

How good do I think this is? Put it this way, I've been to the new brewery twice now, and of the 7 beers I've had while there, this has been 6 of them. And I don't regret passing up all of the other amazing beers on the menu one bit. If you have the chance to enjoy it before its gone, do yourself favor and go for it.


2. Backlash- Muerte

First, check out the bottle art- its absolutely beautiful. Art inspired by Mexico's "Day of the Dead" Holiday, with the Backlash knuckles incorporated so perfectly, I love it.

And the beer is just ridiculous- an imperial stout brewed with cold brewed coffee, vanilla bean, cinnamon sticks, and scotch bonnet peppers.  Its an insane ingredient list. It honestly scared the hell out of me.

But it fucking works! In an amazing, amazing way. Major props to Backlash for taking this risk with these ingredients. Their web site describes this as being inspired by Mexican Hot Chocolate, and they nailed it. Its an awesome beer.






Trillium-
 Melcher Street IPA
3. Trillium- Melcher Street IPA

I don't know if this beer is new, or just new to me, but I love it.

Purchased at the new Trillium Brewery in Canton and brought home in a growler, this was my fist Trillium IPA. (I know, seriously, what was I waiting for? Tough to get Trillium where I live. Or, at last it was :))














4. Devils Purse Brewing- Handline Kolsch

Long story short, I'm a sucker for a good, classic Kolsch. It's an underbrewed, under appreciated style.

This is a great brew from a great new brewery on Cape Cod.

Check them out if you get a chance.

And yes, that is a glorious, ice cold, 32 ounces CROWLER in that photo! I love the Crowler, I really, really do.

(The mason jar was because I was on vacation. Really.)











5. Founders- Backwoods Bastard

Another dark ale packing an ABV punch- 11%- rounds out my list of new favorites from 2015.

It was a close call, there were a few other strong contenders for this list, but I kept coming back to this one. This is an old ale aged in oak bourbon barrels. Bourbon barrels do wonderful things to beer. Super smooth, moderate mouthfeel, and slight alcohol burn make this a great beer for a cold New England night.


What were you favorite "new" beers of 2015?

Have a happy, safe, and excellent new year all!



Tuesday, December 29, 2015

2015- The Year in Craft Beer, in 5 Words

Jacks Abby Framinghammer "Italiano"
2015 was a damn good year for craft beer.

Here are the 5 words I believe best describe the year 2015 in craft beer (your 5 words may differ):


1. GROWTH


The red hot craft beer industry continues to grow at amazing rates in every conceivable statistic/metric.


According to a recent IBISWorld report, the segment experienced
18.8 percent annual growth from 2010 to 2015; however, the company predicts that the segment will experience a much lower annual growth rate of 5.5 percent from 2015 to 2020, reaching $6.5 billion by the end of 2020

Chicago-based Information Resources Inc. (IRI) highlights the segment’s market share as evidence of continuing  growth. “Craft continues to gain the highest share in total U.S. supermarkets compared to a year ago. It has gained 1.1 share of total beer dollar sales in supermarkets this year according to data ending July 5, 2015. Craft is now up to a 16.5 share of total beer dollar sales in supermarkets. This compares to a 9.4 share craft had back in 2010."

In line with this, in July, the Brewers Association released mid-year data indicating that craft beer production volume increased 16 percent in the first half of the year.

According to the association, from January through the end of June, approximately 12.2 million barrels of beer were sold by craft brewers, up from 10.6 million barrels in the first half of 2014.

Locally, craft brewers Trillium, Jacks Abby, and Wormtown all moved to new, significantly larger locations to allow them to meet the huge -and still growing- demand for their beers. 

In the case of Trillium, they opened a second, larger (16,000 square ft!) facility in Canton while keeping the original Fort Point location. The new Canton location will serve as Trillium's primary production facility, with a theoretical capacity for 35,000 BBL's annually. (BBL stands for "barrels." A barrel of beer is 31 gallons and the standard size for a keg is a half barrel.)


By way of comparison, when Trillium opened their 2,300 sq ft Fort Point brewery in 2013, they had a 10 barrel system and 30 bbl of cellar capacity. in 2014 they brewed just over 1,000 barrels of beer. And now they have the potential to brew 35,000 BBL's. 


That. is. GROWTH. 

Within Trillium’s first full year of production in 2014, they brewed 1,000 barrels of beer, and this year they’re on pace for about 1,500 barrels.


Framingham's Jack Abby moved down the road from their original Morton Street location to a larger facility on Clinton Street. The new 67,000 sq. foot space (up from the Morton Street locations 12,000 sq. ft) features state-of-the-art brewing equipment including a canning line and a 60 bbl brew house for initial brewing capacity of 50,000 bbls annually, with opportunity to scale up to 125,000 bbls. 

The expansion to 100 Clinton St. required a $6 million investment in equipment and site improvements, Jack’s Abby told the BBJ earlier this year. And, now they have a restaurant on site as well. 

Wormtown Brewery started out in 2010 in an old ice cream shop adjacent to Peppercorns on Park Ave in Worcester.

In January of this year, they moved into a brand new facility on Shrewsbury Street. The new facility currently has a 6,000 barrel brewing capacity that is easily expandable up to 15,000 barrels. In addition the new brewery incorporates a modern packaging line which has allowed Wormtown to expand their distribution to include package stores.

Want more local craft beer growth?

Castle Island Brewing finally opened (although in Norwood, not Castle Island).

Cold Harbor Brewing opened in Westborough.

Devils Purse Brewing opened on the Cape.

and that's just off the top of my head.

2. ACQUISITIONS

As the craft beer market soars, it steals market share- and dollars- from the older, bigger, mass brewed conglomerates.

And this does not go over well with the Board Members who run these conglomerates, believe me.

But rather than dedicate their considerable brewing resources to crafting better beer, they've started to simply buy up the smaller craft brewers they compete with. It's a somewhat disturbing trend, albeit a legal- and often very smart- business practice.

Santa came early for ABInBev, delivering them 3 shiny new craft breweries for Christmas 2015.

Breckenridge Brewery (CO), Four Peaks (AZ), and the UK Camden Town Brewery were all acquired by the global giant in a span of only 5 days this month alone. They purchased Elysian and Golden Road Brewing earlier this year.

THAT, my craft beer drinking friends, is buying power.

And don't forget, Bud already owns Goose Island, 10 Point, and Blue Point as well. 

But it not just Bud buying up all the breweries.

Heineken, the world's third-largest brewery, bought a 50 percent stake in Lagunitas in September.

 Ballast Point was purchased by massive conglomerate Constellation Brands for an unprecedented $1 billion in November.

So why is this happening? Many reasons. Sometimes it's simply money. Sometimes the craft brewery needs the resources of the acquiring company to grow. As I understand it Bud has left Goose Island pretty much alone, the beer hasn't suffered, and judging from the lines I saw on Black Friday, Bourbon County Stout is still as popular as ever. So being acquired, it's not always a bad thing.

But ask yourself this- who really brews your beer? 

3. CANS

Have you noticed a LOT more cans on the shelves of your favorite bottle shop these days? I sure have.

According to Nielsen data, 88 percent of case volume in the craft beer segment is comprised of bottles, clearly dominating the segment. However, cans are quickly growing and saw a 39 percent increase in case volume in the past year.

The brewers will tell you that the packaging offers a more event friendly and sustainable option for their consumers. They are not wrong. A beverage industry November report notes : "One of the worst things beer can be exposed to is light. Many brewers look to cans to, No. 1, remove light, and No. 2, because consumers can take cans a lot of places they can’t take bottles".
And with cans comes one of my favorite new beer things- the "Crowler"- a massive, 32 ounce can of craft beer. (see photo, left). There's something cool about holding a giant, cold can of brew in your hand. 

4. PrettyThingsBeerandAleProject (ok, this is really 6 words in itself, cut me some slack, its my blog!)

These are the first two sentences on the Pretty Things web site:

"Welcome to Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project. Pretty Things is an idea, not a brewery."

And they were not a brewery. They were gypsy brewers, didn't own a brewery, and only sold their awesome, awesome beers in 22 ounce bombers.

From the first time I discovered them in 2007, I have loved their beers. Absolutely loved them. Their portfolio, from top to bottom, was the best in the business. Everything they brewed was a winner, in a big, big way. Not a loser in the bunch.

Sadly, true to their word above, Pretty Things decided to end the project this year. It saddens me greatly, as I sit here drinking a "Our Finest Regards" Barelywine.

Dan and Martha, thank you for the awesome, outstanding brews. I will miss them greatly. I wish you the very best, and I hope you keep brewing!


5. CRAFTED

This one is personal, as Crafted is the new craft beer (and wine) store to open in my town.

Finally I have a place locally where I can buy great beer! Technically they opened in 2014, but 2015 is their first full year of operation, so congrats Kenny! My new favorite beer store!

Have you noticed more craft focused beer shops opening in your area?  They are popping up everywhere, and this is a good thing. And this has a domino affect of forcing the existing liquor stores to up their beer selection in order to compete, and I've definitely noticed this occurring in my town.

So, that is my 2015 year in craft beer.

What 5 words would you use to describe the year in beer for 2015?

Tomorrow- my favorite beers of 2015!

Cheers!







Friday, August 28, 2015

IPA Month continues with Devils Purse Brewing's "Pollock Rip" IPA

I've been a delinquent beer blogger this month.

I've done a decent amount of drinking, but not enough blogging.

I'm going to attempt to rectify that these last few, precious days of IPA Month.

I wrote recently about my appreciation and love for the great craft beer scene that is now happening on Cape Cod. Here's a beer I discovered in the course of researching that post.


Pollock RIP IPA
Devil's Purse Brewing
South Dennis, MA
7% ABV, 68 IBU's

So, about that mason jar, um, well....I was on vacation, the house we rented had them, and, well, it felt like the thing to do. I don't generally condone mason jars as vessels for great beer, but when you're on the Cape, on vacation, well, anything goes!

This beer was packaged in a "crowler", which is a bis ass (32 oz) can of beer. I loved the concept. Felt big and heavy in my hand, no need for a bottle opener.

I popped the top, poured it into my mason jar, and observed.

Pollock IPA pours  a hazy gold, with a fizzy, tight, white head.

Smell is really rather reserved, lightly fruity, with a hint of hops.

Mouthfeel is moderate and nicely carbed.

Taste is fruity and mildly bitter (by most most American  IPA standards). It's crisp and clean with a hoppy bitter finish.

I like this beer very much. It's a very distinctive IPA, very tasty, and not palette wrecking.

I recommend this beer, it's a winner.

I've been impressed with the beers from Devils Purse. My dad bought me these beers, I didn't even know this brewery existed. What a great  beer find. They brew a great Kolsch, and an excellent Citra table beer. if you have the chance, do yourself a favor and check out Devils Purse Brewing.

Cheers!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Cape Cod, MA Craft Beer Scene- An Appreciation

I'm taking a break from IPA Month today to take a moment to talk about the great craft beer scene happening down on "the Cape" (that's Cape Cod, MA, for you non locals).

Last week I was on the Cape vacationing with my family. The Cape, for those of you not familiar with the area, is that funny looking arm that looks like its flexing off the east coast of Massachusetts. It's physically separated from the mainland thanks to the Cape Cod Canal,  Access to "The Cape" is limited to two lone bridges that cross the canal. Wanna go to the Cape? You gotta cross a big 'ole bridge that was built in 1935. Anyone who has ever experienced a summer vacation on "The Cape" is familiar with the famous Cape traffic backup thanks to bridges built in 1935 that didn't have a clue about 2015 traffic volume. 

Cape Cod is part of Massachusetts, but it really is a different world. Cross the bridges, tune the radio to Pixy 103 (where its always 1985....and that's not a bad thing!), and you are in a world of beaches, fresh seafood, Cape Cod league baseball, mini golf, and more t-shirt shops than you could ever dream of! Cape Cod is a different, special, wonderful place to go, and I highly recommend it as a vacation destination to anyone.

But one thing seemed to be missing, at least for me. Good, locally brewed beer. I've been vacationing on the Cape my entire life. The beaches and fresh seafood can't be beat. But eating fresh haddock from Seafood Sams with a mass produced non-local macro brew just didn't work for me. But until very recently, it seemed that there was no local, Cape Cod beer scene. 

But that's all changed.

This past week I enjoyed excellent, locally brewed beer from 4 local Cape Cod breweries.

 I counted 10 different beers consumed from these 4 breweries alone, and I loved 9 of them. 

From Bad Martha brewing on Marthas Vineyard, I enjoyed the Martha's Vineyard Ale, their flagship beer, an ESB. 

From the other Cape Island, Nantucket, I loved the Whales Tale Pale Ale from Cisco Brewers, an English Style Pale Ale.

 From Cape Cod Brewing, I had two great beers, the IPA, and the Beach Blonde Ale, and American Style blonde ale. Both of these are available on tap at the aforementioned Seafood Sams, so you can enjoy great locally caught seafood and great locally brewed beer.

And finally, from the newest Cape brewery, Devils Purse Brewing Company, I had no less that six new brews, five of which I loved, and the sixth, well, that was a DIPA with brett, and I am not a fan of brett.

Shown here is their tasty Pollock RIP IPA, checking in at 7"ABV and "hopped" up on Chinook, Apollo, Colombus, Ultra and Warrior hops. I loved this beer.

The point I'm trying to make here is that Cape Cod, aka "the Cape" has a GREAT craft beer scene. If you find yourself "on the Cape", be sure to eat and drink local. The beer is fresher, made locally, supports the local economy in far more meaningful way than drinking some non-local brewed tasteless macro beer.   

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Happy IPA Day! Celebrating with Rogue Farms 7 Hop IPA

Happy IPA Day all!

I'll keep this short so we can get back to celebrating Americas favorite beer style- the India Pale Ale!

Today I went "Rogue", so to speak, after not finding a local IPA in the cooler at my favorite bottle store (a rarity, to be sure). So, after examining my options, I reached for Rogue Farms 7 Hop IPA.

And boy am I glad that I did!


Rogue Farms Brewing
Independence, OR
7 Hop IPA
7.77% ABV

One of the things I love about Rogue is that they list all the ingredients in the beer. So I can tell you with confidence that this beer was brewed with "Rogue Farms dare risk, Haier & Dare R-3 Malts, Rogue Farms Liberty, Newport, Revolution, Rebel, Independence, Freedom & Alluvial Hops, Pacman Yeast & free range coastal water."  

That's a LOT of hops!

7 Hop pours a darker amber with a thick, frothy head of foam that stays forever. I think  you could walk on this head, its so thick!

Smell is complex and hard to pick out through that dense head of foam still atop the glass. But I smell hops. A lot of them.

Mouthfeel is light, very soft and velvety smooth. It's absolutely delightful! (yes, I used "delightful").

Taste is delicately hoppy. The flavors are plentiful and distinct but not overpowering. I'd describe it as floral, resiny, and wonderful. And only mildly bitter, which is a nice surprise. Finish is surprisingly clean with a touch of bitter.

"Awesome" is how I'd describe this beer. I expected a hoppy, bitter punch to the face, but what I got was far more delicate and complex brew. It as great, a really different take on the style, at least as far as my experience goes.

Definitely recommended. Have a great IPA Day all! And please join us again as we celebrate IPA Month all month long!

Cheers all!

Bill aka ManDrinksBeer

Monday, August 3, 2015

Overthrow- an Evolving Double IPA from Backlash Brewing

Continuing IPA Month with a great beer that I never expected to find. At least not in my neighborhood.

I love it when I stumble upon a great beer that I didn't think was available yet. Overthrow by Backlash Brewing was that beer for me this past Sunday. After a day of running, lawn mowing, and  putting together a bunk bed (sans directions), I was hot and sore and needed something a little more than ice coffee.

Overthrow Double IPA- Batch Number One (bottled June 2015)
Backlash Brewing
8.5% ABV

The label refers to Overthrow as an "Evolving double India Pale Ale". "Our first batch of Overthrow blends Citra, Galaxy, and Simcoe hops into an angry mob of flavor coming for your taste buds. Dink it now."

Who was I to disagree?

Overthrow pours a hazy orange with a tight white head that recedes to leave a nice Bavarian Ring and nice lacing on the surface and sides of the glass.

The nose is juicy and sweet citrus- orange, pineapple, and mango aromas waft from the glass.

Mouthfeel is soft and fuzzy. This brew is very active on the tongue, lots of bubbles.

Taste is surprisingly mellow for a beer with such a strong, beautiful nose. Smooth and tasty is the best way to describe this, and given the "angry mob" of hops used in its creation, that's an impressive accomplishment. It's almost balanced. Not quite. Great hop flavor, but not as fruity as the aroma. Finish is bitter and wet.

This is a real nice beer. Love the aroma. It reminded me of a more slightly more bitter version of Maine Beer Company's outstanding "Lunch" IPA.

I strongly recommend "Overthrow". Another great offering from Backlash!

Only 3 days until #IPADay. What will you be drinking?

Cheers!





Saturday, August 1, 2015

Happy IPA Month! Celebrating with Greenhead IPA

Happy IPA Month!

Welcome to my occasional annual celebration of Americas (current) favorite style of beer- the awesome India Pale Ale!

This is year 4 of ManDrinksBeer, and year 3 of my self designated "IPA month". (I had a newborn last August, so IPA month was not happening)

Why IPA? And why August?

Because its fucking August and because it's waaaay too fucking early for Pumpkin Ale or Oc/ktoberfest beers (both of which I love, by the way). But, as I previously mentioned.... it's fucking AUGUST!!!! Don't rush me through summer, damn it!

Any questions? Good.

Now that that's settled....

I spent today at  lake swimming with my kids. It was hot, and it was awesome! After we left the lake we went for ice cream! Because it's SUMMER! We came home and made tacos and watched "Home".

And all I wanted tonight was an ice cold IPA (and it's not because the awesome new beer/wine store in Holliston- Crafted - was doing an IPA tasting when I stopped by....that was just a happy coincidence).

It's because it's SUMMER. And in SUMMER, I want bright, floral, aromatic, hoppy beer. Because it's SUMMER.

And with IPA day only 5 days away, we best get to practicing, right?

This year I begin IPA month with one of my new favorites-



Newburyport Brewing
Newburyport, MA
Greenhead IPA
7.2% ABV

Greenhead IPA pours a hazy reddish orange with an inch or two of fluffy white head.

Smell is very floral, strong and fruity. It's awesome.

Mouthfeel is soft, light, wet, with very low carbonation (or so it seemed).

Taste is very bright and crisp citrus- grapefruity and bitter up front, very west coast style as advertisined- but this transitions with more malt than I recall from previous tastings. Finish is hop bitter and sharp.

Newburyport Brewing's "Greenhead" is definitely a west coast style inspired IPA- bright and clean with a huge citrus hop aroma up front. Love it!

I even love the can art. The color pallet really compliments the name, with its liberal use of green,  the guitar pick logo goes perfectly with the guitar picks they give out at tastings, and there's even a Greenhead fly on the can!

I highly recommend this beer. I look forward to trying more brews from Newburyport brewing. Maybe we'll even see one here later this month....

Cheers!




Monday, July 20, 2015

Cheering for the Guy Who Brings the Watermelon Wheat Beer

If you're a craft beer drinker, you may have seen or heard about this tweet from Budweiser, tweeted out on July 10th.

Nobody cheers for the guy who brings a watermelon wheat beer.

*sigh*

This tweet angers me, and it angered a lot of other craft beer drinkers. My take on this is simple-it's insulting. It's insulting us- craft beer drinkers- because we prefer beer that has flavor. Because we prefer beer that is not Bud, to be more to the point. And because of that, its apparently ok to take cheap shots like this on social media and hide behind the agency that I'm sure they hired to tweet this out. It's so fucking juvenile its sad.

Because I like watermelon wheat beer- and I most certainly do-let's get that out there right now- I deserve to be belittled and looked down upon by the powers that be at Budweiser.

Am I following this logic?

Do the powers at Budweiser think that in the year 2015 that they are effectively marketing to people- any people- by slamming a socially influential demographic that very clearly has income that they are willing to spend on beer, but are very clearly not spending with them?

I spent 15 years in retail marketing and advertising at the corporate level. I've been in the concept meetings, I've written the creative briefs, and I've had the conversations with management about potential negative feedback on messaging. Trust me when I say even the most innocuous, sincere, and innocent messages can be taken the wrong way and lead to negative backlash. So I can say with all the confidence in the world that Bud knew that backlash was coming from this tweet, and they either didn't care or they actually wanted it. And when a company intentionally develops a campaign built on a consistent pattern of insulting consumers- as well its own employees ("let them sip their Pumpkin  peach Ale"...don't get me going on that one)- I can only scratch my head and ask "what the fuck are you doing Budweiser?"

Budweiser continues to trot out these tired, worn out, outdated lifestyle marketing initiatives that focus on the tired old cliche of who they think Bud drinkers are, all the while wondering why they can't attract the new, younger consumers who identify as part of the craft beer crowd.

Well, let me save you the consulting fee Bud. The problem is you don't get it. Case in point, here is a response from one of your VP's to the Super bowl ad fiasco:

Budweiser vice president of marketing Brian Perkins:
"The prevailing discourse in beer is that small must be good, and big must be bad. We don't accept that. Lager is one of the most difficult styles to brew well, and we have the highest standards of care to get it right. We are owning who we are without apology."
You see Brian, craft beer drinkers are not seeking out beers because they are brewed by "small" breweries- they are seeking out high quality beer. Period.

Instead of relying solely on a mix of negative ads and lifestyle marketing, allocate some of your massive resources to brewing some new, different beers. These ads of yours put your brewers in an awkward position- do you think they like to be associated with a company that insults their brewing peers, many of whom I'm sure they know personally and probably respect? Its my understanding that a Bud rep gave a great presentation, and presented a tasty brew or two, to a group of beer bloggers at the recent Beer Bloggers Conference in Ashville, NC (Sadly I was not in attendance....some day), so clearly you have the brewing resources/chops to compete product wise. And yet you just don't. You go negative against the very consumers you should be rolling out the red carpet for. It's idiotic on every level.

So please Budweiser, just stop it. Grow up. Up your game and admit your mistakes. And honestly, I don't really care if people "cheer" when I show up at a party with Blue Hills Brewery's "Watermelon Wheat", or 21st Amendments awesome "Hell or High Watermelon". I'm 41, and that's more of an "I'm an 18 year old, college freshman at my first keg party" thing (is that your target demo?)- but I'm really tired of being insulted by you.

Thanks.

Bill
aka ManDrinksBeer

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Founders KBS

Founders outstanding KBS, paired with a brownie.


I gave up alcohol for lent again this year. 

And then Founders KBS turned up at the great new bottle shop, Crafted, in my town. 

Lenten fast broken. 

KBS- or Kentucky Breakfast Stout, is one of those rare, "if you find it, you must buy it" beers. I've searched for this for years, but I've never been in a position to acquire one until this year, when I saw the post on Crafted's Facebook page announcing that KBS was in the house. At the time, I just happened to be doing some research at the local library, which just happens to be right down the street. I responded to the post immediately, asking if they had any left. They did, and research be damned, I was off to get my beer!  

For those unfamiliar, KBS is a variation of Founders excellent Breakfast Stout. While Breakfast Stout is brewed with coffee, oatmeal and chocolate, the KBS version has no oatmeal, but more coffee and chocolate and is aged in bourbon barrels for a full year! It is only available in April, and it disappears from store shelves immediately. Believe me.

KBS- Kentucky Breakfast Stout
Founders Brewing Company
Grand Rapids, MI
11% ABV, 70 IBU's

I let this warm for about 15 minutes before popping the cap. 

KBS pours black and thick, producing a low, burnt marshmallow colored head which quickly dissipates, leaving light lacing on the surface and a thin ring on the glass.

The smell is assertive, inviting and wonderful- equal parts chocolate and bourbon flow from the glass.  

The much anticipated first sip reveals a surprisingly soft mouthfeel, complemented by an expected and pleasant alcohol warmth.  

First taste is a very boozy mix of alcohol warmth and hop bitterness, with notes of vanilla and bourbon that seem to come and go. The chocolate aroma which was so pronounced in the nose is 
almost absent here. But what is here is wonderful and rich and silky smooth and comforting. The flavor is big and bold and awesome. Finish is boozy and wet with a mild coffee bitterness.

I love this beer. I enjoyed it with a very thick and rich chocolate brownies, which I felt really complimented the assertive booze bite in this stout.

This beer is a sipper, but worth every penny. Enjoy at home, in a recliner, by a fire.

Cheers!