Guess what, knock knock, who’s there? Another top 100 beer. No punchlines here, just sick brews brah. 12 days of Christmas are delivering so hard.
Barrel Aged Blackout Stout, Great Lakes Brewery, Imperial Stout, 9.5% abv
A: This is on the mid-range in absolute Satanic murkiness. It would place somewhere admirably amongst the ranks of Beezlebub in darkness, but not as pure black as Abyss or Black Tuesday. A bit of mahogany shines through at the edges. The carbonation is a bit disappointing, with tiny bubbles that escape quickly. There is very little lacing as well. Ho hum.
S: This beer smells like toffee, raisins, burnt vanilla, and bourbon. There’s chocolate in there as well but it feels like an overpower quad given the complexity of the dark fruits, AND THAT’S PRETTY OKAY!
T: The tone of the beer in my mouth is like ringing a perfect major chord of chocolate, raisin, oak, and bourbon in pure harmony. It isn’t overpowering it just resounds with a pure deep sustain that is very pleasurable. This is strange in the world of high octane stouts in that it doesn’t try to go balls to the wall with flavor it just hits an amazing balance and each flavor works in harmony. I wasn’t expecting much from the smell and appearance but the taste is incredible.
M: If the taste didn’t knock it out of the park, this prickly tiny carbonation makes this beer fantastic on the palate with just enough coating to remain but not enough to both you. I can see how some people wouldn’t “get” this stout but the interplay of the elements is just great. This dark horse really impresses and delivers a subtle performance. The John Malcovich of the Barrel Aged stout world, indeed.
D: The lack of aggressive carbonation and the mellow bourbon and dark fruits make this beer incredibly drinkable and pairable with plenty of options. I don’t think it is universal enough to win over the Delta Gammas of the world, but it is pretty solid when it comes to anyone who has an inkling for the darker side. I feel that if more people tried this beer, it would gain a stronger notoriety but the small batches have this beer being judged by extremely critical parties and it receives a lesser reception as a result.
Narrative: “Steve? Steve, I cant OW!” Jessie fumbled looking for the flashlight in the darkness. “Steve, do we have any candles? Are you there?” Steve was there. A solitary ember from an Argentinian cigar glowed not unlike Daisy’s dock in the darkness. “I am here. Now tell me, who was it, in this household of two that forgot to pay the power bill?” Jessie stopped fumbling for matches and flashlights and stared intently upon the glowing cigar. “You know damn well it was me Steve, that’s not the time for this.” “OH REALLY? Is it the time to make a sweet currant pie? Perhaps we can eat all these figs and 85% dark chocolate? IS THAT WHAT TIME IT IS?!” Jessie dropped to her knees in the darkness and unknowingly crushed a rare Timewalk Magic: the Gathering card. “YOU MONSTER! You know about my condition, I just love, dark fruits so much, now look at us, alone, in the da- myenm. The dark, nom, mmyean there’s nothing we can horm-” “ARE YOU EATING PLUMS AT A TIME LIKE THIS!?” She wailed a sticked pit fruited wail that would be at home in a Tennessee Williams play “IT’S THE ONLY FRUIT I HAVE ANYMORE!” End scene.