Alright, I promised I would round things out and address the remainder of this set, so let’s return to the PAjottenland and see what the stout realm has to offer.
Understanding in a bean crash.
I used to have this theory that the State of Pennsylvania as an aggregate, has arguably the best beer in the entire nation. The problem is that it exists in some Final Fantasy overworld where all seven styles have been shattered and spread across the land and need uniting. Tired Hands slays the hop game, McKenzie kills the saison realm, East End has historically dominated the barleywine spectrum, hell even the likes of Selin’s grove have a compelling fruit beer. Rounding out this set of choas emeralds is Voodoo, who does many things well, but god damn it if they don’t turn out arguably the highest quality stouts in the game. I will allow Florida to stop hyperventilating before I continue.
IBS follows the trend of not so subtle nods to pooping from Voodoo. One thing I love about the Voodoo barrel program is that they take their time. A stout isn’t some fourth grader that needs to have common core saturation dialed in within 9 months and if its deficient they dont just pass it along. This bottle spent 20 months in confinement. Despite this the body wasn’t wiped out, and it never feels oversaturated. They added coffee, cocoa nibs and maple syrup, and once again I will allow Florida to pick their camo Tony Stewart hat off the ground.
Sure they added all the obligatory morning time shit to a solid stout base: but it never gets out of pocket. It is tightly woven so you aren’t entering with some Nestle Quik shit, it’s already roasty and toasted and rounded out. I dont love BBVD as a base beer but their barrels transmogrify things into gems. I’ve never had this base beer but the toasted coffee is never acidic or oversteeped, more like toasted almonds. The nibs serve to balance our the roasty leather and black and mild profile of the base beer. The barrel doesn’t overstay its welcome but adds an olfactory compression that sands the edges off and shellacs everything in a nice caramel glaze.
This beer is perhaps a touch below KBBS or Puga Maple, but the differences are negligible enough that you are still stunting hard, going beans out.
People might remember when I was being a complainer previously about the Rye BM. It was too spicy for my lil toddler face hole. This feels far more hefty and substantial and leans more in a charred marshmallow and black forest cake realm. I enjoy the Buffalo Trace a touch more, but they are almost indiscernible in quality. Some people buy the SS Camaro, some people buy the Hemi Challenger, both of them reek of brownie batter and do sick burnouts and sock nerds. Such is the crass nature of the stout life.
One thing I love about this beer is the sustain, it has a milky chocolate whole milk froth to it that drags and unpacks itself like layered cocoa wafers on the swallow. This is a perfect example of dizzying depth provided by care and attention to detail and not some SYSCO industrial grade cafeteria food order for bags of yellow cling peaches in heavy syrup to toss in the secondary. People still like pizza and fucking. Neither of those are that complicated and stouts don’t need some sex swing, holographic waifu, or four seat Symbian to get the job done.