My local bottlo had the great idea (and great availability of kegs) to ask it's punters to choose 4 from a shortlist of big dark beers, that they would like to taste as we go from Summer to Autumn. Of course being a man who loves a good stout, it being close to St Pat's Day, and celebrating 2 years since my first ever days work at Mountain Goat Brewery, I went down there yesterday to try the beers that were chosen.
I was especially happy as 3 of the 4 beers were ones I voted for!
Probably the one I was most looking forward to tasting was the Mikkeller Cocio Bajer, a chocolate stout that where lactose has also been used. It had a dusty dark brown colour, with very little head but specks of floating sediment sitting on top of the beer. Already I was getting flashbacks to a milk chocolate stout I had tried in my own homebrewing, and had come out looking similarly. The similarities continued, when the taste of chalky/alkaline really dominated across the palate, and the texture was quite watery. Unfortunately the one I was wanting to taste most was the most disappointing. Along with this was a coffee aroma and taste that was more than the Dieu du Ciel had, and the only time I had any chocolate in this beer was when it had been left to sit for quite a while.
Another beer I was highly anticipating was the Trios Mousquetaires Baltic Porter, a beer I have been collecting in bottles for the past few years (and happy to say I have 3 vintages of to do a vertical tasting of soon). Now this one did live to the hype I had for it. A dark beer fermented as a lager was both clean, but still had some great dark malt characters that ran evenly across the palate. This was helped with a light, but creamy texture. I guess in a way it has decreased complexity for a dark beer, but the simplicity of it with even profile, clear flavours and good texture are what I really like about this beer, maybe being such a simple man myself. To be honest, I think it is a bit of an extension of my days when the first beer I ever enjoyed was a Toohey's Old, and generally been interested in baltic porters since I found them.
Lastly, and probably the biggest overall, was the Mikkeller George. A classic Imperial Stout with big dark malt characters, a bit of caramel on midpalate and the alcohol starts to rise, and rise, a bit of heat with that alcohol, but still a nice cleansing finish (well for an imperial stout anyway). As it warmed up the alcohol heat died down a bit, and from the keg, texture held up quite well to help. I probably would have preferred to have tried this beer in one of it's barrel aged forms to help mellow it out a bit.
Overall, an interesting line up of dark beers at the end of Summer, and was great to have the opportunity to put my vote in for what I drink. Hopefully I have another chance to head back in for some of these beers again this week...if they last that long...
PS: Thanks to Hannah for the new beer t-shirts!!!!!
PPS: Very happy to see there was a bottle of Rogue Double Chocolate Stout still at Slowbeer, so took that off their hands as well!!!!!!!!!