Monday, May 31, 2010

Tasting The Foreign Export Stout

With the Memorial Day weekend upon us, Tom and I had the opportunity to get the families together for a family function in Upstate New York. It was unfortunate that the ‘gathering’ did not take place at either of our homes (else this post would be describing a collaborative brewing session instead), but it was a perfect time to crack open a couple of bottles we’ve previously brewed and talk about them – even if our wives rolled their eyes at the notion.

The Mad Fermentationist’s Foreign Export Stout that was brewed back in April was certainly on the top of the tasting list. Inspired by Mike’s very positive review last week, there was quite a bit of anticipation for the beer. Joined by Tom’s brother-in-law Jonathan, a fledgling mead-maker, the three of us poured the 12 oz brown long neck bottle into snifter glasses to see what the jet-black liquid held in store.

Aroma: A mild, smooth nose of coffee and dark chocolate revealed itself right off the get-go. A slight hint of English yeast ester was braided in with it and maybe some hints of fig or dark fruit.

Appearance: A midnight black beer that completely blocks out all light trying to pass through it. It possesses a thin, deep-tan head of tiny bubbles, which sparsely layered the surface of the beer and the sides of the glass.

Flavor: A balanced, yet strong black coffee flavor combined with roast character comes though initially at the first taste. Dark chocolate (similar to unsweetened dark cocoa) begins to mix in with the coffee. The mid-palate reveals a berry esters hidden in the dark with a slight underlying minerality. A subdued, sweet, pleasing alcohol presence is barely noticable at the end of the mid-palate and continues to provide warmth into the aftertaste. The beer finishes very smooth with the impression of being dry. A lingering roast and dark chocolate character remains in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: A smooth, creamy, moderate to moderate-full mouthfeel. A pleasing low carbonation level supports the character of the beer without getting in the way.

Overall Impression: A very smooth, easily drinkable, full bodied, dry stout with a blended flavor or coffee and dark chocolate that hides its alcohol well – even being as young as it is (only 1 month in the bottle), the beer is one of the smoother stouts we've tasted. Everything seems melted together into a unified flavor as opposed to a collection of several individual components.



“There is nothing in the world like the first taste of beer.”
-John Steinbeck

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