International Stout Day

Today is a great day for the brew geeks around the globe. Back on August 4 we had International IPA day. Beer geeks the world over were encouraged to imbibe their favorite liquid hop delivery system. Well today is International Stout Day. The weather couldn’t be better….well maybe a healthy dusting of snow could improve things. Nonetheless there’s a wonderful chill in the air. When the chill sets in, stouts just seem to taste better. To help you folks out there in beer land make the most of the day, here are a few suggestions on what to drink:

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Brewery: Boulevard Brewing Company
Beer: Dark Truth Stout
Style: Belgian Stout
ABV: 9.7%
Rating out of 5: 3.85

Boulevard has done some great and interesting things with their smokestack series. This brings us to their entry into the world of Belgian stouts, Dark Truth Stout. This beer pours a nice shade of black. Dark Truth clocks in at a shade just above black hole. Things are topped off by a couple of fingers of dark khaki head. Head settles to a ring somewhat quickly. A fair amount of lacing is left down the glass.

The aroma is packed with complexities. Roast characters pop first. Coffee and coco notes standout. Some Belgian yeast hits next. Spice and phenols dominate. A light bubblegum note is present as well. More complexities still pop. Plenty of caramel and toffee notes present. Some light floral notes from the noble hops round things out.

The taste is no less complex. Coffee and chocolate dominate. Plenty of dark bready notes. Some medicinal notes hit next. That’s followed by some dark rum and fig qualities. Caramel and toffee present as well. This is quite the sweet stout. Hints of spicy rye show up as well. A creaminess comes through from the oats. Floral and grassy hop notes round things out. The finish is semi drying, with a lingering charred coffee quality and a kiss of alcohol in the breath.

Dark truth is full bodied, smooth, and creamy on the palate.

Still not quite sure what to make of the Belgian Stout. This particular stout is quite sweet. It’s sweeter than most imperial stouts, or Belgian ales. Boulevard has done an amazing job at hiding the alcohol of this brew. The 9.7% abv is almost nonexistent. This one dangerously drinkable brew. I am not sure I am fully on board with the Belgian Stout. Nonetheless Boulevard has crafted another tasty and highly drinkable brew. Another worthy addition to the Smokestack series.


Brewery: Jester King
Beer: Black Metal
Style: Russian Imperial Stout
ABV: 10.4%
Rating out of 5: 4.3

A traditional farmhouse brewery is open in Texas. This is a good thing. They start things off with an Imperial stout. That is a great thing. Black Metal looks the part. It’s as black as the soul of Olve Eikemo(Immortal reference). Basically its a touch above black hole. Things are topped off by a couple fingers worth of milk chocolate head. Head fades to a ring, leaving some lace in its wake.

Black Metal smells the part of a good imperial stout. Deep roasty bitterness shines. Bitter chocolate, and dark roasted coffee stand out. A bit of an herbal quality struggles to make itself known. Some strong earthy notes round things out.

The flavor matches the nose. Chocolate notes are much stronger on the palate. Tons of dark chocolate shine. Beneath the chocolate is noticeable dark roasted coffee qualities. A bit of of caramel and licorice pop underneath all the chocolate and coffee. A bit of an earthy bitterness takes hold in the sweetish finish.

Black Metal is full bodied, yet not overly viscous.

Black Metal is fine example of an imperial stout. The alcohol is kept in check and never becomes overbearing. Its as quaffable as any good imperial stout can be. Props for creating an outstanding stout, and leading off with it to boot. Its always great to see another brewery open in Texas. With quality brews like this I hope they stick around awhile


Brewery: North Coast Brewing Co.
Beer: Old Rasputin
Style: Russian Imperial Stout
ABV: 9.0%
Rating out of 5: 4.33

I have enjoyed this brew many times. I am just now getting around to reviewing it. Old Rasputin pours a deep dark black. It looks the part of used motor oil. It’s not the blackest imperial I have had, but more than dark enough. Things are topped off by about three fingers worth of dark khaki head. Head settles to a ring. Plenty of sticky lace clings to the glass.

Onto the aroma. Dark roasted malts hit first. Dark roasted coffee notes stand out first. That’s followed by a healthy dose of sweet milk chocolate. Behind the roasted coffee and chocolate, some licorice notes make an appearance. Some light dark fruit notes help round out the malt. Beneath the malt, a moderate hop presence shines. Herbal, slightly minty hops stand out. A light citrus like quality is present as well. All in all this is one hell of a complex nose.

The taste follows the nose. The hops in the nose are much stronger on the palate. Bitter hops hit first. Citrus notes, mostly grapefruit, are much stronger than the nose suggested. Some minty bitterness present as well. Beneath the hops, plenty of dark malts pop. Sweet chocolate takes control. Beneath the chocolate, dark roast coffee notes show up. A much stronger licorice quality is present. Dark fruit, blackberries perhaps, round things out. The finish is drying with a lingering herbal bitterness.

Old Rasputin is full bodied and somewhat viscous. A healthy carbonation tries in vain to cut through it all.

Old Rasputin was one of the beers back in the day that turned me onto stouts. The alcohol is masked quite well. Rasputin tastes strong but not boozy. It’s definitely a hopped up stout. The hops are more dominate than a lot of imperial stouts. The hop bitterness helps cut the richness a bit. This is one tasty complex brew. All these years later it’s still standing strong.


Brewery: Oskar Blues Grill and Brewery
Beer: Ten Fidy
Style: Russian Imperial Stout
ABV: 10.5%
Rating out of 5: 4.22

Appearance: Opaque black… Light refuses to penetrate… A black hole in my snifter! Short lived milk chocolate head drops to a ring and leaves plenty of lacing.

Smell: Loads of dark roasted coffee and chocolate. Some minty hops and touch of molasses in the background.

Taste: Roast coffee upfront, followed by dark chocolate. Behind the Roast – dark fruit flavors. Black Currant and raisin flavors show up. In the finish – sweet roastiness, minty hops,and liquorice in the background.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, viscous, with a low carbonation.

This is one heck of a complex beer. This may go down as my favorite Russian Imperial Stout to date.


Brewery: Stone Brewing Company
Beer: Imperial Russian Stout
Style: Russian Imperial Stout
ABV: 10.5%
Rating out of 5: 4.33

This beer pours an inky black. Light tries in vain to penetrate the blackness. Its an act in futility. Crowning the blackness is a dark khaki head. The head falls to a ring, but leaves plenty of lace down the glass.

The aroma packs a wallop. Solid coffee and dark chocolate. Plenty of black strap molasses present as well. A light bit of fruitiness – black currents – rounds things out. As the beer warms noticeable solvent alcohol aromas show up as well.

The flavor is equally impressive. Loads of coffee waft over the tongue. Plenty of dark chocolate is present as well. Molasses soaked coffee beans and a hint of liquorice seem to round out the middle. As the beer warms up, the alcohol starts to show up. The finish packs plenty more roast, as well as a bit of a lingering herbal hop note.

The mouthfeel is full bodied and thick. The beer coats the tongue in velvety bliss. The carbonation is light but more than adequate for the job.

Man oh man is this one epic brew. Its a sipper to be sure. Loads of complexity await each delicious sip. Its very easy drinking upfront. The alcohol seems almost non existent. AS the beer warms up, the alcohol becomes much more prevalent. The last few sips definitely have an alcohol bite. All in all though this is still one incredible brew.


Those are just a few of the wonderful stouts our country makes. There are many more out there to enjoy today, and really any time of year. To make this day even more enjoyable you may want to pair your favorite stout with your favorite chocolate dessert….Perhaps something along the lines of beer infused cheescake…Just a suggestion. Anyways I hope I have given you something to drool over as you decide what to celebrate with today.

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~ by thebrewgeek on Thursday, November 3, 2011.

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