Finback Brewery, BQE Imperial Chocolate Stout, Queens, NY
9.2% abv. 63 IBU. Brewed with local Mast Brothers cocoa nibs and Native Coffee Roasters coffee and aged in bourbon barrels. Pours jet black with a thin tan head. Rich dark chocolate aroma with strong coffee notes. Full-bodied yet silky mouthfeel. Not boozy at all, but slight warming on the back of the throat after a few sips. The alcohol is really well masked. Complex and truly enjoyable mix of flavors including dark chocolate, dark roast coffee, sugary street roasted nuts, fig, dates, molasses, bourbon vanilla. A little dry astringency at finish from the heavy malt billing, but that is expected. Some citrus hops add to the mix. This really is a delightful beer. It gets better and better with each sip, I want more!
Banded Horn Brewing Company, The Jolly Woodsman, Biddeford, ME
7.5% abv. 16oz tall boy can. A special blend of two of the breweries stouts, Norweald and Mountain. Steeped with Kenyan espresso from Speckled Ax.Pours jet black with a thin tan head. Rich espresso bean aroma jumps out of the can. Super thick, chewy, and viscous mouthfeel with absolutely no alcohol presence. Bittersweet dark chocolate, fresh roasted nuts, chocolate milk, and espresso flavors dominate, but there is a subtle citrus undertone that helps balance it off nicely. This goes high up on my list of dessert beers. Excessively drinkable even thought it is full bodied. Some mild astringency at the finish due to the heavy malt billing. Damn this is a delicious beer. Cocoa nibs and floral and bright citrus hop flavors combine at finish in the most interesting way. I love this one. I could not help but include the Pete Seeger book I am currently reading in the picture. The similarities in the color palate of the beer can and the book are pretty remarkable.
Weyerbacher Brewing Company, Sunday Morning Stout, Easton, PA
11.3% abv. Bourbon barrel aged with coffee added. Coffee aroma explodes from the bottle. Pours black with a reddish tan head. There is absolutely no doubt that this is a big beer to be treated cautiously. First sip is oak, bourbon, and coffee. Warming is there, but the alcohol is masked very well. Complex flavor profile includes oak, sherry, bourbon, vanilla, anise, pepper, maple syrup, and of course tons of coffee. It has a very earthy base taste, like raw cocoa nibs. I had to check, it packs a whopping 340 calories! Holy shit, that is just a hair less than two full sized Snickers bars, buut as Ogden Nash once said, “candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker!” Full bodied, almost viscous. Tons of roasted sweetness, but hops do emerge a bit after a few ounces. Burnt sugar, caramel, figs, prunes, and maybe even some coconut add to the complex mix of flavors.Damn this one is kicking my ass, these sneaky imperial stouts are a force to be reckoned with.