Friday, March 02, 2007

Friday's Session: Not your Father's Stout

Its finally that time, the inaugural, Beer Blogging Friday, or as some are starting to call it the Session (with its own logo!). The theme of this first event hosted by Appellation Beer is: Not your Father's stout, or anything but Guinness, Murphy's, etc. I love stouts, so I struggled with what I wanted to do a tasting on. After much searching I went back to a beer that I first drank when I was first being introduced into great beers. Back before I had seen what an Imperial IPA or Imperial Stout even were. To a beer that is easy to find in most every decent liquor store, but is still incredibly good. For this first of what I hope to be many sessions, I popped the top off of Young's Double Chocolate Stout.

The Style: This is a dark beer made with roasted malts. The first use of the word stout when it comes to beer was in the late 1600's. However it didn't have anything to do with a dark beer necessarily but covered anything that was a strong beer (similar to how we use Imperial today). However over time it became mainly associated with a stronger version of Porter, as in a Stout Porter. Then sometime in the late 1800's Porter was dropped from the name and it just became Stout.

The Brewery: The Brewery was founded in 1831 by Charles Young with the purchase of the Ram's Brewery in Wandsworth England. (as an aside the Famous Ram's Brewery closed last year). Now all of Young's beers are brewed at the Eagle Brewery in Bedford. Young's is a pretty popular English beer's with a wide variety available in the states. From Young's ESB to the popular Old Nick Barleywine they are usually quite good quite approachable beers.

The Beer: Yes its what we have waited for, the BEER. The beer weighs in at a nice 5.2%, for this is a beer that can be enjoyed throughout the night and won't knock you on your butt. As expected the beer pours a deep rich almost opaque chocolate brown, capped by a thick dark brown foamy head. The beer is made not only with the traditional roasted malts, but with real chocolate as well, which I found a nice touch. The nose was full of bitter sweet chocolate and espresso. The mouth is the same, rich and thick tasting for all the world like dark chocolate covered espresso beans, wonderful. As the beer warms, some of the bitterness fades leaving a silky smooth chocolatey aftertaste. The head slowly dissipates leaving a nice thin taupe line across the top of the beer. Still such a wonderful beer.

Tune back later this week to a link to the round up


Rick Lyke said...

Nice review of a classic beer and style. After covering Foothills Sexual Chocolate Imperial Stout for my contribution to The Session, it makes me wonder about gathering all of the chocolate and coffee flavored stouts together that I can find for a tasting event with some friends. It would be interesting to taste several side by side.



Barleyvine said...

You're right, that wouldn't be a bad idea for one of your Tuesday Tasting's.

Stan Hieronymus said...

There are a growing number of both chocolate and cofee stouts out there, so that could be a tasting that requires a designated driver.

Like the Founders Breakfast Stout, which can be a challenge to find.

The Lagunitas Cappuccino Stout is one that has stayed under the radar, but some East Coast beer store owners I talked to say it is flying off the shelves.


Barleyvine said...

I have been on the look out for a nice Coffee stout. There is a good Texas Brewery out there Real Ale, that makes a good Coffee Porter, but not a local Stout.