Friday, December 09, 2005

Short but Funky

I'm freezing this weekend, and I want to drink beer. So I reach for a comfort beer. For me, this is the beer version of mashed potatoes. A stout! Today's beer is Sierra Nevada's Stout. Before anyone jumps down my throat about picking "bigger name" beers, I'll remind you that the beers I review/recommend are based largely on accessibility. There are thousands of amazing craft brews that can only be purchased in one place. That doesn't help me when I want to try something, and I can't get my greedy paws on it. And it doesn't help anyone reading this who lives in a completely different part of the world.

So Sierra Nevada is readily available at stores and bars across the US, and it's a good, solid stout example. A stout as defined by BeerAdvocate: "Inspired from English & Irish Stouts, the American Stout is the ingenuous creation from that. Thankfully with lots of innovation and originality American brewers have taken this style to a new level. Whether it is highly hopping the brew or adding coffee or chocolate to compliment the roasted flavors associated with this style. Some are even barrel aged in Bourbon or whiskey barrels. The hop bitterness range is quite wide but most are balanced. Many are just easy drinking session stouts as well. "

The official BeerAdvocate review states:
Appearance: A smooth black with leather hues around the edges and a creamy tan head with great retention.
Smell: Rich dark and on the dry side hints of fruit esters and grain aromas with a full earthy hop leaf nose, notes of ripe plum and light molasses are also detected.
Taste: A creamy full bodied brew with a roasted barley bitterness, notes of chocolate and a touch of caramel. High hop bitterness to balance that begins light, turns sharp and slightly tingly, eventually imparting its earthy flavour in the aftertaste and complementing the dry bitterness left from the roasted barley. The aftertaste stays with you for a very long time.
Notes: One of our favourite stouts; a well balanced brew showing both malt and hop complexities without one being the more dominant.

In plain english, this is one tasty beer with big flavor and a bit of a bite in the aftertaste. It is quite filling, so this is something I sip on for a long time. No pounding back stouts for me. I'd get full before I got drunk.