Friday, 16 November 2012

Something Something Something Something Dark Side

I have a sweet tooth, I love chocolate, and biscuits. I like things that are full of malts and caramel. I drink far too much coffee. I like deep flavours and intensity. I used to be scared of dark beers. Their blackness intimidated me. That was until I realised that many of my favourite flavours can be packed into a stout. I can't say I prefer them over heavily hopped pale beers, because they aren't really comparable. But I certainly like to end an evening with a dark beer. Venturing into four dark beers in succession is a new experience for me, and an opportunity to compare and contrast some flavours.

166: Barista, Summer Wine Brewery, 4.8%
Not an especially strong abv for a dark beer, an espresso stout. Boy does it do what it says on the tin. Deeply flavoured with heavily roasted coffee, and hints of caramel. Absolutely delicious. I do enjoy when a beer is thicker than this (not sure if this is the right terminology), but I suppose that is down to the 4.8%.

166: Dark Arts, Magic Rock, 6%
Doesn't give off heavy aroma, slight burnt caramel. Tastes of hazlenut and buerre noisette. Ridiculously delicious. Not sure I agree with the tasting notes on the bottle of liquorice, blackberries and figs, but perhaps that is my taste buds.

167: Milk Stout, Left Hand Brewing Company, 6%
My first milk stout. Brewed with lactose I believe. Chocolately smells. Sweeter tasting than the previous two beers, perhaps that is the lactose. Smooth, and not particularly bitter. Would have been nice to eat with icecream I think, the smoothness would have worked well.

168: Saint Petersburg, Thornbridge, 7.7%
A Russian Imperial Stout. Not sure what imperial infers... with IPAs it seems to lead to a stronger more complex beer. Seemingly the same is true for this stout, as has a whole additional dimension. It still is sweetish, with notes of coffee, but also has a slight tang to it, and it richness adds to the intensity. The more you drink, the better it gets.

I think comparisons between light and dark beers should not be drawn because they are two totally different entities. I also think think it is hard to pick a favourite dark beer, when they display such robust flavours, and great variation. Barista was all about the coffee, Dart Arts had totally different predominant flavours. I would buy all of these beers again and again and again.