Friday, September 3, 2010

The Brutal Truth: Wheat Stout

Here we have a sample of Don's Wheat Stout, which has Wheat in it as a supposedly major part of it's grain bill. I'm not sure how to classify this beer, but he's telling me it's a Stout, and the closest thing I see in the book is the American Stout guidelines. So, against that we'll throw it, and see what sticks after it goes through the meat-grinder of The Brutal Truth!

Appearance: "Jet Black" is the color descriptor, and "Persistent head of light tan to light brown" is the description for the foam. I'll give it that. Hell, I'll give it a three of three, because the foam is still there, minutes later and it's still jet black. Snap, Don nailed that one! Granted, this isn't too difficult on a black beer. I think this is where Pale ales tend to take the hits.. Score: 3/3

Aroma:  I'm getting a faint to moderate chocolate malt on the nose, not so much a roasted note. Perhaps minutely, but ever so slight, if that. No alcohol hit in the aroma, and no hops either. Appropriate for style. It's an inviting smell, and I can no longer put off tasting this thing.. Score 9/12

Flavor: Chocolate. Wow. Soft as a pillow. Almost no acrid roast flavor here whatsoever. *Extremely* smooth. This is a stout for people that don't even like stout, if Roast character is not their bag. If there are hops in here, I can't taste them, other than to say the bitterness is equal to the task of balancing the dark malts, but not popping up any more than that. that I've had this beer for more than a few sips, I'm starting to pick out the roast malts now.. that real roast barley, not just a chocolate malt or brown malt flavor. It's definitely there, and takes a backseat for the first block of the road-trip, but jumps up from the back seat like a knife wielding maniac might in a crappy B-movie.. you don't know it's there till it's too late. But I got it now. Well done. No esters here that I can perceive, and a moderately dry finish. How about a touch of malted milk ball? It's in there. Yeah, well done. Hit me with a 17/20 Hayyyy Hoooo!

Mouthfeel: Medium full body, silky in feel. No astringency from any dark malts.. err, maybe just a molecule worth, but that's it. Still, well done. Carbonation is on the medium low side in this bottle-conditioned version. Score it 4/5

Overall Impression: Love it! Strangely, the guidelines call for a hoppy beer in the overall impression area, but then tell you low to high in the flavor department. As such, we can take our liberties with this confusion and rank the crap out of this beer as being generally freakin' awesome. Were this my beer, I'd be especially proud. I'm halfway through a bomber of it now and am enjoying the hell out of it. There is a range of ways you can go with this beer, and this is a great interpretation of one. I'm gonna give it an 8/10. I sure as hell hope Don puts this one into a competition somewhere and tells 'em how the Krausen Commando's do it Stout Style on the east coast.

Total score: 41/50. SNAP! This beer is awesome. Have Don hook you up with a bottle and see for yourself.. it'll be worth the trip.

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