Thursday, June 30, 2011
The crux of reviewing a hyped up beer like this is that you continuously question whether or not you're falling for the verbal bling from the grapevine of marketing subgenius, or if you are truly providing a well thought out and unbiased review. Add the fact that it comes from a local brewery who you are quite fond of, and that its a very limited release of 612 bottles, and you've got yourself a helluva challenge on your hands.
So before I ruin the experience by obsessing over the finer points of my mostly inconsequential and solipsistic BA reviews, I'm gonna pop this bad boy and see what's under the hood.
For some unknown reason my favorite glass for Imperial Stouts is the SA Specialty, so into that noble chalice it pours an impenetrable black, and I beseech you, who would settle for less? One-finger of bubbly froth drops quickly to a smallish dark tan head before settling into short, thin stripes of lace around the circumference. A bigger head would have been optimal . . . (insert "she-said" joke here).
Deep and rich sweet malts float to the nose, followed by roasted almonds, black licorice, faint ripe plums and a distant whiff of hops.
A palate pleasing sweet caramel is noticed initially, followed by a prolific whiskey barrel character, some maple syrup, and fine hop notes which would have been sorely missed otherwise. Not as complex as many Imperial Stouts, but no less bold and satisfying to the tongue. I'm sure I could pull other notes from the depths, but consider me satisfied with the taste as is without delving too deeply.
Alcohol heat is noticeable, but complimentary, and the brew lies more toward heavy on the mouth than medium. Super-smooth and without a rough edge to be felt.
I can say without reservation that this is the best Oklahoma beer I've tried, and I've had tried a few stellar ones (can anyone say Choc Dubbel or Big Jamoke?) I have a feeling this is just the beginning of many more great works from Coop. I also have a premonition that this beer signifies a transition to a new level of brew-making for all of Oklahoma's fine breweries, and I am very thirsty for the future.
Posted by freaknhell at 5:45 PM
As anyone who knows me can attest, I am easily bored, even with the extreme. So this summer I'm making an effort to get to some of the more obscure beer styles, and I figured the Kolsch was as good a place to start as any.
Hazy at first due to a huge burst of bubbles that quickly clear to reveal a transparent brassy brew. Off-white head fades quickly but leaves some bubbles around the glass amongst a smattering of lace.
Grass and lemon to the nose with some sweet malt and spice at the end. Malts and fresh cut grass up front with another big squirt of lemon that is infused into a palate of various ripe fruits (green grapes, apples).
A bit deeper in body than expected, but still crisp where it counts. Smooth and easily downed, but I recommend you take your time and enjoy this one.
Damn fine summer drinking, and confirmation that in my zeal for the extreme I've completely missed some of the great beers of the world.
Posted by freaknhell at 5:34 PM
I figured since my dream of being the next great American novelist went down the drain with my right-out-of-college respect for creature comforts, a paycheck, and good beer, I would just start another mundane blog and punish any unfortunate souls who happened across this frontier of drunken debauchery with my inane musings. So don't say you haven't been warned.
Editor in Chief
Posted by freaknhell at 4:56 PM