Ol’ Granny Wilburn used to say, “Don’t bother getting a stout to do a bock’s job!”, right before polishing off her fifth pint and nacho grande platter of the night. Boy, she sure was a classy lady. And, as they were my formative years, I was inclined to absorb that information. I mean, when you want a deep, full bodied dark beer, why look past Bavaria to England, a land where jellied eel pie is considered “food”. So, for the longest time, I’d curl up my mustache and put on my lederhosen when I wanted that black brew.
Well, in my defense, certain underwhelming macro-brewed stouts had kind of turned me off of the whole genre. I won’t name any names, but it starts with a “G” and rhymes with Tennis. But I knew Green Flash Brewery were a trustworthy bunch, so I gave it a shot. I was in the mood for something dark, and the rest of them were erring a bit too close to an IPA to qualify. So, after dropping just under a Xander Hambone (a ten dollar bill, to outside of the know), I had a nice little foursome to entertain over dinner. So, after cracking a couple of their little noggins like bad guys in a Steven Seagal movie, I was ready to begin.
This sucker is DARK. I shined a nice bright LED flashlight into its murky depths, barely a whisper on the other side of the glass. But, even stranger, that other side was noticeably red. Even the head looked almost as red as a semi-well known prop comedian’s ginger ‘fro. The head itself, noticeably light and lacy after it dissolves. A nice heady aroma, which was an accurate prelude to the taste.
This stout is thick. THIS is what I was hoping for, a nice, heavy, almost chewy texture. Rich, caramel flavors, but just enough bitterness to give it that complexity. Strong toasted and bitter chocolate flavors. Something about those naked golden oats really sets off the flavor profile of this beer, and I bet it’s not just the name. Very different from the usual hop bombs Green Flash usually drops, but if you look for it, you can still get a nice little herbal character from them at the end. All together a very fun experience. Of course, the 8.8% ABV doesn’t hurt the good times flowing from this little bottle.
Grandma, in all her wisdom, may have written off stouts just a bit too soon. Maybe she lost one of her famous bar brawls to one, or maybe it was her virulent rivalry with any and all England soccer teams (Granny was a virulent New Zealand fan). Whatever it was, I’m sorry Grandma, sell the Volkswagen and get me some crisps! Your boy is a stout drinker.