Sure this one falls into the “excellent” range when all of the points are tallied, but that word carries some serious weight if I was to describe a beer as such to my friends. I am not sure that excellent would be the first word used to describe this one if asked how I liked it. If I put some thought into it I am sure that I could come up with my own words to describe each of those point ranges that I would be more comfortable with.
This one is described to be at least inspired by wanting to combine the flavors of their Jahva and Choklat beers. If that was indeed the goal, they should be happy with the results.
Continuing on with this STBC February ‘11 . . .
Brewery: Southern Tier Brewing Co. (Lakewood, NY)
Style: Russian (or rather American) Imperial Stout
ABV: 11.20% (on website) or 11.00% (on bottle)
Tasting Notes: Stored in the fridge and served in a snifter after being allowed to sit at room temperature for a short time.
Aroma: Sweet roasted aroma with some deep, strong notes of dark chocolate and dark fruit (raisins/currants). Some warmth noticeable. – 9/12
Appearance: Appears black, though is dark brown when held to light. Slight light brown color head that dissipates pretty quickly and leaves very little trail (though some legs). Opaque though can be seen through when held to light. – 3/3
Flavor: Slight molasses-like sweetness with strong notes of burnt grain. Light chocolate up front that fades into a strong coffee flavor that stays through the finish. A snap of bitterness in middle through to the finish where there is a lingering flavor of black coffee. – 15/20
Mouthfeel: Full body with a fairly low level of carbonation. Some astringency from loads of roasted/burnt grain character. Warmth noticeable, but not overwhelming. – 4/5
Overall Impressions: Really intensely flavored and a slow sipper for sure that is a little tough to take on if not prepared. I think the carbonation level is pretty spot on to compliment the flavors. The chocolate flavor comes through at the finish more as it warms. I imagine that this would be nice after dinner or with dessert. – 7/10
Overall: Excellent – 38/50