From Portland Oregon’s Occidental Brewing Company comes their “Lucubrator Dopplebock”. The beer pours a dark amber/brown colour with a tan head. The aroma consists of dark fruits, brown sugar and bourbon. The flavour is of dark fruits, brown sugar, spice, vanilla, bourbon, very roasty malts and some mild hops to finish it off. The alcohol content comes in at 6.8% with an IBU of 20. This is a well crafted example of the style and I enjoyed it from the first sip to the last.
Food Pairing according to O’hare’s Beer Club notes are as follows: smoked sausage.
From Oliver BC’s Firehall Brewery comes their “Holy Smoke Stout” a smoked stout. The beer pours an opaque black colour with a brownish head. The aroma consists of roasted malts and some smoke. The flavour was 0f smoke, roasted malts, pete and some hops bitterness. The alcohol content came in at 4.5% with an IBU of 24. Being someone that does not enjoy smoked beer I will admit that I was a bit worried about trying this stout. Luckily when I did try this beer I realized it was just enough smoke to add some flavour. This was an amazing beer!
Commercial Description: “Dry Stout” is an off-shoot of the “Porter” beer style. Porter was a mass produced beer style originating a couple hundred years ago in London, England, where the water was suited for dark barley malts, and hop flavour and bitterness was a growing trend. Porter was brewed to give sustenance, strength, and energy to London’s working class. The Porter style brewed in Dublin, Ireland by Arthur Guinness became darker and heartier, and focused less on hop flavour and more on the roasted flavours from the dark barley malts. Soon many breweries were brewing their own stout, and stout became historically prescribed as a healing tonic and health drink, especially for seniors and pregnant women. Our Holy Smoke Stout is stylistically unique: a marriage of the Dry Stout style and the German “rauchbier” style. For thousands of years all beers had a smoky flavour because the only way to dry barley malt was over a fire. Recent industrialization removed the smoke flavour from beer, except for a handful of German malting companies that still smoke their malt over a traditional beech wood fire.
Black Note Book Series (Re-brand of Limited Release program)
From Granville Island Brewing out of Vancouver comes their new “Shamrocker Potato Stout” the newest addition of the Black Note Book Series form Granville Island’s Vern Lambourne. The stout pours a deep opaque black colour with a brown head. The aroma consists of roasted malts, barley, coffee and an overall sweetness. The flavour is of roasted malts, barley, coffee, hops bitterness and maybe a hint of potato in the finish. The alcohol content of this dry Irish stout is 4.8% with an IBU of35. This would be an amazing beer to add to the standard lineup of Granville Island Brewing as long as it does not change! This is a great full flavoured stout with a nice hint of potato making it all that more Irish.
Commercial Description: Get ready to rock out to this dry Irish stout. With amped up tones of roasted coffee, barley and malts, it’s a medley of Celtic proportions.
Food Pairing as per brewery: Pairs up nicely with fresh oysters or blue cheese.
From Brooklyn New York’s Brooklyn Brewing comes the “Black Ops” a Russian Imperial Stout from 2012 that does not exist. It is a Ninja and you are not reading this! But if you did believe that this beer did exist this is what you would see. This beer is aged in Bourbon barrels for 4 months flat and then they re-ferment it with Champagne yeasts. The imperial stout pours a black opaque colour with a brown head. The aroma consisted of roasty malts, vanilla, bourbon, fruits, oak, coffee and marshmallows to finish. The flavour is of dark fruits, roasty malts, vanilla, bourbon, oak, tartness and some marshmallow. The alcohol content would come in at 10.5% if this was a real beer. If I actually believed this was a real beer then I would say that it was amazing especially after a full year of aging.
Commercial Description: Brooklyn Black Ops does not exist. However, if it did exist, it would be a strong stout concocted by the Brooklyn brewing team under cover of secrecy and hidden from everyone else at the brewery. The myth is that this supposed “Black Ops” was then aged for four months in bourbon barrels, bottled flat, and re-fermented with Champagne yeast. Presumably such a beer would raise a rich, fluffy dark brown head and it would combine chocolate and coffee flavors with a rich underpinning of vanilla-like bourbon notes. A beer like that would be mighty nice, but it would be hard to make more than few cases – it could never be sold or released to the public. They say that the brewmaster revealed the beer to a few other people at the brewery only after it had been barreled. The rumor going around is that the brewery plans to drink the beer themselves over the holidays and give some to their family and friends. That’s what they say. But frankly, there’s no evidence for any of this. This beer is obviously a figment of people’s fervent imaginations. People tend to get loopy around the holidays. Everyone go home now – there’s nothing to see here.
From the Abbaye Des Rocs out of Montignies-sur-Rocs, Belgium comes their “Brune” a Belgian Strong Ale. This beer pours a dark ruby colour with an off white head with some sediment present. The aroma consists of roasted malts, spices, dark fruits and some raisins. The flavour is of sweet dark fruits, raisins, roasted malts, toffee, cherries, spice, bitterness and some warmth. The alcohol content comes in at 9%. This Brune is a very good beer an I will be hunting down a bottle or three more for future enjoyment!
Commercial Description: Abbaye des Rocs (9% alcohol vol.) is a pure malt beer, with no added sugar. The entire range of tastes is directly linked to the double fermentation, the precise quantities of malts (7 types) as well as the mixtures of three kinds of hops (Belgian, German and Czech). Its colour is a striking deep and majestic red. Its taste is rich and full of subtlety. It is tasted like a red wine with which it shares the ruby colour without having the tannin. It develops a strong sweet smell. It confirms the initial impression in the first mouthful, with a sharp body that is balanced with a certain fruitiness. It frees itself on the palate and develops an impressive depth of taste. Some traces of burnt wood are detectable, but never scorched even if it contains this kind of malt. The foretaste is very prolonged because of its rich and unctuous development throughout the mouth. The bitter and sugar tendencies (even though there is no sugar in its composition) compete and come back together to the taster’s great satisfaction. It is a deep, mystic and extremely mature beer to be classed among the great products of our soil.
Food Pairing according to O’hare’s Beer Club notes are as follows: Rochefort Cheese