Four Seasons - Autumn '18

California
United States
Four Seasons - Autumn '18, Mother Earth Brewing Co.
Judges Ratings 
1 Review
95
Aroma:
23 / 24
Flavor:
38 / 40
Appearance:
6 / 6
Mouthfeel:
10 / 10
Overall Impression:
18 / 20
Description 

Blending is a very important part of creating a balanced and drinkable beer, but also adds to its complexity of flavor, so once we fully committed to growing our barrel program, we began stockpiling big stouts with various flavor profiles in anticipation of future releases. Without that type of preparation, barrel aging can yield mixed results. Having reliable staples to pull from gives us more control of the finished product. This year’s Autumn was really fun to brew because we also added a massive amount of oats, making the beer extra creamy, and toasted coconut for a fresh, but dessert-like flavor.
This is one of the most complex vintages to date.

Profile

ABV: 
12.5%
IBUs: 
55
Served at: 
45 - 50º
Hops: 
Warrior
Malts: 
Pale Two Row, Light Crystal, Medium Crystal, Chocolate Wheat, Roasted Barley, Munich, Flaked Oats, Pale Chocolate, Lactose
Judges Review 
Brad Darnell's picture
Judges Rating:
95
Aroma:
23 / 24
Appearance:
6 / 6
Flavor:
38 / 40
Mouthfeel:
10 / 10
Overall Impression:
18 / 20

Four Seasons - Autumn '18 by Mother Earth Brew Co. is a Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout brewed with toasted coconut, steel-cut oats and burnt sugar and is being evaluated as a Wood-Aged Beer (2015 BJCP Category 33A) offering according to BJCP guidelines. For this style expect the base beer to gather complexity from its time in the barrel.

Rich, inviting chocolate mixed with sweet oats and coconut emanate from the glass in growing intensity as your nose enters said glass. A thick and creamy beige head sits atop a black beer with soft brown highlights. The head subsists while allowing roasted malt and slightly spicy alcohol through. Initially the first mouthful displays moderately sweet rich chocolate, oats, and brown sugar sweetness with a lightly bitter roasted malt character underneath. Sweet coconut and light hop bitterness round out the flavor and leaves a medium-sweet finish. Full-bodied, medium alcohol warmth and medium carbonation.

Roasted nuts and dark fruits (figs and dates) are the secondary aromatics that hang in there throughout with the coconut; the coconut is subtle but noticeable. As the beer warms the alcohol becomes a drying agent that keeps the malt sweetness mildly in check. The roasted malt character lasts through the long finish as notes of coconut, alcohol, nuts, and dark fruits come and go.

This is a wonderful beer that should hold its own alongside a rich, simple brownie and vanilla ice cream. Alternatively, enjoy a creamy blue cheese and fig spread on crackers as a savory and sweet pairing with this fine beverage.