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Tracy Hensley's picture

Vanilla Bean Stout

January, 2016
Judges Rating: 
23 / 24
6 / 6
38 / 40
10 / 10
Overall Impression: 
19 / 20

Even from four feet away, I could already smell the pleasing aroma of this beer – an intense mélange of milk chocolate, vanilla, marshmallow, freshly milled oats, cocoa powder and smooth, roasted coffee beans. The appearance is pitch-brown in color with garnet highlights, and the low tan head forms nice Belgian lace on the sides of the glass. The flavors begin as a smooth chocolate syrup-like character and then transitions into dark chocolate pieces supported by creamy, freshly foamed milk with notes of floral vanilla beans before roasted cacao nibs and oak tannins dry out the finish. The aftertaste exudes black prunes and dried figs as well as a tart bite at first that finishes with dried iris, black dried cherry and more roasted cocao nibs. The mouthfeel is smooth, with intense but balanced alcohol warmth. This is a complex and wonderfully constructed Imperial Stout. Highly recommended.