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John C. Tull's picture

Four Seasons of Mother Earth Winter Imperial Breakfast Stout ‘16

October, 2017
Judges Rating: 
23 / 24
6 / 6
39 / 40
10 / 10
Overall Impression: 
19 / 20

This was judged as a Spice, Herb, or Vegetable Beer (30A) due to the use of coffee. The base style is a Russian Imperial Stout. A robust coffee aroma leaps out of the glass. Dark malts blend with the coffee as a rich chocolate and roasty undertone; hints of caramel, vanilla, and alcohol sweetness are layered in as well. The color is black like coal smoke from an 1800’s London industrial smokestack. Held up against the light, you can just make some light through the beer along the very top edge of the glass. A velvety froth of dark tan, nearly brown bubbles covers much of the surface. The flavor is led with a bit of coffee and a blast of alcoholic heat, but quickly balanced with malt sweetness, stone fruits, and a well-developed roast malt character. The complexity is high, and the interplay on the palate is exceptionally pleasing. The mouthfeel is full and velvety up front, mildly astringent from dark malts in the middles, then a mix of alcoholic heat and lingering sweetness in the finish. Overall, this is an intense, coffee-infused Imperial Stout that begs for another quaff. I can only say that this beer should not only be for breakfast!