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Judge's Review: 90 Rating - A Stout of Mind by Pontoon Brewing

March, 2021
Judges Rating: 
21 / 24
6 / 6
36 / 40
10 / 10
Overall Impression: 
17 / 20

A Stout of Mind by Pontoon Brewing is a spiced and barrel-aged Imperial Milk Stout and is being evaluated as a Specialty Wood-Aged Beer (category 33B from the 2015 BJCP Beer Style Guidelines). Specialty Wood-Aged Beers are aged in spirit barrels and should have a harmonious blend between the barrel characters (typically vanilla and toasted oak) and the barrel spirits. Imperial Stouts are noted for strong, rich chocolate and roasted malt flavors, black color with opaque clarity, and full body and smooth mouthfeel. Spice, Herb, or Vegetable Beers should have a harmonious balance between the spices, herbs, or vegetables with the base beer style. A Stout of Mind was aged in Jameson Select barrels for 18 months with coconut, graham crackers, cinnamon, vanilla and caramel. A Stout of Mind measures in at 12.1% ABV.

A Stout of Mind pours jet black in color and opaque with a medium brown head. The aroma is of strong roasted and chocolate malts with graham crackers over a lighter whiskey, toasted oak, vanilla and a hint of cinnamon. The flavor is moderately sweet with strong roasted and chocolate malts and moderate caramel, coconut and vanilla flavors; just a hint of cinnamon provides a little spice to balance the sweetness. The body is full, and the mouthfeel is very creamy and smooth. The beer finishes with a moderately light bitterness and a moderate sweetness; flavors of roasted malt, dark chocolate, graham crackers, caramel and whiskey linger. A light spicy cinnamon and a moderate warmth help to balance out the sweetness.

A Stout of Mind is a very good spiced and barrel-aged Imperial Milk stout. Each of the added ingredients come through in the stout to provide complexity and depth. While very flavorful, the drinkability certainly makes this a dessert stout. Very rich and flavorful. Seek this one out if that is your type of stout.