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Judge's Review: 97 Rating - Situational Ethics - Rye Barrel-Aged Rocky Road Imperial Stout by Monday Night Brewing

February, 2021
Judges Rating: 
23 / 24
6 / 6
39 / 40
10 / 10
Overall Impression: 
19 / 20

Situational Ethics - Rye Barrel-Aged Rocky Road Imperial Stout by Monday Night Brewing is being evaluated as a Specialty Wood-Aged Beer (Category 33B) with the base style of< Spice, Herb or Vegetable Beer (Category 30A) from the 2015 BJCP Style Guidelines.

This beer pours an inky, opaque black with a brown head that dissipates quickly, which is not unusual for a beer of 13.9% ABV. Heavy sheeting coats the inside of the glass, giving you a preview of things to come. The aroma features prominent vanilla, rich milk chocolate, light roast a pleasant nutty character and light black cherry esters. As it vents, a hint of dark roast coffee emerges. Moderately light spicy alcohol adds to the complexity of the aroma.

The flavor shifts slightly with prominent rich, milk chocolate initially in the forefront with vanilla emerging immediately behind. The toasted macadamia nuts are more identifiable as they emerge mid-palate along with medium hop bitterness and spicy alcohol. The light malt ester develops in the flavor as more of a mixed, fresh dark stone fruit. Light roast malt character comes through in the aftertaste and lingers, along with a subtle barrel-aged character. The moderate residual sweetness dries out nicely in the finish with an assist from the alcohol. The overall flavor profile in this beer is rich and complex, taking you on an ever-changing journey. As expected, this is a full-bodied, thick and chewy beer with a smooth and moderate alcohol warming on the palate.

This world-class beer is destined to be enjoyed on a winter evening when the snow is falling as much as the temperature. It is exceedingly well balanced, with the adjuncts playing quite well together and never being totally dominated by one. It stands extremely well on its own, but I would be tempted to try it with a bowl of rocky road ice cream or a bar of chocolate. And you might want to put on a good movie, as this is definitely one you want to take your time with.