We’re in St. Louis for the holidays and went out with my friend Joe and his wife to watch the Mizzou-Illinois basketball game (I went to Mizzou and my wife went to Illinois). After meeting at Perennial Artisan Ales (hoping they’d have some TVs to watch the game, or some Abraxas I could buy – they had neither), we went to the International Tap House (iTap) in Soulard to watch the game. My friend Joe had this one before and recommended it.
Location: On tap and served in a snifter glass at the International Tap House (iTap) in Soulard in St. Louis, MO.
Numbers: 8.8% ABV, ~ 270 Calories
Appearance & Aroma: It’s dark brown, almost black, with no head – only a thing ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass. I could see a a few highlights when held up to the light. The aroma has a good amount of roasty grains and light coffee smells.
Taste & Feel: The body was light-medium and the mouthfeel was a bit watery and lightly crisp from carbonation. The flavors up front were roasty and a bit sweet with mostly cocoa and coffee flavors. In the middle, these flavors were joined by a molasses and dark fruit sweetness. These flavors continued into the finish with some coffee-like and earthy hop bitterness. The roasty cocoa-coffee flavors and molasses sweetness lasts for a brief time in the aftertaste.
Food Pairing: With all the roasty coffee and cocoa sweetness this would easily go with a chocolate dessert. For a main dish, these flavors would add a nice dose of complexity to some BBQ ribs covered in a brown sugar or molasses based sauce.
Overall Impression: The light body and watery mouthfeel surprised me a bit, placing this beer easily in the porter or stout category for me (instead of the Russian Imperial Stout it was listed as at ITAP). While the body was light, it was still a very flavorful beer that I enjoyed sipping on.