Its just a lazy Sunday and I’m trying to make some progress on clearing out the beer fridge. I picked up this brew (and a few others) when I was in Chicago for work a few months ago. I’ve been following this brewery’s progress since they started a Kickstarter campaign to start up a couple years ago. I’ve been waiting for their stuff to make it downstate, but it hasn’t yet.
The bottle says,”End of Days is our tribute to the coming of the end… of the Mayan calendar! We’ve aged this milk stout with cacao nibs, vanilla beans, vanilla beans, cinnamon sticks, and ancho chilies. The result is a rich chocolaty stout, with just a hint of spice. We hope you’ll enjoy this beer before the End of Days.”
Location: Poured from the 22oz bottle into a snifter glass at my home in Bloomington, IL.
Numbers: 8.2% ABV, ~290 Calories
Appearance & Aroma: It’s very dark and black in color, with almost no light seen through it when held up. It has a good amount of carbonation in it, giving it a huge foamy tan head when I first poured it. However, it felt just a thin layer of foamy bubbles across the top, and around the edge of the glass. It has a roasted malt aroma with some coffee and dark cocoa.
Taste & Feel: It has a full body, and a smooth, somewhat velvety mouthfeel. There’s a sweet roastiness up front, with a good amount of cocoa, and some coffee-like notes in the background. The roastiness peaks in the middle with some coffee notes and spicy flavors from the chilies. The finish is a complex mix of cocoa, smooth coffee roastiness, that lasts for a while in the aftertaste.
Food Pairing: This beer has a lot of cocoa and roasty coffee flavors, making it a good pairing for a hearty meal like a steak. It could also go nicely with a bowl of chili, complementing the ancho chilis in this beer. To mix it up, this beer would also go perfectly with a chocolate dessert like cake or brownies.
Overall Impression: I enjoyed the complex mix of flavors in this beer, from the chocolate and coffee flavors, to the subtle chili flavor in the middle. The vanilla didn’t come through much, but made the other flavors very smooth and noticeable. It reminds me quite a bit of Perennial’s Abraxas, which (at the time I had it) had a bit more vanilla flavor, edging this one out for me. However, I recently had the 2013 Abraxas, and it was lacking the vanilla I enjoyed. Therefore, for the present time, I found this one to be a better beer.