I finished the Goose Island Night Stalker and was feeling pretty good. So, I thought I’d go out to the beer fridge and find another big Stout to finish off the night. It’s been that kind of week, and I think I deserve it. And, since were moving soon, I thought I’d get rid of some of the bigger bottles out of the beer fridge. I picked up this beer as part of a special three pack at Sam’s Club right before Christmas this year. All three of the beers in the special pack were Belgians and are corked.
Location: Poured into a curved pint glass at my home in Bloomington, IL.
Numbers: 9% ABV, 17 IBUs, 69 SRM, 290 Calories
Ingredients: Malt: two row pale blend, Caramel 60, Munich, Special B, Carafa III; Hops: Hallertau Mittelfrueh; Other: Two brewing sugars, Kosmic Mother Funk
Appearance & Aroma: It’s black in color with just a few brown highlights when I held it up to the light. The head was very thick and khaki colored when I first poured it. However, it fell to just a thin soapy layer across the top with a creamy ring. The aroma has a lot of spices, with some cinnamon and Belgian character.
Taste & Feel: The body is light-medium (although, my palate may still be stuck on the full bodied Night Stalker I just had) and the mouthfeel is somewhat smooth. There’s a little bit of sweet dark fruitiness up front, which grows in the middle, but not as fast as a dark chocolate and roasty flavor in the middle. In the finish, all of these flavors take a back seat to the spices. I’m not the best at judging spice flavors, but there seems to be hints of cinnamon, clove, and a good amount of smooth Belgian character. The aftertaste is rather chocolaty, with Belgian spices.
Food Pairing: The aftertaste has a good amount of chocolate and spices. It would go nicely with BBQ or a chocolaty dessert. I think this beer could also make a nice vanilla beer float or go with a dessert like flan as well.
Overall Impression: It was a little hard to follow the Night Stalker with this beer. It doesn’t have nearly the same body, but is a unique beer. The mix of spices and Belgian character makes it very hard to tell where one leaves off and the other picks up. I enjoyed this beer, but with all the spices, it’s definitely a cold weather, sit by the fire kind of brew. Overall, it was pretty good, and I look forward to trying the other beers in this collection.