837. Pipeworks Brewing – Closer Encounter Hopped Up Imperial Stout

837. Pipeworks Brewing - Closer Encounter Hopped Up Imperial StoutTGIF! It’s been tough getting back into the swing of things this week at work, and my wife decided that we’d host a murder mystery tomorrow. So after work, I stopped several places to pick up different elements for my costume. It’s a Titanic theme, and I’m the captain.  As I sit here and work on my costume, I thought I’d have this beer. When I made my Russian Imperial Stout the other day, I pulled this one out of the beer fridge to enjoy. I bought it about a year ago during a trip up to Chicago for work.

Location: Poured into a large Sam Adams Perfect pint glass at my home in Bloomington, IL

Numbers: 11% ABV, 335 Calories

Appearance & Aroma: It’s dark black in color, and is so thick, no light shines through it. It had a huge, creamy brown head on it with some incredible retention and lacing. The aroma is a mix of dark cocoa, black malt roastiness, and earthy hoppiness.

Taste & Feel: The body is full and viscous, and the mouthfeel is creamy and velvety. The flavor up front is sweet from the dark roasty maltiness, but there’s a sharp shot of roasty and hoppy bitterness in the middle. The finish is super rich with the bitterness in the middle smoothing out a bit more and becoming a bit coffee like. The sweet maltiness kicks back in with it, adding a bit of a dark cocoa flavor and calming the bitterness down a little. The aftertaste is mostly a bitter coffee, dark cocoa, and earthy hop flavor.

Food Pairing: I had some cookies with this beer, and the pairing was awesome. First, the chocolate chip cookies complemented the dark cocoa flavors in the beer, and the white chocolate chip macadamia nut cookies made a nice salty-sweet contrast with the beer.

Overall Impression: The body, mouthfeel and richness of this beer was incredible, and I loved the smooth, velvety dark cocoa flavor. I thoroughly enjoyed this beer when it had a huge, creamy head on it and was a bit chilled. As it warmed up, it was less creamy and got a lot more bitter. If it weren’t for the cookies I was enjoying this with, the bitterness would have easily been too much. However, it is noted on the bottle that it’s intentionally hoppy. If I get another bottle of this, I think I might age it for another couple years before cracking it open.

My Rating: ★★★★☆

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Author: kkozlen

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