After starting with Schlafly’s Black IPA, I was ready to get the weekend started. The new beer bar in Columbia, MO – 44 Stone – also had this nice craft beer on draft. Knowing I had a long night ahead of me (and an early morning to get up and play golf), I oped for the 4oz glass of this big beer.
According to the brewery, “this dangerously drinkable garnet beauty is a hop lover’s delight. The intense dry-hop nose and the alcohol content are perfectly balanced for a caramel candy-like malt backbone. This is a serious beer for serious beer aficionados.”
Location: On tap and served in a small 4oz snifter glass at 44 Stone in Columbia, MO.
Numbers: 9.2% ABV, 104 IBUs, 1.085 OG, 278 Calories
Ingredients: Malts: two-row barley, Caramel 75; Hops: Columbus (in boil and dry hopped)
Appearance & Aroma: It was hazy and had a deep rusty red color with a thin, creamy, cream-color head. The head retention was good and it left a bit of lacing on the glass. The aroma was full of citrusy-pine hops smells along with plenty of caramel malt sweetness.
Taste & Feel: The body was full and the mouthfeel was lightly creamy and smooth. It had a very big caramel malty flavor upfront with hints of coffee, fruitiness, and molasses. In the middle, a good amount of bitterness kicked in along with the citrusy hop flavor that carried it through a somewhat dry finish.
Food Pairing: This is a really big beer, and to say it’s flavorful would be an understatement. It really should be enjoyed all on its own. However, if you feel the need to pair this with food (and perhaps you should since it’s also big in alcohol), I’d go with something just as big and hearty as this beer. Therefore, I’d go with a thick, juicy steak, or something like BBQ ribs or pulled pork that would pull the sweet, caramel maltiness out even more.
Overall Impression: I could tell right from the first whiff of the aroma that I was going to enjoy this beer. The caramel maltiness, along with the citrusy hops were a wonderful combination… both in the nose and with each sip. I really enjoyed the thick maltiness up front, which was matched by a good amount of bitterness and hop flavors on the back end. Personally, I could have done with a bit less hoppiness and bitterness, but the malty alcohol warmth after a few sips made up for it. Overall, I thought this was a very good beer, and will definitely have to stop to pick up a bottle if I can find one.