Thursday, December 30, 2010

Some Very Good Beer

This beer had been calling to me recently. I decided to oblige it. What was it like? It was like drinking 4 beers, in almost every way. I did not count this extra in my mental tally despite it being in a larger, 500 ml bottle of 8% abv beer.

"Stingo". I love the name. It sounds cheery yet dangerous. Probably should have heeded that impression of it. According to google, Stingo is either an old beer or a strong one. Or both, apparently. Doesn't seem to be a distinct style, but apparently it was special enough to sing a song about. I don't know what the history of Stingo is and I don't reckon it really matters either. According to the label this beer is aged in barrels at the brewery. This one was brewed in 2008. I tasted nothing oak-like at least by American standards. There may have been some slight vanilla under some of the other flavors, but I suspect that this beer is barrel-aged only in part as that's the more economical way to do it. That being said, I don't mind missing any oak flavors. This was an excellent beer in its own right, and almost worth the price tag given that you could literally spend an entire night drinking this beer. It really was excellent. as you can see, there was quite a bit of carbonation and a very full head, initially, perhaps because of the age. After letting the foam settle into a nice, tight, pillowy head, I had a sip. Being cold and very carbonated it seemed almost champagne-like. The flavor, though, was not dry and acidic like the initial impression might have indicated. Under that carbonation was levels of soft, malty, orangey, peach-like flavors. I almost braced myself expecting a big, punch of hops and bitterness at the end, but it never came. The malt and alcohol just continued to unfurl in what seemed like a fractal beer tasting. It really was excellent. As the carbonation faded and the temperature warmed up, the layers of alcohol, esters, and faint whiskey-like notes revealed themselves along with toffee apricot and loads of other flavors. This was an absolutely think, full and bordering on sweet beer. A definite sipper, and a good one. 

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