Monday, February 13, 2012
Something Warming From The Cellar
How to warm up at the end of the day? Colleen made a great start with a hearty, and delicious, spicy Italian sausage and pasta dish. But still more was needed. I decided it was time for a "big beer." I went to the basement and started looking through the bottles stashed away. I settled on a 2009 Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout.
The beer poured pitch black with a frothy mocha-colored head. The head quickly dropped leaving behind a thin ring. (I was unable to resist a sip or two before I took the attached picture.) The aroma is that of dark bitter chocolate, with a hint of alcohol hitting the nose. The flavor is mix of dark chocolate and roasted espresso. There's a touch of bitter hops as well. In the finish that sought after alcohol warmth is felt, starting in the back of the throat and continuing down.
My impression is that some of the roasted and bitter hops notes have decreased slightly with age, but are still quite prominent. Interestingly the alcohol taste and aromas are still quite evident, perhaps even enhanced by the lessening of the masking bitter hop flavors.
Brooklyn Black Chocolate is a very enjoyable winter drink. I pick some up each year when it hits the shelves. At 10% ABV it's not an everyday beer, but rather a special treat when the occasion, or weather, warrants. I'll be enjoying many vintages of Black Chocolate Stout for many years in the future. I started putting away several bottles each year starting back in 2006.
I also posted a review of a "fresh" bottle of this excellent beer from Brooklyn Brewery back in December 2007.