It’s that time again–midway through the week and you are riding the struggle bus, trying to fathom how you will make it to Friday.
Don’t worry your pretty head. We at The Grown-Up Geek have you covered with reviews on a duo of stouts to carry you through the 48 hour slog to the weekend.
Remember, beer is always better (responsibly) with friends, so this week I teamed up with fellow writer, Josh Hoover, and our Editor-In-Chief, Justin brenis–my beer is up first, then Josh’s, and Justin is up last. So grab a glass and get ready to pour.
Beverage: Mokah – American Double/Imperial Stout
Crafted by: Southern Tier Brewing Company – Lakewood, NY
Mokah poured a gorgeous, rich chocolate color–like cold-brewed espresso–with a thin, caramel head that dissipated quickly.
At first I was a little overwhelmed by the milk chocolate notes in the nose as barely any of the coffee came through. After letting it come up to temperature though, my first sip was a wonderful blend of both the chocolate and coffee. This stout definitely coats the palate, and has just a slight bite on the finish. I did find that after continuous drinking the sweetness from the caramel malts was a bit cloying, but that didn’t stop Mokah from being an absolutely top notch stout.
Beverage: Boulevard Imperial Stout X- Aztec Chocolate
Crafted By: Boulevard Brewing Company – Kansas City, Missouri
Season: Limited release
You know what I really enjoy about stouts? The fact that you can add so many different things to them to produce something really memorable.
Take this beer, your basic Imperial Stout, that Boulevard decided to add ancho and pasilla negro chiles, as well as cinnamon and cacao nubs to as a way to simulate a traditional drink served by the Aztecs. Excited doesn’t even begin to explain my mindset when I saw this sitting on the shelf at my local liquor store.
The beer poured black, with a small tan head that quickly disappeared. When cold, the chiles and cinnamon had a hard time fighting through the booziness of the beer, but as the glass warmed, and as I drank more of it, the spice and flavor began to develop. The chocolate flavor, however, was very muted, and the beer seemed like it was trying to do a bit too much. While good, and not spicy enough to require something to wash it down with, the beer wasn’t as special, or as memorable as I had hoped it would be.
Beverage: Rogue Sriracha Hot Stout Beer
Crafted By: Rogue Ales & Spirits – Newport, OR
Season: Limited Release
I’m an avid collector of unique beer bottles, and unfortunately, more often than not, this leads to a lot of one-off beer trials that end in utter disaster. While the drinking is less than superb sometimes, the trophy of adding another unique bottle to my shelf is usually worth it.
With that in mind, I picked up a bottle of Rogue’s Sriracha Hot Stout Beer. Typically, Rogue manages to work some interesting flavors into their beer and still have a successful end product, and I’ve had a few chili pepper stouts before and wasn’t terribly disappointed.
Sadly, every streak must come to an end.
Rogue’s Sriracha stout pours smooth with a caramel-colored head (see above), and the first smell that hits your nose as it pours is, without a doubt, Sriracha. I know that sometimes you have to search for the flavors boasted on a beer bottle–especially when dealing with maple or fruit–but if Sriracha is what you’re looking for, you’ll find it as soon as the bottle cap pops off of this bottle. The only issue with this is that when I’m thirsty, the very chili pasty/tomato smell of Sriracha doesn’t exactly satisfy.
The bottle boasts that the beer also features “sun ripened,” flavors from Rogue Farms, but I’m not sure if this helped or hindered the experience. The first sip out of the fridge will hit you with the full Sriracha punch, spice and all, but with subsequent sips you’ll discover that the typically expected coffee and chocolate notes of a stout are definitely muted, if not missing entirely. In fact, you’ll sooner find a very fresh garden-like flavor that works in some German style beers, but I’m not certain I loved in a stout.
I also can’t stress enough that should you still choose to buy this beer, it is an experiential, sipping beer you should share with a group. Nothing about this beer is sessionable, and if you try to battle this monster alone, you’ll be drinking for awhile.
If you let the beer reach room temperature the Sriracha spice mutes up a bit, and the freshness stands out instead, but this comes across more as “warm salad” and less as “enjoyable beer experience.”
I think my wife summed it up best when she said, “If I had to qualify this, I’d say it’s the “Kanye Shrug” of beers.”
Oh well, at least it’s a cool bottle.
With three very unique stouts to aid you on your journey, I feel confident we are leaving you in the best possible position to make it to the weekend. As always, let us know in the comments if there are any brews you are itching for us to review and we will do our damnedest to accommodate.
‘Til next week, cheers to you fellow beer geek.