The beer I enjoy often depends on the season. In the summer I like a good IPA, in the fall I tend towards a nut brown ale to a porter, but my favorite time of year for beer is winter, when I can enjoy a nice stout in front of a roaring fire. Brooklyn Brewery read my mind recently and sent me samples of their Dry Irish Stout. Thank you, Brooklyn folks!
About the beer
From the Brooklyn website:
Brooklyn Irish Stout is brewed the old-fashioned way, without the nitrogen addition. A large portion of the grain is roasted like coffee beans, developing the typical color and flavor of this beer. Aside from British pale malts, the beer includes caramel malts, black patent malt, unmalted black barley and a proportion of flaked raw barley, which helps the beer develop a beautiful, thick natural head. The famous East Kent Golding hop lends to the earthy aroma. The beer is neither filtered, nor fined and has a light, brisk carbonation. The blend of grains gives the beer an espresso-like bite, followed by coffee and chocolate flavors.
This poured a dark brown with red undertones. A beautiful tan head, one finger thick, topped off the beer, leaving decent lacing on the glass.
This beer has one great nose. Chocolatey, earthy and slightly hoppy, with lots of great roasted malt. Just a complex, tasty nose. You almost want to just keep inhaling its bouquet, but it’s so alluring you just have to taste it.
The nose definitely alludes to the flavors to come. At first this beer is very carbonated, moreso than I expect from a stout. There are light chocolatey flavors there, released by the effervescence. You quickly realize it is a dry beer, but one that carries a minor level of sweetness with it. As the beer warms, more earthy flavors come out, almost a peat note that is most fitting with an Irish stout. I realized after a couple of tastings of the beer that the chocolate and earthy flavors linger on the palate for some time, which is a good experience. There is a lot of complexity here to be deciphered and enjoyed.
Appearance: Attractive beer, I like that it’s not pitch black but has some hint of color. 9 points out of 10
Nose: Very good nose, very interesting and representative, but leaving some things to the imagination. 14 out of 15
Taste: Good complexity and depth of flavor, good stout flavors, but in probably the most drinkable stout I’ve had. 48 out of 55
Style: Very appropriate representation of the style. 18 out of 20
Total rating: 89 points out of 100.
In a nutshell: A lot of people shy away from stouts because they see them as heavy and weighty, and not at all something to enjoy casually with friends, but this definitely puts those misconceptions to rest. This is a great beer if you still want to enjoy a nice roasty beer for winter but don’t want to feel sluggish and full after a couple of beers. Very tasty and complex.