24 June 2007

American Stouts

From Brad of Sadly, No!, an overview of several stouts:

This is the Great Divide Oak Aged Yeti Imperial Stout. It’s gotten excellent reviews from both RateBeer and BeerAdvocate. And what do I think of it, you ask?

Well, it’s nice. It’s a very smooth stout, it has a deep, rich color, and a smoky odor. And oh yeah- it has a 9.5% alcohol content! Yum!

And yet… it leaves something to be desired. Personally, Brad has been very, very spoiled over the years by by Rogue’s Shakespeare Stout and Avery Mephistopheles Stout over the years. Frankly, he thinks those two stouts are the best in the entire world, and it would take an awfully special one to knocked them off their throne.

So in the end, I give the Oak Aged Yeti Stout four out five pint glasses. It’s very nice stuff, but I just can’t justifying putting it up there with the best of the best.

I echo in full the high marks given to Rogue's Shakespeare Stout, though I'm not familiar with either the Avery entry (though I've enjoyed all of their line I've had) or the Great Divide (whose beers I tend to find good-if-not-great). My recent trip to Seattle gave me the opportunity to have a pint of the Rogue's Shakespeare Stout on tap (and fresh), and it was one of the finer stout experiences I can remember. Unlike most American stouts (including, it seems, the Great Divide Yeti), the Shakespeare actually goes for - and nails - the flavor and mouth-feel of an Irish stout. Specifically: it's the best non-Guinness Guinness I've had outside of Castle Milk Stout. And while there is many an American variation on stouts that I find superior (see, e.g., pretty much the entire line of Bell's [how great is that page?], most esp. the Double Cream Stout, more or less the best beer evar), there is certainly something to be said in taking lessons from the master. Especially when the lesson sticks.

No comments: