My good buddy Aaron over at The Captain’s Chair thought I’d do well to try some brews from Marshall, Michigan’s acclaimed Dark Horse Brewing Company, and being that we don’t get any in NYC, he kindly sent me a nice little passel of them.
(My usual caveat to those readers that skim over the beer review parts and simply read this blog for the humor, insight, and perversion: skip this post*)
Plead the Fifth Imperial Stout
12% ABV bottled
From their limited Holiday Stout Series, I unfortunately did not love this much-adored beer. But I still liked it quite a bit. I found it a solid but unspectacular Russian Imperial Stout with a predominantly roasted malt flavor accented by a slight chocolate sweetness and a smidge of hops bitterness. I did love its smooth booziness and I gots to tip my hat to any 12 ouncer of beer that can put me down for an evening. Hope to give this brew another try in the future to hopefully find out if I’m missing anything.
Fore Smoked Stout
ABV unknown and Dark Horse ain’t telling…
Another from the Holiday Stout Series, I solidly enjoyed this one. Smoked porters and stouts are often a tricky exercise in brewing and all too often I find them poorly balanced in one way or the other. Either far too smokey or far too sweet. This one wasn’t. It was very smokey, obviously, like a piece of BBQed meat, but well balanced with sweet tastes of licorice and chocolate malt. A nice mouthfeel and quite drinkable, but I must admit, the smoked beer I drank immediately after this one I enjoyed a bit more…The Captain’s homebrewed smoked porter.**
Crooked Tree IPA
6% ABV bottled
I’d had a worldclass IPA to-be-named-later previous to this one, so maybe that distorted my palate, but I still suspect that this is just a good, but not great IPA. It smells fresh and fragrant but the taste is just too bitter and unbalanced. Salty even with next to no citrus profile like you’d expect. Nevertheless, it’s a nice drinking single IPA and I could polish off a tub of these in a night. Ain’t nothing wrong with that.
All in all, none of this troika of Dark Horses floored me, but I dug them all and could tell this is a brewery with some chops and inventiveness. I hope to try more of their intriguing brews in the future.
*And come back tomorrow. I’ll have a tale.
**Suck up alert! Send me more!