Smuttynose: The Stallion

I’ll be upfront with this so the haters don’t call me a shill- Kristie of Two Girls is a Smutt peddler now and works for Smuttynose. Lucky for me, I get to enjoy all of the fringe benefits this entails- Smuttoberfest, having her come to my area more often to hit up accounts which usually means getting together for a beer, getting Smuttty at our local beerfests, and samples of Smuttlabs offerings.
Tonight I’m enjoying The Stallion – an 11% imperial stout aged in red wine barrels, from Smuttlabs up in Hampton, NH.

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163. Slumbrew Yankee Swap 2014

Slumbrew 2014 Yankee Swap

Slumbrew Yankee Swap 2014

I think this is my first post in ten months, but now that the book is in the hands of God, AKA the publisher, and I’m done wedding planning, I am back with a review of Slumbrews 2014 Yankee Swap. It was a cold January day when I wandered into the bottle shop and this victual popped out to me…nay, it was calling to me:

This 2014 imperial stout is the SECOND EDITION in our Yankee Swap series. It’s aged in Turkey Shore Distilleries run barrels to create a unique flavor profile that continues to develop with time. A perfect accompaniment to holiday doldrums, in-laws or all bouts of holiday boredom. If you collect bottles, we suggest you cellar a second bottle or two of this ale to serve with next year’s edition of our Yankee Swap.

Doldrums? Check. In-laws? Yes, one in particular, check. Boredom? Check.

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144. Cape Cod Beer Albatross Imperial Stout

Cape Cod Beer Albatross Imperial Stout

Cape Cod Beer Albatross Imperial Stout

I attended a chocolatey little release (chocolate stout cake anyone?) for this beer at Cape Cod Beer a little over a week ago, and had been waiting for the right time to drink it. So as today came up on 24 consecutive hours of snow (gross), I cracked it open. Sure, I saw people moving around outside shoveling and running errands, but it was just so fun to sit inside, swathed in blankets, pretending that my cats are direwolves, that winter has come to my manor, and I must feast on bread and ale for sustenance as I hunker down while Janus, god of the beginnings and ends, howls outside.

In short, I like imagining stuff.

I also like Cape Cod Beers limited releases. I’ve never been let down by one of their small batches, and since the expansion of their brewery this past year their release schedule promises many more small batches and experimental brews. To those of us on the Cape it’s going to be very exciting to have exclusive and limited batches of innovative brewing going on locally. Cape Cod Beer and Cape Girls’ Pint Out have both changed the beer scene in this area and I’m really thankful for that!

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133. Harpoon Imperial Pumpkin Stout

Harpoon Imperial Pumpkin

Come fall, it seems like a lot of people start going on these anti-pumpkin beer rants. Yes, I understand it’s a way for some breweries to turn a quick profit on a seasonal trend, and yes pumpkin beers do tend to saturate the shelves which in turn, makes less room for more traditional styles like märzens.

I’m still going to stand up and say that I like pumpkin beers. A lot. Just as much as I like pumpkin-spiced coffees and buying cheap apple cider and pumpkin-scented Wal-Mart candles so I can feel like I’m turning my shitty apartment into a rustic autumnal homestead when instead probably making it smell like someone dumped a bunch of compost onto a Bath & Body Works factory fire. Pumpkin beers are a flavorful fall treat – the harbingers of my favorite season. So lay off me, pumpkin naysayers; they’ll be gone in a month anyways and you can start complaining about how your winter warmer has too much spice in it.
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38. Brooklyn Brewery Black Chocolate Stout

Brooklyn Brewery Black Chocolate Stout

I was in Brooklyn a couple weeks ago to see a show. A couple of blocks down from the venue was Brooklyn Brewery so of course I stopped in. I expected a brewery tour followed by a couple of samples, what I got was a mix between a bar crawl, rave, and a pizza party. $5 buys you a token which you can then redeem for a pint of one of the many beers they have on tap. Music blaring, indoor picnic tables packed with people stuffing face and drinking brews, there was a cat walkin’ around, all-in-all, it’s not your typical brewery experience. It’s pretty awesome.

If you pick up a couple of these beers here, Brooklyn Brewery Black Chocolate Stout, beware that this is not your normal stout. At 10% alc/vol, this is a powerful beer.

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26. Great Divide Yeti Imperial Stout

This may be one of the last beer reviews that I’ll be writing for the next few weeks. About to enter a 5-day birthday binge followed by a 3-week long winter detox. I have a bad habit of trying to combine completely opposite life strategies. Exercise, whole foods and natural living are great, but so are parties and black-outs followed by days upon days of Netflix and bed. Oh well. Hey, beer!

Pouring a glass of Great Divide’s Yeti Imperial Stout  looks like you’re pouring a cup of straight motor oil. It’s pitch black with coffee-colored foam that soars right to the edge of the glass. The lacing is incredible and retains itself for a while; one of the best looking beers I’ve ever seen.

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