Sunday, July 13, 2008
Stone 12th Anniversary Bitter Chocolate Oatmeal Stout
Beer: Stone 12th Anniversary Bitter Chocolate Oatmeal Stout
Brewery Location: Escondido, CA
Beer Style: Stout
I just reviewed the 11th anniversary ale, and the 12 anniversary has been in Indiana less than a week now. I read over at Hoosier Beer Geek that Cavalier got a higher quantity from Stone than normal. I stopped at Party Pak yesterday and they had a ton of this beer at $8.99 a bomber. I planned on purchasing some extra for trading and aging purposes, and I checked the internet on my phone (has this change anyone else's shopping habits?) and found this beer for a buck cheaper a bomber a mile away, and I bought my fills worth of this offering. $7.99 a bomber seemed to be a better price, but I read over at RateBeer that this beer is $5.99 in Detroit and other places in Michigan, but at least we get it here right?
Stone's anniversary beers have tended to be towards IPAs and DIPAs that the west coast brewer is known for, but this year they changed things up and went with a chocolate oatmeal stout. I am sure hop prices may have also had something to do with this as well. This is actually the combination of two different beer recipes. The first being an imperial stout and the other being an oatmeal stout. The original formulation called for Oaxacan chocolate, but I am sure the price of that kept it from being brewed for the masses and they still went with unsweetened cocoa added to the boil. It would be really cool to be able to have a vertical of the original home brew recipe and the final product.
This stout pours absolutely jet black with no light penetration. A small dirty brown head sits on top of the beer. This is a gorgeous looking stout. I served just below cellar temp to give this a chance to warm up a bit. The nose is really nice on this offering with plenty of roasted grain, bitter and rich chocolate notes, coffee, and black licorice. Once the beer warmed past cellar temp though plenty of hot alcohol notes quickly came on and overtook everything smelling like fingernail polish. The flavor profile starts out with plenty of bitter chocolate notes, light espresso, dark fruit, oats, and roasted grain. The alcohol I smelled in the nose comes across in flavor profile in the finish. I do have to say the that chocolate flavor tastes like they used good chocolate, and didn't skimp on that aspect like some other chocolate stouts that I've tasted. The mouthfeel is velvety smooth from the oat addition with very low carbonation. It isn't nearly as viscous as some other stouts, but I like that actually. I do start feeling the warming alcohol though as I get near the bottom of this bomber. The drinkability is quite nice with how easy to drink this was both in the flavor profile and on the mouthfeel.
I think this will be a really nice beer in six months to a year, but right now this beer is a little "hot" for my liking. I've got several to age for this winter, and I think this will be a real winner. If you like stouts make sure to get one of these before they are all gone.