So this is the last day of February, and therefore, it is my last entry into stout month. If you are a regular reader here you may actually be happy to see it go. I did a few other reviews here and there over the month; however, I really did try to focus on stouts this month. Therefore, Friday I’m going to be giving a little stout report card for the month. Of course there are far more stouts available out there then the ones I tried, but I attempted to give a nice cross section of the different stouts that are available out there. Look for the report card on stouts this Friday and find out who made it to the top of the class and who didn’t make the grade.
The final entry into stout month is actually the first beer I can remember having out of Green Flash Brewing Co. I feel like I say this about a lot of beers; however, I know some people are shaking their head at me in disgust. I know Green Flash has a reputation for putting out some great beers, and I should have tried something from them far before this. I apologize! None-the-less, I bought this one with the ultimate disappointment that was Dogfish Head’s Chicory Stout last week. I suppose you could say Green Flash is a company built on love. Only having been created in 2002, Mike and Lise Hinkley create brews that are based off traditional styles with a new modernized twist. Coming out of California only increases my desire to get over there for a few brewery tours of breweries on the west coast.
This particular release is known as their Double Stout or black ale. There isn’t a whole big write up on their site about it; however, they do state it has, “Golden naked oats mashed with dark crystal and robust roasted malts (to) create a luscious black brew with satin smooth finish. An old-world style, done the Green Flash way. Big, bold, flavorful and complex.” Having not yet fully invested myself in brewing, I’m very interested in the oats and crystal aspect of this beer. They also state that this beer contains 45 IBUs which only peaks my interest even more. Seeing that this beer won medals at both local and world wide competitions only increases my hope that I love this brew.
This beer pours out an extremely dark black oil color. I know it’s been the theme for all of the beers this month; however, I’ll start mixing it up in the next month. There is an ample espresso coffee head that develops on top of the beer. I do enjoy the combination of both the large quantity of head and dark color. I’m slightly more used to one or the other, but you don’t always get both of them at once. Of course, there are others as well. Agitating the beer brings back a lot of the foamy nature of the beer. There really isn’t a whole lot of lacing on the side of the beer, but you do get a lot of sticky left over residue on the side of the glass. There is, of course, no clarity at all, and you can’t see any of the carbonation either.
The aroma has a really deep rich roasted smell that overwhelms the overall scent of the beer. A lot of the other smells have similar aspects that are close to a lot of the other stouts I’ve had during this month; however, the aromas found here tend to be really bold. Coffee is definitely another big smell to come out of the beer as well. It’s slightly closer to more of an espresso smell then an actual coffee aroma. There are definitely a lot of sweet malts in here too, and you do get a lot of chocolate as well.
The beer flavor starts with a very sweet malty introduction. This does last for a little bit of an extended period of time; however, it is met by a big hit of the strong roasted flavors. The roasts are extremely heavy and rich. They mix shortly thereafter with a lot of well-balanced espresso coffee flavors. The coffee flavors have a lot of bitterness to them that combines with some nice pleasant hop bitters as well. I get a lot of chocolate sweetness that mixes with the roasted flavors. I thought that was where it ended; however, I get a ton of smoky flavoring on the ending as well. I didn’t really expect it, but as I continued to drink the beer, I noticed the smokiness throughout most of the beer. The smokiness is somewhat a new addition to stout month, but it is really appreciated as well.
The most surprising aspect of the mouthfeel is the really rich thick smokey feel. I really like the large amount of smoke they managed to get in here. It adds a completely new dimension to your typical stout. There is definitely enough carbonation on the start; however, it does manage to work its way into a little bit of syrup. The rest of the carbonation really does help to break up the smoky thickness as well.
Having heard a lot about Green Flash, and never actually drinking one of their brews, I built up my expectations in my mind. I was definitely really happy with my experience with their Double Stout. This ends stout month; however, if you’re looking for a good stout before the end of winter, you definitely need to check it out. It should have a little bit better availability, so try to find yourself a bottle.
Teacher Grade: A