Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Full Sail Imperial Stout

The imperial stout style has a reputation for being big and bold no matter who brews one. It’s rare you find a beer of the style that’s only just plain good, but Full Sail Imperial Stout is one of them. Plenty of flavor to be sure and highly drinkable - but seems to be missing a certain wow factor.

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Chad9976 (764) - Albany, New York, USA - DEC 5, 2012
I poured a 22oz bomber into a tulip glass.

Appearance: Opaque blood red/black color, no carbonation visible. Forms a small, tan, frothy head which mostly dissipates and leaves some decent lacing on the glass.

Smell: All the usual notes of the style, but milder than most.

Taste: My description of Full Sail Imperial Stout’s aroma is a good description of the palate, and the beer as a whole for that matter. Impy stouts tend to be roasty and bitter with coffee flavors, but this one is remarkably sweet for the style. It imparts a taste akin to Diet Black Cherry Dr. Pepper. Seriously, the first flavor I notice is a cola-like taste of artificial fruit flavors and sweeteners.

There is definite bitterness to balance it out, though. Significant hoppiness can be felt at the beginning and middle of the palate. There’s almost a hint of citrus to it, but mostly it’s just dry. I kept waiting for a taste of black licorice and/or coffee but never really got much of either. It ends with an even stronger rush of cola-like sweetness before finishing quite clean.

Drinkability: I raised an eyebrow when I picked Full Sail Imperial Stout off the shelf and saw the ABV was only 7.2%. That would likely explain why it seems a bit too light, though that does help it become all the more drinkable. The mouthfeel is thin, a bit flat, with a watery texture. But it does go down extremely smooth with no cloying aftertaste at all. This would be a great introductory imperial stout due to how drinker-friendly it is.
 Grade: 7/10