Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Stone Farking Wheaton w00tstout

4.2
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Chad9976 (985) - Albany, New York, USA - OCT 8, 2013

I split a 22oz bottle with a friend. It was bottled on 6/25/13. I got the bottle in a trade with a friend.

Appearance: Opaque black body, no visible carbonation. Pours to a small, brown, soapy head which retains and laces well.

Smell: Surprisingly fruity, almost berry-like. Sweet aromas of vanilla and licorice, though alcohol is quite prominent.

Taste: There’s a long story behind this beer and I’m not going to get into it now. Not that it should persuade me one way or another. This is a one-off collaboration brew - an imperial stout brewed with rye and wheat with some of it aged in bourbon barrels. As seems to be the case with a lot of Stone beers lately, I don’t get the rye or wheat, though the barrel aging is noticeable. Regardless, it’s still an excellent imperial stout that tastes great.

Much like the nose, the palette here is remarkably fruit. And not just grape like so many other imperial stouts, but an almost berry-like taste (blue, red and black), which is odd considering the beer isn’t brewed with any of these additives. There’s some licorice or anise-like spiciness through the middle, followed by deeply roasted barley and dry bitterness on the back end (likely from the rye, though I don’t get a lot of rye taste per se). The alcohol is a major player in the palette, too. It imparts a woody, vanilla-like flavor throughout the drinking experiences, as well as significant warmth. I’ll bet a bottle of this would be amazing a few years from now, but since it was a one-off brew and bottles were scarce, I doubt I’ll have the opportunity to find out. In the end, it’s a great imperial stout that can hold its own with a lot of other comparable brews.

Drinkability: At 13% ABV, Stone Farking Wheat W00tstout is a beast of a beer. To call it robust is an understatement. Yet, I wouldn’t go so far as to call it "hot" or difficult to drink. The alcohol is noticeable, yes, but it’s warm and smooth and works with the body well. The mouthfeel itself is soft, smooth, and the aftertaste is bitter but tolerable. I had no trouble drinking half a bottle, though any more than that would be a challenge.

Grade: 9/10