Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Maine Beer Mean Old Tom

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Chad9976 (1146) - Albany, New York, USA - AUG 6, 2014
I poured a 500ml bottle into a tulip glass. It was bottled on 7/15/14 and cost $6 ($0.36 per ounce).

Appearance: Dark black body, completely opaque, no sediment or carbonation visible. Pours to a large, brown, frothy head which laces and retains extremely well.

Smell: Slightly mild, but with notes of coffee and dark chocolate.

Taste: Maine Beer Company is known for their hoppy beers, so I was quite eager to try a malt-forward beer by them: Mean Old Tom; a stout aged on natural vanilla beans. From the description and recipe I was expecting a big, bold stout, but what I got was a rather nominal brew that happens to have some sweet components to it. Not that there’s anything wrong with how this turned out, since the result is still a more-than-solid brew.

This beer is brewed with a fairly standard malt bill with the addition of some flaked oats, though I wouldn’t classify it as an oatmeal stout per se. It’s lightly sweet up front, with an almost cola-like taste. Through the middle there’s some coffee and roasted malt flavor and bitterness with a sweet vanilla taste on the back end. It creates for a milk chocolate flavor, but it’s entirely too mild. A bit of an oatmeal sweetness can be found lurking in the background, as well as an English-like mineral quality I’ve never found in any other beers from this brewery. I’d imagine an imperialized version of this brew would be intense and amazing, but what’s here is nice and satisfying.

Drinkability: Getting through a glass of Mean Old Tom was no challenge whatsoever. The mouthfeel is thinner than you’d expect, though it’s smooth going down and finishes clean. It probably should be a bit bigger in body than it is at 6.5% ABV, as this drinks like a lighter pub-style stout. Works fine as a liquid dessert or a standalone beverage. 
Grade: 8/10

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