“Double IPA” has been a thing for a while now, but why not a “double
stout”? Surely there’s a difference between a truly imperial stout and
one that’s just bigger than usual. I suppose that’s the question Green
Flash is asking with their “Double Stout,” which is pretty hefty at 8.8%
ABV, though it drinks like something fairly nominal.
I poured a 12oz bottle into a goblet. It had a best before date of 2/20/15 and cost $3.99 ($0.33 per ounce).
Appearance: Inky opaque black body. Pours to a dark tan, two-finger layer of frothy foam which laces and retains extremely well.
Smell: Strong black licorice notes; black grape; some mocha.
Taste: Like all good heavy stouts, Green Flash Double Stout opens with a
rich sweetness. Chocolate syrup, roasted malt, sour grape and licorice
spice are all prominent throughout the first half. Through the middle I
detect a surprisingly strong presence of hops, even though the brewery’s
website indicates this beer is only 45 IBUs. A biting sensation of dry
bitterness with perhaps a hint of pine as it finishes. There’s a slight
tanginess in the aftertaste, though I also detect notes of toffee and
peanut brittle. All in all, this is what is you expect to find in an
imperial stout palette, though it’s missing a certain something to make
it stand out. In the end it’s just a very good example of the style,
though that’s good enough for me.
Drinkability: There’s a certain mouthfeel I expect in a beer of this
style and I’d say Green Flash Double Stout nails it almost perfectly. A
definite viscosity to the makeup – thicker than most, but without the
cloying, sticky sensation of some. In fact, it might even be a little
too crisp. There’s a bitter tang in the aftertaste, which is tolerable
but a little distracting. At 8.8% ABV it seems a tad inefficient, though
there’s no alcohol warmth or annoyance whatsoever.