Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Finch’s Secret Stache Stout


3.7
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Chad9976 (1364) - Albany, New York, USA - JUN 2, 2015
Sometimes you think you’re getting a stout with frills, but you really don’t and it ends up being a fine beer anyway. Finch’s Secret Stache Stout is an example of what I mean: it claims to be a milk stout made with vanilla, but I really didn’t get any. That’s okay, but the result is a solid, good-tasting, easy-drinking beer at a good price, too.

I poured a 16oz can into an English pint glass. It had an enjoy-by date of 9/23/15 and cost $2.59 ($0.16 per ounce).

Appearance: Typical black color with ruby red edges. Pours to a large, brown, frothy head which laces and retains quite well.

Smell: Noticeably vanilla sweetness at first, but quickly overshadowed by the base milk stout brew with noticeable lactose aroma and roasted malt. A bit mild, though.

Taste: Sometimes I notice when a brew is marketed as brewed with a certain specialty ingredient, that ingredient is only noticeable on the first few swigs and then blends in with the rest of the palette. That’s what happened here. The vanilla was relatively sweet, not unlike that of a candy bar. Far from cloying, for sure. It eventually fades and drinks like a familiar, traditional stout. The lactose sugar imparts some light sweetness while roasted malts offer a bit of contrast in the way of somewhat bitter/burnt flavors. Not much in the way of distinct hop flavor, though there’s enough to give the palette balance. Overall, it’s enjoyable but I can’t help but think so much more could’ve been done.

Drinkability: At only 5.3% ABV, Finch’s Secret Stache Stout is far from any kind of obese, imperial brew – yet too hefty to be a session beer. There’s quite a lot of body to the mouthfeel – it’s soft and fairly thick, but calm with a smooth texture. It leaves a slight tang in the aftertaste, but is otherwise clean. This feels like a heavier beer than it is, though. One pint was more than satisfying.

Score: 7/10