11/8/2017 0 Comments
by Hop Nation USA's Sam
Wait a second, do you really mean if I only like Bourbon, then I shouldn’t drink this beer? Well no, you are welcome to try anything that your little heart desires, I’m just prepping you for the review that you are about to read. How about we compromise? You read the review first and then determine if you want to try the beer. Sound good? Ok, let’s get started.
I had the pleasure of joining a group of old co-workers this past Friday night for some conversation and a few beers. Needless to say, since we all tend to enjoy a tasty brew more often than not, we opted for the Southern Tier brewpub on the north shore of Pittsburgh. Southern Tier is always a great location as their brewpub comes equipped with about 20 different ST beers on tap at any given time.
After a little witty banter with friends, I begin to scan the beer list and one beer immediately catches my eye. It’s one that I knew had been released but I was surprised to see that it was on draft as it was part of Southern Tier’s limited release series. This generally means that the only way that you can get these beers is to shell out between $15 - $20 and enjoy a nice, large 22oz bomber.
Dammit, would you get to the beer already! Alright, I think it’s about that time. The beer that I am referring to is the Monstrous; which is a 14.7% ABV bourbon barrel-aged imperial stout that has been delicately aging in barrels for a full year. This “monster” was served in a 10oz snifter and carried a very moderate $7 price tag.
When the beer arrived, I was immediately ready to dive right in but like any great beer taster knows, patience is key. First, you must smell the beer. I took a sniff and the big bourbon-y nose was up my nostrils right away. This beer smelled as if I had just taken a whiff of a freshly opened bottle of Maker’s. It was strong but I was loving every second of it. Next, I assessed the color. It was dark, dark, and darker; absolutely impenetrable by light.
Then came the fun part; actually getting to find out what this beer tasted like. I took my first sip and my pallet was immediately treated to a perfect balance of chocolatey malt and roasted barley. As the beer began to drizzle over my tongue, the bourbon flavor entered with a roar. It came in and just overpowered the other flavors making for a crisp, clear, very smooth finish. What a treat! Let me tell you, the next 9 sips were just as good, if not better.
Overall, this “monster” of a beer is flavorful, well-balanced and promotes the hell out of the bourbon flavor that has infused itself into the beer. It’s fantastic and I would drink it again in a heartbeat. However, I will caution that you may want to be aware of your intake on this one. At almost 15% abv, this beer will definitely sneak up on you later in the evening.
Final Recommendation: TRY IT If you like big, boozy, bourbon barrel-aged beers (try saying that description 5 times fast). The flavor is there and this beer delivers on everything that it says it will. I loved it and you probably will too.