Saturday, November 26, 2011

Beer Review: Satin Solstice Imperial Stout

Reviewing the Satin Solstice Imperial Stout from Central Waters Brewing Company.
Score: 88

2011 vintage bottle from a make your own six pack at Steve's Wine. Poured in a snifter glass.

Appearance: Pours dark as night with a thin tan head that quickly disappears. When you swirl, a thin tan head with interesting shapes and patterns reforms. Very inviting. 3.5/5

Smell: The aroma on the beer is not very pronounced until swirled, and then you're in flavor country. Prominently features roasted malts, dark chocolate, and toffee along with hints of figs/raisin and dark fruit/cherry. Post-swirl there are still faint, but inviting, alcohol notes in the nose along with some sweet milk chocolate aromas. Smells a lot like a smooth porter would. 4/5

Taste: A dark roasted burnt cocoa bean flavor leads the charge, while a delicious coffee bean flavor dominates a long-lingering finish. Very little flavor on the mid-palate, however, save for some dark fruit/raisin. The finish sticks around for quite some time. The front and finish are excellent, despite the lack of mid-palate flavor. 4/5

Mouthfeel: Smooth and bubbly. The mild carbonation complements the lighter-than-most stout body, without leaving the beer too "crisp." Warming alcohol grows as the beer gets warmer. Finish is not very sweet, slightly sticky. I was expecting something much heavier, but the mouthfeel is not bad. 3/5

Overall: Central Waters is my favorite Wisconsin Brewery, and this beer certainly impresses. The lighter body makes Satin Solstice more drinkable than most other imperial stouts (one beer will not fill you up), and the relatively moderate 7% ABV ensures that you will be able to enjoy more than just one. I would certainly try this one again, and in fact I purchased a full six pack of this stuff.

Recommendation: A great imperial stout for people who generally do not like "heavier" beers and the casual beer drinker. Beer lovers should sufficiently enjoy this one as well, though the lack of mid-palate flavor does not render the Satin Solstice a "first-choice" stout. Still, the front and finish of the beer are more than flavorful enough to make up for the lack of a brief "middle" to this beer.

Pairings: Chocolate cake.

Cost: $8.99 for a six pack.

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