Friday, February 3, 2012

Beer Review: Nightstalker

Reviewing the Nightstalker from Goose Island Brewing Company. This is a slight modification on the base beer for their Bourbon County Stout.
Score: 82

02/06/11 vintage bottle served in a Surly Darkness snifter and enjoyed on 02/03/12.

Appearance: Pours a pitch black color. Totally opaque; absolutely no light cuts through this beer. Pours one-plus fingers of foamy mocha colored head that "melts" into a creamy layer of head that ultimately settles into a ring around the glass. Excellent lacing -- a wall of sticky head clings to all sides of the glass. 4.5/5

Smell: Dark fruit, milk chocolate, bitter hops, bitter "baleywine-like" barley-and-caramel malts, and alcohol esters. 3.5/5

Taste: Creamy dates and chocolate mixed with a light hops flavor and noticable booziness. Kind of sweet. Definite barley-and-caramel backbone. "Barleywine-like" flavors increasingly come out of the woodwork towards the finish as the beer approaches room temperature. Lingering bitter caramel and cocoa flavor. 3/5

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, low carbonation. Thick and viscous mouthfeel with a drying, almost cotton-mouthing effect on the palate. Bitter and sweet finish. 4/5

Overall: A solid imperial stout recipe with potential, as evidenced by the Bourbon County Stout, but the Nightstalker as brewed is too rough around the edges and "hopped barleywine-like." This is not a retired beer I will miss.

Recommendation: Worth trying, but not worth going out of your way to seeking out.

Pairings: A Reuben sandwich?

Cost: $8.99 for a 22 oz (bomber) bottle.

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