Monday, April 23, 2012

Beer Review: The Count

Reviewing the The Count from Grimm Brothers Brewhouse out of Colorado.
Score: 92

2012 vintage bottle from the February 18 release. Served in a CBS snifter and enjoyed on 04/23/12.

Appearance: Pours a pitch black color with a thin layer of creamy dark brown head that settles to a ring around the glass. Decent lacing, excellent retention. 4.5/5

Smell: Creamy milk chocolate, raw dark chocolate, vanilla, brown sugar, fig and a subtle booziness. Touch of cherry and a light bourbon aroma. Muted coffee. This a very smooth and pleasant smelling Russian Imperial Stout. 4/5

Taste: First impression is modestly boozy and creamy dark chocolate that quickly turns dry with lots of roast and a good amount of bitterness on the back half. The dryness makes for a really interesting texture that is almost oaty and akin to eating raw Cherios from the box or dry Quaker oats from the tin. The beer's front and back half flavor has an almost day-and-night contrast. There's creamy milk chocolate and fig sweetness upfront. There's some creamy vanilla and brown sugar in the front half too. The midpalate is dry, chalky, and a bit smoky with a modest amount of oak flavor. The front half flavor completely dissipates and is replaced with a bitter cocoa powder, raw chocolate and roast flavor in the back half. There's some subtle bitter coffee in the finish too. Although sweet booziness is apparent upfront, the chalky midpalate and dry finish really hides the alcohol well for the majority of the experience. Certainly a very interestingly flavored beer. Cannot say that I have ever had anything else with this flavor and mouthfeel. 4.25/5

Mouthfeel: Full-medium bodied, minimal carbonation. Creamy/chalky mouthfeel (see the description in "taste"). Finishes dry and bitter. 4.5/5

Overall: This Russian Imperial Stout is quite unique. The mouthfeel is just so...interesting, and the flavors are delightful. If you, like me, enjoy that "cottonmouth" feeling from eating dry oats, you really need to give this one a whirl. I am glad I have three more bottles of this; can't wait to see what time does to this beer as the booziness subsides.

Recommendation: If you can stand a modest booziness in your Russian Imperial Stout (it's nothing like the booziness in the Courage Russian Imperial Stout), then seek this one out. There's not a strong bourbon flavor from the barrel aging, but there is plenty of chocolate, creamy vanilla and roast to satisfy fans of the style.

Pairings: A really moist chocolate cake a la mode.

Cost: $13 for a 22 oz bottle.

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