Friday, April 4, 2014

Beer Review: Churchill's Finest Hour (2014 Vintage)

Reviewing the 2014 vintage of Churchill's Finest Hour from from Port Brewing Company (Lost Abbey's alter ego). Each vintage of this beer is a unique blend of barrel aged stouts. The 2014 vintage is signaled by the blue wax and blue foil colored cigar smoke on the label.

Score: 95

2014 vintage bottle served in a Goose Island Black Friday 2013 Bourbon County Brand Stout snifter and enjoyed on 03/25/14. Thank you Ryan for sharing this treat!

Appearance: Deep brown color, with a half finger of dark khaki head that quickly settles to a ring around the glass. Poor lacing lacing and retention, but nice oily legs and solid browning. 4.5/5

Smell: Oak, bourbon, alcohol and fudge. Hard to balance the unpleasantness of the sharp boozy alcohol aroma with the big fudginess, but this strikes a nice balance. Reminisce of the 2012 vintage (albeit hotter), rather than the 2013. With some time, and with the alcohol mellowing out, this aroma should develop nicely. 4.25/5

Taste: Vanilla/oak upfront and then a little bitterness and char, followed by boozy bourbon and an insanely fudegy finish. So much chocolate and fudge in the finish, which lasts forever and ever and is nicely bittersweet. Really excellent balance. 4.75/5

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, low carbonation but apt for the profile. Bittersweet overall. Creamy mouthfeel. Mild stinging booziness, which is more akin to drinking a spirit neat rather than a beer. 4.25/5

Overall: Give this beer a little more viscocity or age, and it could be something special. Even by my standards, I found this beer to be a bit boozy. Enjoyed thoroughly nonetheless. Cannot wait to revisit this in a year.

Cost: $50 for a 22 oz (bomber) bottle.

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