Bent Stick 11:59 PM

Reviewed by on December 16, 2017 in Local Heroes Guide

The Details

  • Brewery: Bent Stick Brewing Co.

  • Origin: Edmonton, AB, CA

  • Rated On: December 16, 2017

  • Best Before: N/A

  • ABV: 11.9%

  • Ideal Temperature: cool to cellar temperature

  • Style: Imperial Stout

  • Rating: GREAT !!

The Review

11:59 PM is an Imperial Stout, aged 111 days in a ‘small batch bourbon barrel from Keg n Cork Liquor Co.’, and refining in the bottle since April 22, 2017. Well, let’s get at it, shall we?

This 341ml stubbie pours a solid black hole, with the barest of amber basal edges, and a teeming tower of puffy, finely foamy, and chunky brown head, which leaves a bit of random sticky and streaky lace around the glass as it slowly ebbs away.

It smells of gritty and grainy caramel malt, bittersweet cocoa powder, a sort of acrid vanilla-laced Bourbon woodsiness, muddled dark stone fruit, some free-range ashiness, mild meaty notes, anise spice, and some tame earthy, weedy, and besotted floral green hop bitters.  The taste is bready and doughy caramel malt, edgy and boozy Bourbon wood (with less of the vanilla at this point), very dry chocolate, equally sere black licorice, day-old coffee, some mild char, and more rather understated weedy, leafy, and floral hoppiness.  The carbonation is quite active in its effervescent frothiness, the body a decent medium weight, and sort of smooth, as the overarching dry smoky character takes things down more than a notch or so here.  It finishes trending dry (I know, I should look up more synonyms for that word), and quite woody in its lingering bearing.

Overall – this is one stellar big and bad American stout, with the time spent in the barrel apparently a judicious period, as such.  I wasn’t expecting much in the way of a woody character, but lo and behold, thar she blows!  Pretty heady and enjoyable stuff, I have to say, and perhaps a trip back to the aforementioned bottleshop is in order for another age-worthy sample, if there’s even any left.

Brady White

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