Cariboo Red Nose Bandit Stout

Reviewed by on December 24, 2014 in Holiday Guide

The Details

  • Brewery: Pacific Western Brewing Company

  • Origin: Prince George, BC, CA

  • Rated On: December 22, 2014

  • Best Before: N/A

  • ABV: 8.0%

  • Ideal Temperature: cool to cellar temperature

  • Style: American Stout

  • Rating: OKAY

The Review

Pacific Western is a brewery from northern British Columbia, who have traditionally specialized in down-market canned lagers (think Dude and TNT), so this is a departure for them, and an odd take on the Christmas seasonal offering, by turning Rudolph into an alleged thief.

This 650ml bottle pours a clear, dark orange brick amber hue, with two fingers of puffy, loosely puffy, and bubbly tan head, which leaves some random paint splatter lace around the glass as it quickly dissolves. Pretty thin appearance for a purported stout.

It smells of bready, kind of crackery and grainy pale malt, a hint of sour cream, mildly acrid bruised black orchard fruit, earthy yeast, slight coffee-tinged milk chocolate, and weak weedy, leafy hops. The taste is doughy, almost sugary caramel malt, a bland dark fruitiness, way-too prevalent yeast, chalky cocoa, sour cream crullers, ethereal stale coffee, still understated leafy, earthy hops, and a subtle metallic booziness. The carbonation is quite fizzy and frothy, but in a generally easygoing manner, the body a decent medium weight, and more or less smooth, a tiny alcohol wisp the only minor threat. It finishes well off-dry, the cheap chocolate sweetness growing as it warms.

I can totally see, upon first impression, how one might consider this to not be a stout, as so claimed front and center on the bottle label, and the overall look doesn’t help matters. But, in the end, this has enough chocolate and caramel weightiness, and a nice, well-integrated warming, that I’m not averse to holding my tongue for the time being, before other voices chime in.

Brady White

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