Reviewed by Brady White on February 10, 2017 in Winter Guide
- Brewery: Garrison Brewing Company
- Origin: Halifax, NS, CA
- Rated On: February 10, 2017
- Best Before: Spring melt
- ABV: 10.5%
- Ideal Temperature: cool to cellar temperature
- Style: Imperial Stout
- Rating: GREAT !!
This 650ml bottle pours a fairly solid black, yet with loose red-cola basal edges, and three chubby fingers of puffy, rocky, and bubbly brown head, which leaves some nicely layered tabletop cloud pattern lace around the glass as it evenly subsides.
It smells of bittersweet cocoa powder, lightly roasted caramel malt, Mars Bar-style nougat, subtle cafe-au-lait, a hint of musty yeastiness, testy dark orchard fruit (underripe plum and cherry, mostly), and some plain leafy, weedy, and gently perfumed floral green hop bitters. The taste is gritty and grainy caramel malt, medium chocolate, day-old coffee, fresh cream, those toffee candies that Grandpa always has in his pockets, a twinge of black licorice, more muddled dark and bruised fruitiness, and some zesty earthy, leafy, and herbal verdant hoppiness. The carbonation is quite pervasive in its palate-tingling frothiness, the body a decent middleweight, and sort of smooth, as the silky cocoa essences start to contend with a minor bit of booze ingress. It finishes off-dry, but not by that much, as the bittering aspect of the Millennium hops come ’round full bore.
Overall, this is one patently drinkable version of the style, as the hops do well to offset the big chocolate and caramel sweetness, and the 21-proof alcohol measure essentially keeps to itself. I’m not entirely sure that we need a ‘winter intervention’ right now (hey, we’re Canadian, so we’re used to this stuff), but I appreciate this offering all the same.