Steamworks Winter White Stout
Reviewed by Brady White on January 29, 2016 in Winter Guide
- Brewery: Steamworks Brewing Company
- Origin: Vancouver, BC, CA
- Rated On: January 29, 2016
- Best Before: N/A
- ABV: 5.1%
- Ideal Temperature: cool to cellar temperature
- Style: American Stout
- Rating: GOOD !
This 650ml bottle pours a hazy, medium golden yellow colour, with one rather skinny finger of weakly foamy, and mostly just wispy dirty white head, which leaves a few instances of bobbing flotsam lace around the glass as things slowly subside.
It smells of bitter artisanal coffee, dry cocoa powder, roasted pale and caramel malt, faint black licorice, stale vanilla beans, a bit of free-agent (I’m gonna say white) ash, and soft earthy and leafy hop bitters. The taste is more acerbic coffee grounds, bittersweet chocolate, a lesser grainy caramel malt sweetness, vegetal vanilla, mildly snaking wet smoke, and more or less the same plain earthy, musty, and leafy hops from the nose. The carbonation is quite understated in its barely palpable frothiness, the body a solid middleweight, and sort of smooth, a certain pithiness arising shortly after take-off, which mars any suggestion of straight-up, oat-enabled smoothness. It finishes off-dry, the coffee backing off a fair bit, while the guest ‘flakes’ start drumming up attention for their cereal-like graininess.
Yeah, this is indeed a strange one – I think I’ve only ever once before come across this major tweaking of the style, and that was an offering from the Durham Brewery in England. At any rate, Steamworks does it right, shoring things up on the stout side with some cocoa and coffee adjuncts (which apparently don’t add colour), and succeeding in screwing with my mind/palate neural connections every time I glance at my glass. Whatever, it basically works, y’know, for that sort of flavoured albino stout crowd out there.