Sunday, April 1, 2012

Game Day Beer Review: Left Hand Brewing 2009 Oak Aged Imperial Stout

(10.00% ABV) Ok, this one aged awhile. Lost in the depths of the farlieonfootie corporate beer locker, the 2009 edition of Left Hand's Oak Aged Imperial Stout aged for a year and a half.  Given the fact that winter is long gone in this part of the world, I decided to pull it out the other night -- before we get into the heat of summer -- and see how it held up to the test of time.

Left Hand's Imperial Stout poured coal dark into my snifter, but it appeared thinner than the typical motor oil consistency I've come to associate with some of the imperial stouts I generally favor. It had the scent of a sharp, boozy chocolate, with licorice; there was also a subtle undercurrent of cherry present.

On tasting, I got chocolate and coffee in equal measure, but the high alcohol level in the beer was very well hidden. The malt was clearly there, and there was also the most subtle of hop finishes that allowed the flavor to linger without overstaying its welcome. The oak aging of this beer really smoothed over any rough edges, so that just a deep, full-bodied mellowness was the only thing left.

It's a welcome warmer upper for a cold evening. Good thing the temperature dipped down into the low 70's on the night I drank it. A-

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