Stoudt’s Brewing Co.
Available: PA, NY, NJ, DE, VA, DC, OH, MA
This bottle-conditioned stout fuses two British stout traditions: oatmeal stout and Imperial stout. Stoudt’s Brewing Co. was established in 1987, Pennsylvania’s first microbrewery since Prohibition.
Alcohol (wt.): 7.2
Alcohol (vol.): 9.0
Disclaimer: I never met an Imperial Stout I did not like, and this one is a bottle-conditioned red head. A beauty to behold with a bouquet that begs one to partake. Sinfully delicious with a sturdy mix of fine roastiness, and color so dense it’s almost impenetrable to imbibe, yet it goes down with hardly a whimper, and always begging to deliver more. It even feels heavy in the glass, but so willing to join in the fun.
I’m declaring it right now: a moratorium on “dog” names for beers! Jeez. Okay, the beer. It’s jet black with hints of red at the bottom of the glass. The brown head is thick, but falls quickly. The aroma is a pleasant blend of coffee, chocolate and fruit. A thin wedge of hop and roast bitterness opens onto a juicy sweet full-bodied center. It’s round and oily, and trails into a long finish. Delicious. An excellent ale from a brewery best known for lagers. Perfect with chocolate mud cake and ice cream.
One of the first lager-brewers among American micros, Stoudt is named after its proprietors, not after a miss-spelled beer style. Pointing this out in the early days, I mentioned that the brewery made no stout. It has sporadically done so ever since. This oatmeal stout is toasty, cinnamon-like gingery and very dry for the style, with its slightly aggressive flavors softened by the syrupy texture. Perfect with a Pennsylvania Dutch lunch.