Pike Brewing Co.
Available: CA, CT, AK, MT, ID, OR, UT, TX, CA, CT
Pike Entire is a blend of three beers: Pike’s XXXXX Extra Stout, the same beer aged for more than half a year in oak Bourbon barrels, and an Imperial stout.
Original gravity: approx. 1085
This is a big beer in a big pint bottle, as black as Hades and with a heavy collar of creamy foam. It has a profound aroma of cappuccino coffee with oaky/woody notes, creamy malt, lactose and herbal/grassy hops. Roasted grain, coffee, bitter chocolate, licorice, burnt fruits and spicy hops fill the mouth. The finish is long and complex, with creamy, milky notes, coffee, roast, hops and fruit. An informative label tells us the units of bitterness (60), original gravity (1092) and even the name of the brewer. Hats off to Drew Cluley.
Light enters and yet none emerges—this beer is a black as pitch. Even the thick foam has a full brown cast. The beer is aged in wood and I wonder what type it was. The aroma shows espresso, licorice, tar, hops, charcoal, a whiff of coconut, a suggestion of gunpowder. The palate has a sweet and bitter bite up front, giving way to dark fruit and tangy roasted malts through the center. No lush black velvet here—rather angularity, personality, attitude. A spiky youth. It will be nice right now with flourless almond cake, but don't drink it all yet—it may age quite wonderfully.