Tough LoveApril 14, 2014
Tough Love is an imperial stout aged in bourbon barrels for nine months.
ORIGINAL GRAVITY: 1096
AVAILABLE: OR, WA
Made with dark-roasted malts, malted rye and oak smoked wheat, it pours as black as Hades with a heavy tan head. There are profound aromas of espresso coffee, oak, vanilla pods, whiskey fumes and roasted grain. There’s warming alcohol in the mouth with big notes of vanilla, sweet whiskey, oak, chocolate, coffee and a hint of spicy hops. The finish is bittersweet with growing notes of whiskey, vanilla, roasted grain, dark fruit and light hops. Stunning.
- Roger Protz
Beyond the obvious—the barrel, the roast—something in the aroma is transporting. Perhaps it’s the hint of tar, the whiff of licorice; something ancient this way comes. The palate is immediately alcoholic, and impressions of sweetness quickly flip into a long, dry astringency; it finishes with a hot flash. In this, the beer is very unusual, reminiscent of dark Italian bitters. I like dark Italian bitters, and while its utility with dessert may be limited, this beer would be the bomb with buttery blue cheeses.
- Garrett Oliver
Author of 300 Beers to Try Before You Die and 300 More Beers to Try Before You Die. Respected beer authority and editor of the CAMRA Good Beer Guide and www.protzonbeer.co.uk.
Garrett Oliver is the brewmaster of The Brooklyn Brewery, the Editor-in-Chief of The Oxford Companion to Beer, the author of The Brewmaster’s Table, and the veteran host of more than 900 beer dinners in 15 countries.