Oskar Blues: Ten Fidy (USA: Imperial Stout: 10.5% ABV)

Visual: Black. Creamy frothed up brown head.

Nose: Roasted yet smooth. Milky coffee, very rich. Fudge. Distillery air. Slight cloying cream.

Body: Creamy. Sweet. Condensed cream and milky chocolate. Bourbon touch. Very smooth. Fudge. Becomes more bitter late on in the beer. Raisins.

Finish: Bitter chocolate orange. Slight roasted hops character. Bitter coffee. Bitter grated chocolate flakes. Slight gin air. Slight tart black cherry.

Conclusion: Well, damn, this came from a can? Ok, I am used to craft beer in a can now, but a big imperial stout? That is a new one, let’s go!

It is, big that is, a mix of sweet and bitter aroma into an indulgently sweet and smooth as silk body, then finally into a forceful bitter finish. Even better the bitterness rises throughout the beer, interlacing with the sweetness mid body to create new experiences throughout the beer lifecycle. It is like a book that changes slightly every time you read it.

Oh, yes I forgot to actually mention exact flavours didn’t I? Chocolate, coffee, fudge, condensed cream, ok frankly you know the score. You have most likely had imperial stouts before, you know the various base styles an imperial stout can have, and you know that it is how they implement it that makes the difference.

Here, as you can probably tell, they do it with style, balancing the journey so that no one element dominates. It is a bit spirit touched though, now this does give it nice bourbon like flavours, but also that spirit air that shows the not quite integrated alcohol. Still, the strength also seems to bring subtle undertones of dark fruit with it so I can take that trade off.

So a few alcohol based flaws, but still a great massive imperial stout that is well with hiking through the flaws, the occasional rough elements are well worth the journey.

Background: Some days you just want to relax with a big Imperial Stout. Monday was one of those days. So I did. Yes it took me until Friday to put the write up online. I am lazy. Anyway, Oskar Blues for some reason I always accidentally call Osaka Blues, I blame Japan. I’ve drunk a few Oskar Blues beers before, including a few on Cask at GBBF. This is my first review however. Drunk while listening to Ulver: Childhood’s End, both trippy and relaxing, perfect for relaxing with strong beer.