After passing the torch to Boycat for Colorado, Baxter the dog is back with his latest beer of the game. Bax has had a boring week, as the temperatures in Burlington have struggled to get above zero. His owner was too wimpy to go outside, and also prefers to avoid things like frostbite and hypothermia.
With all the cold weather, Baxter decided to go with something dark, heavy and delicious. He sent me to Costco, where I was able to secure a nice three-pack of Ommegang Belgian-Style Ales that came with a fancy glass. From that selection, Bax decided to review Chocolate Indulgence, because who can resist something with chocolate in the name?
Ommegang is available throughout much of the country, including Washington State. The brewery was started on a former hop farm in Cooperstown, NY. Long before the Yakima Valley dominated the industry, Upstate New York was the hub of hop production. Then Prohibition hit, and the hop farms were removed in favor of corn fields. They never returned on a large-scale, but there is a movement growing to bring hops back to the Empire State.
As for the beer, Chocolate Indulgence is a Belgian-style stout, so it uses different yeast than traditional stouts (and isn't filtered). It is also heavy on dark roasted malts (chocolate malt is actually a dark-roasted variety, but there is cocoa added to the beer). The brew weighs in at seven percent ABV, much higher than a lot of stouts (Guinness is around four percent).
Craig's Review: The beer pours with a thick head that sticks around for the long haul. The roasted malts hit the nose for a nice, sweet aroma. The first sip brings a dark-roasted coffee flavor and the cocoa is present. As it moves along the tongue, a surprising hop presence appears, providing a clean and crisp finish.
An excellent stout that I will be eager to try again. Far more flavor than any of the standard, imported varieties that can be found in the grocery store or local watering hole. While having a Guinness is fun sometimes, I highly recommend hitting up American craft-brewed stouts. They offer so much more in the way of flavor.
If the idea of sweetness turns you off, keep an eye out for Russian Imperial Stouts, specifically Old Rasputin from North Coast. It may very well be the best stout in the world.
Baxter's Review: I've been playing with ball inside all week. Ball is great, but I only go outside to relieve myself. Life has been so boring!
But then, Craig brought this delicious beer home. Normally, I can't stand \ the smell of beer, but this one was so nice. I tried to lick it out of the glass, but Craig pulled it back. Why the heck would he offer it to me, then?
He gave me little tastes with his fingers, and I couldn't get enough. Amanda tried to give me some red wine, but I wasn't having any of that. Too bad Craig hogged most of the bottle to himself. Why does he tease me like that?
So that is what Bax and I will be having as the Cougs take on the Beavs. Let us know what you will be enjoying, and share any other new beers you've had recently.