Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Tuesday Night Tasting - Throwback Brewery: Fat Alberta

Throwback Brewery – North Hampton, NH
Fat Alberta Imperial Stout brewed with Peanuts and Cocoa Nibs
10% ABV, 78 IBU, OG: 1.101, 22 oz and possibly soon on draft

Although both Sarah and I tried Fat Alberta, as well as the full line up of Throwback’s beers when we visited Annette and Nicole in March, this was our first try of their beers at home. On our way back through New Hampshire’s seacoast on Sunday, we decided it would be fun to stop by Throwback to pick up a few bottles of Fat Alberta, and to our surprise it was PACKED. Little did we know, the brewery was having an actual launch party for the beer that day.

But, on to the review…

The color of this Imperial Stout is a dark espresso toned body, with a thick, fluffy, chocolaty brown head. The head itself fades rather quickly, but is a really nice color! The aroma…well, the scent of roasted peanuts immediately hits your nose, but is pleasantly blended with a rich chocolate aroma. We have to say, it’s quite inviting.

The flavor of the stout is of rich dark chocolate covered peanuts. Perhaps the hops (notice the high IBU) help give it the slightly bitterness of dark chocolate, but it’s incredibly subtle – fear not if you’re not big into a bold hop profile, because this is nowhere near beers like that.

Sarah and I have slightly altered views on the flavor. Sarah says that the Fat Alberta has an earthy, nutty peanut flavor, which is enhanced by the beers dark chocolate flavor. She also says (which I do agree with) that it’s rare for a “flavored” stout to taste like what it’s supposed to. Southern Tier tends to do a great job at matching their beers to what the label says they’re supposed to be. Unfortunately, other brewing companies fall short of doing that.

While I didn’t entirely disagree with Sarah’s assessment, I thought the peanut flavor to me is creamy like you get with peanut butter. It's not sweet though like in peanut butter, which is probably balanced by the dark roasted malts.

We both thought the mouth feel is moderate to full, but without being too heavy. Most "regular" stouts are rather lighter bodied (despite their color) and low in alcohol, but this is an Imperial Stout and is a bit heavier. Still very nice.

The Fat Alberta Imperial Stout is seductively drinkable. It is incredibly smooth going down, and simply tastes amazing. Be careful though, as the brew clocks in at 10% ABV and can easily sneak up on you. If you're drinking this by yourself, you can probably put down the bomber, but it's also a great beer to share with a friend!

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