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While I am still getting into the swing of things this year, we might as well check in on some end of the year gifts I received hailing from the wonderful state of Vermont. Here’s what ended up making it south of the border and into my hands.

Beer Name: Luscious

Brewer: The Alchemist

Style: Imperial Stout

ABV: 11.1%

Description: The eleventh anniversary release of Alchemist’s big Imperial Stout. Listed as having a huge amount of dark malts and just a bit of Summer hops.

Pour Info: Poured from a refrigerated 16 oz. can in my Bean Porter mug.

Price: Unknown, it was a gift!

Appearance: Pours thick and black out of the can. A thin dark tan head makes an appearance before settling in around the sides of the glass.

Smell: Light roasty malts with hints of cocoa

Taste: At first sip there is a light roasty taste up front that transitions into a cocoa/dark chocolate finish. There’s a hint of the ABV at the very start but it is not boozy at all. As the beer warms the heat picks up a bit on the finish and a hint of bitter coffee appears on the end.

Mouth Feel: Very thick bodied with low carbonation. At the very start of the sip there is the slightest hint of carbonation but after that initial instant the beer gets very smooth. As the beer warms, it becomes silky smooth and creamy.

Hype Factor: An Alchemist brew that unexpectedly falls into my hands? Of course I’m excited to try that.

Overall: A very good stout. I took my time and slowly sipped this one on a cold night and thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

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Beer Name: Second Fiddle

Brewer: Fiddlehead Brewing Company

Style: DIPA

ABV: 8.2%

Description: The brewery website simply lists this as having a “big aroma” and “lots of hops.” They are most definitely not wrong.

Pour Info: From a refrigerated 16 oz can into the teku glass.

Price: Unknown, this was also a gift. Lucky me!

Appearance: Amber/orange color with a light and foamy white head that sticks around for much of the drinking experience.

Smell: Slightly sweet with tons of dank piney hops. Grabs your attention as soon as the can is popped open.

Taste: Sweet citrus fruits upfront with a big piney, resinous hop finish. The bitterness is definitely there but very well balanced and doesn’t become too overpowering.

Mouth Feel: Medium-plus bodied with about an equal amount of carbonation. Very drinkable and goes down nice and easy.

Hype Factor: I was also looking forward to this one. Much appreciated having a nice Vermont DIPA to try without having to any hunting or legwork to get it.

Overall: Very well done and easily drinkable DIPA. A great example of the style and gives no hint that it is 8.2%. Would love to get my hands on some more of this one.

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