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Don’t misunderstand, there is absolutely no right or wrong time of year to reach for a nice big Stout.  There’s just something about the winter that makes them seem a little bit more satisfying.  Despite having unseasonally warm weather the past few days, I am just about ready to go on a bit of a stout spree.  Starting things off was one of the goodies my wife left me under the tree this year, You Enjoy My Stout, by Cambridge Brewing Company.

Beer Name: You Enjoy My Stout

Brewer: Cambridge Brewing Company

Style: Imperial Stout

ABV: 10.25%

Description: According to the official brewery description, this release was initially brewed back in January and left to age in Buffalo Trace bourbon barrels for 10 months.  The flavors are described as a mixtape of malts, vanilla, coconut, fruits, and espresso.

Pour Info: Poured from a corked and caged bomber into the usual snifter glass.  The cork came off with a satisfying loud pop.

Appearance: Poured a dark black body, with a two finger head the color of chocolate milk.  The head was fluffy and slow to dissipate, leaving a thin foam atop the beer throughout the drinking experience.

Smell: The beer smelled of sweet from malts and dark fruit, with a strong bourbon heat lurking in the background.  At warmer temperatures, the bourbon became more pronounced.

Taste: As this description suggests, this beer had a rather complex taste.  There was a strong bourbon presence throughout, though it was most prominent upfront and at the finish.  Mixed in were traces of chocolate and espresso malts towards the start, and a tart, fruity taste closer to the finish. The beer drank hot the entire time, making the overall taste something not entirely unlike a slightly roasty, chocolate and tart fruit bourbon jam spread.  At is it left to warm up, the bourbon comes through more and more, making this one pretty intense.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel was not at all what I would have expected.  While the body was on the thicker side overall, there was a moderate amount of carbonation that threw things out of balance for me.  The bubbles often got in the way of enjoying some of the subtleties of the taste, which I think did the beer a bit of a disservice.  The carbonation did settle down a bit as the beer warmed, but at that point the other tastes had more competition from the bourbon.

Hype Factor: I’ve had my eye on this beer since last year and was looking forward to getting a chance to try it out.  It’s also fairly well-regarded, so I’ll say I was eager give it a go.

Overall: A very good tasting beer with a semi-tragic flaw in that the mouthfeel was just a bit too bubbly for the style.  The beer based on its taste was fantastic, provided of course you like bourbon, but the carbonation got in the way of fully enjoying that.  If this had been much lower carbed and smoother, it would have been phenomenal.  But instead I am left conflicted.  I would totally order this again as part of a flight at the brewery, but I don’t think I’d take down another bomber alone.  Worth checking out if the review sounded interesting, but be warned it might not quite drink like you’d expect.