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Yesterday I swung by Night Shift Brewing Company to attend their Fourth Anniversary party.  They were celebrating in style with a bottle release, plenty of food, and, of course, lots of great beer on tap.  The event rather quickly turned into a full house, though by arriving a bit early (with my trusty Kindle in hand!) I was lucky enough to get inside in time to grab one of the 250 bottles of their anniversary brew being released.  With spring now officially upon us, I certainly appreciated it being a barrel aged stout to enjoy on the last day of winter.  There had originally been a DIPA slated for release at the party as well, but that was still a bit too green and needed more time in the tanks.  I am sure that will make an excellent beer in the very near future, but my focus all along was on the stout.

Beer Name: Year 4 Stout

Brewer: Night Shift Brewing Company

Style: Oatmeal Stout

ABV: 8.0%

Description: An oatmeal stout fermented with maple syrup and aged in apple brandy barrels.  Label says it was bottled in February.

Appearance: Poured a dark black body with a bubbly head that was colored somewhere between off-white and tan.

Smell: Distinctly sweet and slightly hot, clearly influenced by both the maple syrup and the barrel aging.

Taste: Delicious!  The beer had a great hot brandy opening that came to a sweeter finish as the maple syrup came through.  Rich dark malts were present throughout, making for a perfectly executed beer chock-full of sweet, malty brandy goodness.

Mouthfeel: The beer was thick bodied and relatively low on carbonation.  Perfect for the style and taste.

Hype Factor: I’ll admit expectations were elevated on this one.  Night Shift has been absolutely killing their barrel aged stouts and porters lately, so I was eager to try this one out.  

Overall: A fantastic brew and certainly one worthy of the brewery’s big day.  Very nicely done.