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Looking back, this past weekend was pretty eventful in these parts between my birthday, the Superbowl, and all the work I had to do.  Last weekend also saw Boston host the annual Extreme Beer Festival downtown.  While I was not able to attend this year, I did do some birthday shopping to take advantage of the local bottle shops receiving some special distribution in honor of the event.

Beer Name: Griddle Imperial Espresso Stout

Brewery: Burial Beer Co. (Asheville, NC)

Style: Imperial Stout

ABV: 10.0%

Description: The brewers give this beer a (perhaps appropriately) dark, metallic backstory before going on the describe its blend of sweetness, charred malts, and locally sourced coffee beans.

Appearance: Black body with a bubbly off-white head that was pretty quick to fizzle away.

Smell: Slightly sweet with fresh brewed coffee lingering in the background.

Taste: Freshly roasted coffee/espresso led the way, followed by a creamy sweetness that mixed notes of toffee and chocolate.  A mildly roasty bitterness crept in on the finish and mixed with just a touch of heat as the beer sat for a few minutes.  That heat, however, gave absolutely no indication that this beer was 10%.  This was impressively smooth for a beer of its size.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with carbonation levels hovering somewhere in between low and moderate.

Hype: As alluded to in my intro, these cans sprang up with much fanfare in Boston-area shops.  Delivery announcements came out fast and furious last week, with this brewery consistently being among the highlights.

Overall: I was pretty surprised by the feel and overall mellowness of this beer, especially in comparison to many of the other higher ABV stouts I’ve been having lately.  That said, once I got past my preconceptions, I found myself really enjoying this.  A delicious mix of coffee and sweetness, it definitely delivered as advertised.  Great pickup.