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Checking in with one last beer from my vacation that I found particularly noteworthy.  In another attempt to try out something beyond the sea of local IPAs, I went a bit outside my comfort zone and picked up an offering labeled as a bacon imperial stout.  Don’t get me wrong, I love me some bacon and stout, but when in the context of a beer this combination usually means a smoked flavor profile which is something that is very hit or miss with me.

Beer Name: Belly of the Beast

Brewery: Rockingham Brewing Company (Derry, NH)

Style: Imperial Stout

ABV: 8.6%

Description: A stout brewed with smoked malts and bacon.  The brewers claim it can be paired with any meal at any time, just like bacon.

Appearance: Black body with a thin tan head.

Smell: Rich dark malt base with notes of smoke and fresh off the frying pan bacon on top.

Taste: Creamy, rich dark malts lurking beneath a moderate amount of smoke.  I did actually taste a little bit of bacon in their as well.

Mouthfeel: Smooth medium-plus body with a fairly low-level of carbonation.

Hype: None.  I think I’d heard of the brewery in passing, but I hadn’t come across any of their beer before.

Overall: While this wasn’t quite my thing, it was probably the smoked beer I’ve liked the most out of the dozen or so I’ve tried over the years.  I’m happy I took a chance on it, but I don’t think I’ll be revisiting the style again for a little while.  If smoked beer is your thing, however, I’d say grab this one if you can.

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