Let’s Drink Beer! – Samuel Smith’s Imperial Stout
So I’m trying a new beer – Samuel Smith’s Imperial Stout.
I like stouts. This particular brand comes from a brewery in England. (Samuel Smith’s brewery. Duh.) I’ve popped it in the fridge for a bit but I don’t want it too cold, because then I wouldn’t be able to taste all the amazing flavors.
Flavours, I mean. What’s up, England?
So, I’ve looked around the internet a bit and there are a few different ways to judge a beer. People look at things like color, head, and smell.
I think all of that is weird, but what the hell, right? I’m new to this.
When I drink a beer, I want to taste it. I’ll be mostly looking at how it tastes and whether I would buy it again. I might ignore the color of the beers I try because what the hell does that have to do with whether or not I enjoy the beer?
For reference, any time I drink, I like to start off with a little song. It can be any song (feel free to recommend some drinking songs!) but it is usually “The Alcoholic” by Röyksopp.
Okay, let’s pop this bottle open.
Well right off the bat, the bottle has some gold-colored (coloured!) foil around the top, some of which sticks to my bottle opener. I don’t like that. The foil comes off easily, but the little pieces stuck to the cap worry me – I have to be careful or they might fall into the beer.
Wow, this beer is black as the dickens. It’s like, how much more black can this be? And the answer is none. None more black.
What? English beer, English parodies.
The thick, dark brown head looks kind of nice, actually. I think I’m starting to see why people judge all these little aspects of the beer.
The smell, or to be like, wicked-classy-hey – the aroma, is certainly strong. By no means is it unpleasant, however. I’m mostly used to cheap beers – Pabst Blue Ribbon and Colt 45 and the like. Those reek of poorly crafted alcohol. This smells almost like it has fruit in it, but thickly sweet. Like damp raisins left in the sun?
Now, I’ve seen something about tasting the beer, where you first get an idea of the flavours, then see how it ‘feels’ in the mouth – I think they meant what it does to your mouth. IPAs can be ‘dry’ so I think that’s what they mean.
Tastes dark. It’s smoky, I’d say, not like actual smoke but with that sort of tiny bite to the insides of the cheeks. Some roasted nut flavour in there as well.
It makes my mouth feel sort of refreshed. Maybe I still don’t get that aspect of beer tasting?
At 7% alcohol by volume, it’s a bit stronger than the beers I’m used to drinking. It’s really smooth though. I honestly expected something that looks this dark to have a harsher after-taste, like Guinness. But it has the faintest smoky after-taste.
I like it.
The Samuel Smith Imperial Stout page has recommendations for things that go well with the beer. They claim that it “easily holds its own in the company of cigars.” I think some darker cigars would overpower the taste, but any lighter or even medium-dark cigar would probably go very well with this beer.
Final score – one prancing horse.