Redhook Double Black Stout
When we got the email from the PR agency for Redhook asking if we’d like samples of their Double Black Stout it didn’t take long for us to reply that we’d be happy to oblige. It also didn’t take long for us to appreciate how insanely cool it is to have a beer company send you beer. So we’d officially like to welcome our first truly free beer to the site. Technically it’s a “Redhook Double Black Stout With Coffee”, but we think “Double Black Stout” will suffice.
The Double Black Stout has an interesting background. It was originally created in 1995, but Redhook stopped making it in 2000. As you know this was well before the craft beer movement, so you may say they were ahead of their time. Like when Apple introduced the Newton, a little before the market was really ready for tiny handheld computers. Either way, this beer is back for a limited time – early November 2008 through February 2009, or until it all gets consumed, which will probably happen very soon, as this is a fantastic beer.
Brewed by the Redhook Ale Brewery, we got a bomber (22 ounce) that has an MSRP of $4.99. The ABV comes in at a nice 7% and our starting beer temperature was 55.0 F. We served it up in an English pint glass and our bottle’s batch number was 08-0410.
Our initial pour gave us a large 2 1/4″ frothy light brown head that left a fair amount of lacing as it dissipated slowly. There was no noticeable carbonation. The color was an opaque black, but we think there may have been some possible ruby tones when you held it just so.
The aromas come in with chocolate, hay, roasted malts, milk and loads and loads of coffee. And not weak coffee, strong coffee. Like John Coffey. The tastes were very close to the aromas: chocolate, roasted malts, black licorice, milk, smoke and more coffee. A really obscene, fantastic amount of coffee.
The initial flavor notes are a moderate sweet and a light bitter that evolve in the finish to a heavy sweet and a heavy bitter. The flavor is very intense – we’d almost call it a bittersweet stout. The finish length is long and the mouthfeel is fantastic – thick, coating and creamy. The tongue hit covers the whole tongue with it’s bitter and sweet notes. There’s a fair amount of body lacing as your drink it and on The BeerFathers patented malt to hop scale it comes in with the rare 4 clicks to the left of balanced on the malty side circle. That is as malty as it gets folks and The BeerFathers love it.
For our bottom line notes we got all yeses – drinkable, repeatable (though we don’t think we could do another bomber), balance, harmony, memorable, wow factor and buy again.
We really feel like calling it a bittersweet stout is the best way to describe it. Picture what it would be like to combine a schwarzbier and a milk stout and you’ll have a pretty good clue what the Double Black Stout is like.
It’s not for the faint of heart and it’s definitely not for a craft beer newbie or a straight lager drinker. It is an absolute steal at $4.99 for the bomber. It is very intense and the flavor may shock you a bit. This was Father Beer Love’s first beer in 8 days as he was healing from surgery and weening off his meds. He called it awesome and trust us, that’s not a phrase he throws around a lot. Our recommendation? Buy it while it’s available and cellar a few of them – it may smooth out a bit as it ages and be even better.
Redhook Double Black Stout Rating: 7 out of 10 (?)
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