Stone Brewing Company 20th Anniversary Encore Series Bitter Chocolate Oatmeal Stout – American Double / Imperial Stout at 9.2% ABV | 55 IBU

Stone Brewing Company _20th Anniversary Encore Series Bitter Chocolate Oatmeal Stout_ American Double / Imperial Stout at 9.2% ABV | 55 IBU _(C$15.99 at Willow Park Wine & Spirits, 650 ml, bottle date 16-Jan-2016, acquired 23-May-2016, reviewed 29-Jan-2017)_

Appearance: opaque black with one fat finger of fluffy beige head, good retention and moderate lacing. (4/5) Aroma: mild, cocoa nibs, roasty malt, dark fruit. (7/10) Taste: moderate-high sweet, moderate-high bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium-full body tending slightly watery, moderate carbonation, off-dry mildly astringent finish. (3/5)

Meh. Not up to Stone’s usual standards, in my opinion. Starts off looking rich and decadent, but the body, medium-full at best, drops off to watery fairly quickly, making this another oatmeal stout supporting my theory that oatmeal makes for a thinnish Imperial Stout. And yes, the label is correct in calling it bitter, but that’s only part of the story: there’s a significant nearly-acidic astringency, especially in the finish, that lingers and builds. On the up side hand, the high ABV is well-integrated to the point that it’s pretty much completely absent. Good, but hardly memorable. (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

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