Friday, February 15, 2013

Twelve Dog Imperial Stout – Black Husky Brewing

                I have had quite a few of Black Husky’s beers so far and have been impressed by them all.  In fact, Twelve Dog Stout was the first of brew master, Tim Eichinger’s beers that I had, well over a year ago.  It was Twelve Dog Stout that led me to try more of his beers and start going to the liquor store in the Milwaukee area that stocks bottles, Three Cellars.  Since that night I have enjoyed Black Husky’s wide range of beers with a twist, from Smoke Monster, to Sparkly Eyes, to Sproose Joose, to the more traditional Hefe Weiss Wheat Ale.  Twelve Dog Stout, one of the Beware of the Dog series of beers is a traditional Imperial Stout.

                As an Imperial stout it is considerably stronger than a traditional stout at 2.5 – 7% ABV.  At 8.8% this is a big beer.  Imperial Stouts are typically black in color with high alcohol content.  They are typically very robust, rich and malty, often having fruity esters.  Hop bitterness, flavor and aroma can range from low to high on whether it is a British-style or American-style Imperial Stout.  Optionally, an Imperial stout can have a slight astringency from the usage of dark malts, but it the astringency should not be excessive.

                With that said, on to the review.  Twelve Dog Imperial Stout does not have enough reviews at Beeradvocate to have a rating.  Over at ratebeer it has a score of 63 overall and a 7 for style. 

They Say:

                In the lower 48, 12-dog racing is king.  To honor that tradition, our Imperial Stout uses 12 malts.  In harness each dog brings a unique personality, providing an unpredictable & exciting ride!  A Lead dog guides the adventure and while Rosie is smallest in stature, she has the largest personality and is the natural representative for this intensely flavored, full-bodied beer – a bit over the top as is Rosie.  She wears her crown proudly.

8.8% ABV
31 IBUs
49 SRM

I Say:

                Twelve Dog Imperial Stout pours an opaque black with a thick creamy tan head that holds excellent retention from the first sip through almost the entire glass.  The aroma is dominated by roasted malts and baker’s chocolate with just a hint of coffee and plum.

                This is a very malty beer.  The flavor is full of dark malts, lending notes of baker’s chocolate and hits of caramel.  It has a dry finish with notes of baker’s chocolate and moderate hop bitterness.  Twelve Dog is a very creamy and smooth, full-bodied beer with a low level of carbonation and no noticeable astringency.

I usually prefer more alcohol presence in an Imperial stout, something that was lacking in Twelve Dog.  However, the presence of strong alcohol notes is not required in the style and is merely a personal preference.  Twelve Dog Imperial Stout is a good, robust, malty stout with excellent plum esters that blend well with the roasted malts in the aroma and flavor.  Twelve Dog is a good beer from a great brewery, if you can find any Black Husky beers near you either on tap or in a bottle then you should go out of your way to try it.

Be sure to drink it at the appropriate temperature (14-16C/57-61F) and in an appropriate glass (A British Pint or a Snifter).  Temperature and glassware have a tremendous impact on the perceived flavor and aroma of a beer.  Drink responsibly, by respecting the style of beer you are drinking.

That’s all for tonight!  Check back soon for another post

Happy Drinking!

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