Friday, October 24, 2008

Arrrrh Me Matey!!

The Roger is back!! Yes Otto's Jolly Roger Imperial Stout, the 2008 version, is back in bottles (oddly enough, before it's being served at the brewpub), of which a hereby undisclosed number were procured by me today. The scuttlebutt from the brewery is that they changed the recipe slightly by adding a bit more smoked malt than the previous bottled batch. This is pretty evident right off the bat as I bury my nose in the snifter. The aroma is full of bitter chocolate and mildly roasted coffee, along with some subtle undertones of burnt wood and log cabin smokiness. JR offers up a smooth chocolate taste with muted coffee flavors and a hint of smoke, followed by a big dose of bitter that mingles with a subtle sweetness, almost caramel-esque quality throughout the after.

This guy's a pretty tasty RIS, though, in my humble homebrewing opinion, it's lacking in a few small areas as compared to other Impies. First, there's no dark fruit character. Either the smoky quality has completely canceled out any fruity esters, or there weren't any there to begin with by design. Either permutation is, of course, fine by me, but because of previous experience, I expect some semblance of vinous fruit accent. I also think that the body left a bit to be desired, again when comparing to other Impy Stouts. There was a full mouth feel, but it was missing that oily slickness.

Other than the two above grievances, which are completely minor and straight nit-pickery, I thoroughly enjoy JR every time it resurfaces. Plus, it's served cask-conditioned at the brewpub, which makes the experience all the more meaningful. If you can get your hands on some, do so, preferably by making the trek to State College, PA for a pint and sandwich, while watching the hometown Nittany (Nitally??) Lions roll THE Ohio State Buckeyes Saturday night.

We Are!! Penn State!!



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