Southern Tier Brewing Company in Lakewood, New York produces enough of their sought after brews to supply fans both domestically and internationally. Their Black Water series is appropriately named, as the entire line is stout variations that tantalize the nose and palate with an appearance that could be described as “Black Water.”
Southern Tier Imperial Oat is part of this amazing series. It pours as promised, almost black with some chocolate brown hues when viewed against the light. The beer is extremely viscous, but not quite to the point of being labeled syrupy. The head is extremely thin and chocolate in color.
The nose is sweet with boozy undertones. Off the bat you are hit with notes of molasses, stewed raisins and oatmeal. The initial bouquet gives way to a second act that showcases rich roasty malts, chocolate and lactose (sweet milk) notes. In one word the nose is dynamic.
Surprisingly, the beer show decent carbonation in the mouth which was not evident on the pour. The beer is extremely thick in the mouth with a silky texture. Notes of raisins as well as sweet chocolate and caramel malts greet you right away. Some hop notes appear on the midpalate and linger straight through to the finish. The hops don’t really impart any particular flavors, but add a slight bitter note that perfectly balances all the sweetness in this stout. The finish culminates with all the notes already detected plus a delectable addition of bitter sweet chocolate.
Great complexity and balance shown here. This is what a “dessert beer” is all about. Perfect for pairing with everything from chocolate cake to bread pudding. This could also be dessert by itself or as a cold weather sipper.
The Beer Buyer Overall Rating: 4.0 Pints out of 5
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