Brewery: 4th Tap Brewing Coop
Style: Foreign Export Stout (16D)
Package: 12oz Can
Packaging Date: None
Purchased: HEB Mueller, Dec 2018
Details from the Brewer
A quiet, enveloping darkness of roasted grain, dark cocoa, subtle coffee, strong caramel without the sweetness, a hint of dark fruit, bittersweet and moderately dry. It’s not like the others, man, really. Get in.
Aroma – 8/12
Moderate levels of roasted malt backed with an slight earthy hop character. Low dark chocolate and cocoa. No noticeable alcohol notes. As it warms, a licorice aroma is present. No noticeable esters.
Appearance – 3/3
Pours with fine and small tan bubbles. An aggressive pour leads to a two finger head. Retention is moderate high, but eventually fades to a thin but persistent lacing. Beer is a very dark black. Almost unnoticeable ruby highlights. Clarity on edges is apparent.
Flavor – 13/20
Moderate-high levels of roast, but not pushing to ashy character. Medium sweetness. A dark chocolate character comes through on mid taste and lasts through the end. An earthy almost dirt-like hop character peaks through at the end of a sip. The finish is dry, and more bitter than expected with a slight sharpness. Caramel flavors pop up as it warms, towards the finish. No noticeable off-flavors. Fruity yeast esters are minimal and barely present.
Mouthfeel – 4/5
Medium carbonation. Might be a bit high for style at first, but as it warmed, it was perfect. The body is medium-high, with a moderate creaminess in the mid-taste. It thins out with a very low astringency on the finish. Surprisingly low level of alcohol warmth.
Overall Impression – 7/10
The anise/licorice character on the nose was a nice surprise, but I’d like to see a bit more malt character. I really enjoyed the flavors as well, but wanted a bit more punch to them, with less of the sharpness on the finish. I feel that raising the original gravity (in turn the ABV) would help this beer hit the next level. Just minor recipe tweaks would push this to an excellent representation of the style.
Rating – 35/50
This has honestly been one of my favorite beers from Fourth Tap. There are no glaring problems and it’s quite enjoyable. It’s a very good representation of the style. It just needs a bit of tweaking to become a winter-time go-to. With the limited stout offerings available in Austin, I can see myself buying more of this when I’m craving the style. Also, it’s awesome to see local breweries using the Brewers Association Independent Craft logo.