Black is Beautiful
Brewery: Austin Beerworks
Style: Spice Herb Vegetable Beer (Imperial Stout base 30A)
Package: 16oz Can
Purchased: Beer to go!
Packaged Date: N/A
Consumed Date: September 7th, 2020
Details From the Brewer
Black Is Beautiful Imperial Stout with Hazelnut, Cocoa Nibs, and Vanilla
Aroma – 11/12
Nuts! Medium high hazelnut aroma reaches out of the glass first. This is joined by a moderate roast and baker’s chocolate notes. There’s lower levels of bread crust and an earthy hop character. Light pomme fermentation esters. Some perceivable sweetness along with low alcohol note.
Appearance – 3/3
Pours inky black liquid. It’s dark, but not opaque. A light brown head is made up of various sized bubbles, and quickly builds up to a three finger height. It lasts with good retention, eventually fading to a tan ring.
Flavor – 17/20
The hazelnuts from the aroma carry over to the first thing on the palate. It’s at more of a medium level with similar intensity cocoa and roast flavors joining in. Moderate sweetness with a good bitterness attempting to balance it. Light note of toffee, red apple and an subtle spicy hop. Getting a touch of a solvent note as it warms more, but barely noticeable. A low Nutella flavor lingers after the finish.
Mouthfeel – 4/5
Full bodied with a quick and light finish. Not creamy or chewy. Moderate carbonation. A good alcohol warmth lingers in the back of the mouth.
Overall Impression – 8/10
A great use of adjuncts. While powerful, the hazelnut and Cocoa compliment the base beer nicely. I’m not sure I’ve had a beer before with this intensity of hazelnut. While I’d like to see the malt expression a bit more pronounced, the roast character matches with the cocoa. It’s always great to see a nice gigantic head on higher ABV beers. Too often do they have fermentation issues which kills it.
Rating – 43/50
The batch of Black is Beautiful was one of the local favorites. It’s easy to see why. It teases your palate with chocolately Nutella, before quickly fading to a dry finish. For having a decent sweetness, it doesn’t linger on the palate as some pastry stouts do.