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

ABV: 8.0%

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.