Continuing to make my way through the cellar, I finally cracked this beauty open. An imperial stout brewed with honey and smoked barley, then aged in Scotch barrels for 4 months, I don’t know what the hell I was waiting for, but I’m glad I finally got to this:
Mikkeller Black Tie – Pours a thick, syrupy black color with a finger of brown head. That’s a really deep black color, no real brown detectable. Smell is filled with sweet Scotch aromas, a little roasted malt, and some vanilla oak character too. The taste hits with a ton of roasted malt character (perhaps some of this comes from the smoked barley or maybe even the scotch), and that’s maintained throughout the entire taste. A pleasant and well balanced sweetness keeps things interesting and the Scotch, vanilla, and oak flavors are highlighted in the finish and aftertaste. As it warms, these flavors intensify and melt together. Mouthfeel is very thick and chewy, coating your mouth, and yet this is surprisingly approachable. Dangerously drinkable stuff for such a high ABV beer. I don’t think I would have guessed at how strong this beer is, except that there’s a bit of that alcohol warming factor (which comes up especially since you can drink this pretty quickly). Overall, this is a well balanced, complex stout. Another winner from Mikkeller. A-
Beer Nerd Details: 11.5% ABV bottled (500 ml). Drank out of a snifter on 3/16/12. Brewed at Nøgne Ø. (Label has a slot for Batch #, but it’s blank – I bought it sometime in mid-2011 though.)
That Mikkel guy sure knows his stuff. If you’re willing to pay the premium, it’s often worth the stretch. I’ve got a barrel of his barleywine in my cellar which I plan to get to in the next couple weeks as well.