Do you like your stouts big and black? If so, you would have been very happy sampling stouts at Brouwer’s Cafe on Friday, as part of Seattle Beer Week. Forty big, black stouts were on tap from all over the world, including eight from Washington state.
- Big Time Old Rip
- Chuckanut Export Foreign Stout
- Dick’s Woodford BBN Oak Cream Stout
- Elysian Dragonstooth Stout
- Hales Machete
- Odin Sour Stout
- Walking Man Black Cherry Stout
- Waterstreet Stout
We got to Brouwer’s Cafe early for dinner but it was already getting crowded, standing room only. A lovely couple took pity on the gimp with a service dog and offered to share their table with us. Mike and Melissa shared their table and conversation with us as we sampled the stouts. We had two events to cover that night so Ed and I only did two rounds of stout, pairing a Washington stout with one from out of state.
We started with Walking Man Black Cherry Stout and Left Hand Oak Aged Imperial Stout. We have been long time fans of the Walking Man Black Cherry Stout and we tend to gravitate to it whenever we get a chance. Timperial Stout equates this beer to soda. Others have said that if Dr Pepper made a beer it would be this one. I can see that, it does remind me of cherry cola but not in syrupy sweet way. It definitely has some cola notes on the nose and tongue but this isn’t really a sweet beer. The cherry flavors are deep, dark and remind me of a really high quality bitter sweet chocolate cherry. Although others give the analogy of a soda, I equate it more like an after dinner coffee, served with dark chocolate truffles. The mouth is smooth and has a pleasing medium body. It is restrained enough to be a session beer. I have always said that if I was throwing a wedding, I would want a keg of this Walking Man Black Cherry Stout there! This was a favorite beer with Mike and Melissa as well.
The Left Hand Oak Aged Imperial Stout is big but not a ball buster. It is velvety smooth with just a hint of boozy overtones. This is one smooth sipper. The malt is assertive but the hops hold it in balance. This stout was also popular with everyone at the table.
Round two brought two more stouts, Laughing Dog Dogfather, Dick’s Woodford Bourbon Barrel Oak Cream Stout and dinner! Brouwer’s Cafe often has a special fresh sheet for special beer events and this was no exception. Truffled mashed potatoes, roasted asparagus and beef in black truffle mornay sauce was decadently rich and robust, a great pairing that stood up to the big and bold stouts that we were drinking.
Ed loved the Dick’s Woodford Oak Cream Stout. He was definitely licking his lips with pleasure. I am not a cream stout fan and I personally didn’t like this beer at all. I will let Ed finish the review for this beer in the comments.
The biggest beer that we sampled was the Laughing Dog Dogfather. It clocks in at 11% ABV. It is a malty monster with a bit of malted milk ball on the tongue. Some caramelized sugar and vanilla notes accentuate the wood flavors of this barrel aged beer. The hops keep this beer balanced, making their piney appearance on the end and into the finish. You can definitely get the high alcohol content on the nose and palate but it isn’t overwhelming there but half way through the schooner you definitely feel it. It is a “once a week” kind of beer not a session brew.
On our way out, we made sure to check in with our friendly beer geeks at the bar where the seriously tasting was going down. We asked them for recommendations to share and they suggested:
- Avery Meph Addict
- Avery Mephistophles
- Dogfish Head World Wide Stout
- Firestone Walker Parabola 10