This post was written by Kathryn Chamberlain. Kathryn is an interactive designer that resides in Clintonville. When she’s not pushing pixels, she can be found perusing vinyl at record stores, imbibing various beers and cocktails at dive bars, and attending rock shows.
This Saturday, Four String Brewing Company will be celebrating three successful years of brewing beer with a party at their taproom in Grandview from 4–10 pm. This celebration will be featuring a bottle release of their Imperial Stout, the first beer that they’ve bottled. I was one of the few lucky people allowed to try out the brew before its release to the public. Owner, Dan Cochran, has something to be proud of with this one.
Four String’s Imperial Stout pours out thick, almost black in color with a thin creamy head, and thin lacing. You can start to smell a strong aroma that rises from the glass after the initial pour. I’m in the process of getting over a cold, so my olfactory isn’t in top form, but I smell a definite malty aroma layered with notes of coffee, chocolate, and some caramel.
Cold beer temperatures numb the taste buds and mask a beer’s true flavors, aromas, and nuances. An Imperial Stout’s true color shines in 50–60° F. So for those of you trying out this beer at home, don’t be afraid to let your glass sit for a little longer so that you’re able to get a better taste for the flavors in this brew.
The mouthfeel to this beer is bold, yet balanced. A strong, bitter hoppiness hits your tastebuds first, but then is followed up by a smooth and rich complexity of dark fruits and coffee flavors that mask the alcohol. You can taste a definite sweetness from the chocolate, but it is not overpowering. The finish is warm, and leaves you wanting to take another sip.
Although it is an Imperial Stout with an ABV of 10.8, the smoothness to this beer makes it almost too easy to drink. This beer is perfect for cool fall nights, and those potentially terrible winters that we have yet to face. Overall, I really enjoyed this beer. This was one of my first stouts of the season, and I appreciate that it stayed true to its style, while standing out amongst other stouts I’ve tasted. If you enjoy stouts of any any kind, or if you’re into hoppy beers and looking to try out a stout, give this beer a try on Saturday—you won’t be disappointed!