A couple quick hits from the weekend

Rather than go through a few other beers that I had in great detail, I’ve decided to post just a few lasting thoughts about them.

There are a couple reasons for this: First, I didn’t really take notes on anything I drank over the past few days. Also, I’m not feeling all that wonderful today (thanks a lot, head cold).

Friday night was a visit to the Gardner Ale House. The place puts out pretty decent representations of each style it brews, but one that stands out to me is the Wicked Big Stout — how’s that for a stereotypical name for a Massachusetts-brewed Imperial Stout? Anyway, the Wicked Big Stout is a roasty, chocolatey, coffee-rich stout that hovers somewhere in the eight- to nine-percent ABV range with a nice boozy burn at the end. But it’s not all roast and sweetness. There are significant hop notes that blend nicely with a dark chocolate bitterness throughout.

Also, I tried the Narragansett Private Stock Imperial IPA, brewed to commemorate 122 years of brewing from the company. This is one I’d like to forget and since it’s a one-off brew from the company, it shouldn’t be hard. It was simply too hoppy, with a resinous, piney flavor that was unrelenting. I know these are things that are flavors associated with IPAs, but it was a bit much. A little bit of citrus would have gone a long way to make this a much more enjoyable experience.

And finally, Alesmith’s Speedway Stout lives up to its billing as an Imperial Stout with coffee, and a heavyweight at that — the Speedway Stout comes in at 12 percent ABV. The coffee is immediately noticeable, fading into chocolate and a bit of bitterness and back to the coffee in the finish, if I recall correctly. It was a fairly nice treat.

I’ll be back with more — and more detailed reviews — later this week.

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