Sunday, August 17, 2014

Nectar Ales Black Xantus

This 11.0% ABV imperial stout is from Nectar Ales of Paso Robles, California. They have been brewing since 1987. They were purchased by Firestone Walker who is still brewing their beers, although another company I believe now owns the name. The company was originally founded by a former Oakland Raider who used his Super Bowl bonus as the start-up funds.

The beer pours a deep and dark black, nothing else even when held up to the light. There is about an inch of light brown foamy head, nearly creamy. The aroma is surprisingly light, but get some char and mocha. The taste is also surprisingly light for an imperial stout of 11% ABV. Light char, light dark roasted malt, light coffee, very light dark chocolate. It is smooth and full and round in the mouth. It hides the high ABV well, but does have a noticeable warming effect. This stout would make great sense at 5.0% or so ABV, but I don’t get why its aroma and taste were made so mild in an imperial style.

Fulton Patience Barleywine

This big 13.2% ABV barleywine is from the Fulton Brewing Company of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Ten percent of the profits of this beer go into the Ful10 fund that provides micro loans to entrepreneurs.  The bottle states that the name indicates the final ingredient to a barleywine, and also the way it should be consumed. This is definitely not a chugger and better shared.

The beer pours a deep, dark, yet gleaming, copper and amber, notes of glowing burnt orange to burnt umber. There is a short and thin head of very light tan head. The aroma is malty caramel with a rich, fruity tang, dark berries and stone fruits. The taste follows the aromas directly, lots of caramel and dark fruits. There is a light bitterness and tannin-like feel on the finish. It is not boozy, but is very warming with its alcohol. It drinks smooth and round. This is a very nice and pleasant barleywine, patience is rewarded in this instance.