18 March 2008

Italian Stout? Double Malt?

Max's is pouring a Birrificio di Como Malthus Baluba "Italian Double Malt Stout" tonight. (The promised Birrificio Italiano Amber Shock is pulled, "diacetyl" says Casey.) The first thing that comes to mind is those Belgian beers labeled "stouts" at the Belgian fest--no way. This has a color more attuned to a thick barleywine, deep amber with light getting through, fairly bright, nice head retention. At 6.9%, I'm more likely to peg this as a Scottish wee heavy, more like what the Americans do to replicate a big, malty MacEwans or MacAndrews (now there's a name from my long-ago drinking past). Malty and creamy, sweet as a dessert wine, a touch of oatmeal character and caramel in the body, some raisins in the finish. A bit of tartness in the back of the palate, unsure if flawed or intentional.

And now the data from the importer's website:
IBU: 35 EBC: 30 Hops: Kent Golding
Malts: Pilsner, munich, caramel and roasted malt
Spices: Rue

Fruits: Apricot, pineapple and ginger (all dried) added during primary fermentation and into maturation tank {supporting another round of fermentation}
Primary Fermentation: Lager yeast
Secondary Fermentation in the bottle: Lager yeast

A terrifically interesting beer, but a total "train wreck" of complexity and mislabeling. Someone in the beer social group supposedly quotes Jim Wagner as saying that beers can carry at most one fruit and one spice. I open the floor for discussion.

There's a banner up for Anheuser-Busch's Wild Blue debut on Thursday the 20th--an 8% blueberry lager. Sorry, I have other plans...........

12 oz. bottle North Coast Cru d'Or organic Belgian-style, 8%: bottle-conditioned dark amber, murky head, sweet candied nose..... Belgian candi sugared dubbel, nice Belgian funk with hints of chalk balancing the slightly tart horseblanket, green veggie notes in finish. Good, but damned sweet--but that seems to be the evening's theme for me.

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