Saturday, January 29, 2011

Oskar Blues Brewery - Ten Fidy Imperial Stout

Cans. That's right, cans. Oskar Blues was the first American craft brewer to package their beer in aluminum cans, a trend that many others are now following. Prior to that, cans were only for cheap corporate hopwater. But, the folks at Oskar Blues set out to prove that it's the content that counts.

Which brings us to Ten Fidy, OB's award-winning imperial stout. It won gold at the 2010 World Beer Championships, has a 100 rating from Ratebeer.com and was named one of the top 25 beers in the nation by Maxim Magazine.  It has wide distribution in the fall and winter, but doesn't stay on shelves for long.
10.50% ABV (Ten Fidy, get it?)

Ominous. Ten Fidy is thick, black, oily and completely opaque. The pour looks like used motor oil and as it settles it forms a dense mocha head that leaves heavy lacing. I've heard people refer to it 10-W Fidy, a fitting name.

The aroma is heavy with deep, roasted cocoa malt, and an underlying toffee sweetness balanced against an earthy hops.

Taste & Feel 
Starts off with a robust, deeply roasted flavor filled with dark chocolate, black cherries and some licorice notes. It has a thick, full body and a creamy mouthfeel with a sharp hoppy, bite. It stays roasty through the middle, but the fruity sweetness and earthy hops both build significantly toward the finish. The finish is dry, sweet and fruity, with a rich, roasted malt aftertaste. Surprisingly, there's not much of an alcohol burn for something in the ten-plus range.

Yes, please.

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