Saturday, February 21, 2009

Two Brothers Beer School at Brasserie Jo, Part 2

After Bare Tree Weiss Wine and Domaine Dupage French Country Ale, why naturally you need to start on dessert. The final two beers for the night were the Northwind Imperial Stout, a Russian Imperial Stout with a velvet chocolate texture and a delicious roasted malt character, and the Red Eye Coffee Porter, a coffee-infused Baltic Porter (think Imperial and less chocolate flavor).

Northwind Imperial Stout comes in at only 7.5% ABV, maybe a little light for an imperial stout, but with all the great flavor and warmth. Velvet chocolate layered with a hint of hops and a huge roasted malt flavor wrap around caramel. The great texture and almost creamy feel of this dark dark ale comes from flaked oats. Jason Ebel suggested going for a robust spicy food pairing, maybe Thai Spicy Basil Chicken, an interesting but unexpected pairing with an imperial stout.

The evening's spotlight - for me anyway - was on the Red Eye Coffee Porter. A thin brownish head kicked up a huge coffee nose, and a hint of spice, perhaps from the hops. This is like a whole new style of beer, the way the coffee flavor maintains its uniqueness and makes this beer almost a merging of iced coffee and ale. I thought I detected hints of dark berries and plum, along with alcohol. The 9.3% ABV is hidden well though, and this beer is extremely easy to drink. Drinkable desserts, you can't go wrong.

The next tasting at Brasserie Jo (who served delicious appetizers after the beer was finished) will be on March 17th, at 5:30, and Jason Ebel will be joined by Urthel Brewery's Hildegard Van Ostaden.

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