Sunday, December 20, 2009

The 12 Beers of Christmas: Day 6
Black Cauldron Imperial Stout

Note: I'm a fan of holiday ales, and I want to use this forum this year to lay out 12 beers that just seem essential for holiday party drinking. Plus, I want to actually see if I can sit down and write for 12 days in a row, a feat I've never pulled off on this blog.

In the cold, cold days of winter, nothing seems so warming as a thick, dark, full beer. And though it is a new entry this year, Grand Teton Brewing's Black Cauldron Imperial Stout jumps to the front of the pack as one of the most frost-killing, more-appropriate-for-spooning-out-than-sipping versions of a winter seasonal that has come along in quite some time.

Both smoky and sweet, this blaringly thick concoction features beechwood-smoked malt and raisins and dried fruit soaked in cherry. The smoke mellows as it warms, but the thick body stays, building up in fortitude.

This is a wonderfully complex, rich beer that you drink just one of in any given sitting. But the appreciation of its craftsmanship grows with each mouth-filling taste, and you're left both savoring it long after you've finished and pondering what taste buds each swish over the tongue will enliven as you slowly work your way through it.

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I haven't seen this in my local store yet. How would you compare this to other imperial stouts you've tried? Does it rank up there with the rest?
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