Today on the Daily Drop, I’m tasting 4 Pines Stout. Sitting at 5.1% ABV and 40 IBUs, it’s at the high-end of the ABV mark of 4-5%, and in the upper range of the IBU scale of 30-45.
The stout is commonly known as a dark beer with a strong flavour. This hasn’t always been the case, as the first usage of the term stout when referring to beer is centuries old, and meant that the beer was strong. Stouts and porters are oftentimes thought of as the same, but in world of brewing, there is a difference… Originally, Porter was a common brown beer, whereas a Stout was a stout (strong) brown beer. Nowadays, the styles and flavours of stouts and porters can overlap, and by saying that I might cause some very well-learned beer connoisseurs to pop a vein from their forehead and neck.
Looks like a dark root beer with its foamy frothy head. There’s a bit of caramel swirling going on in the foam, and that makes it look delicious. The colour is dark brownish red, and you can only see the hue of the beer and not anything on the other side of the glass.
Raspberries and chocolate with a hint of coffee. It smells decadent but the aroma is not strong, and seems to fade as it settles. With swirling, it came alive again briefly but I didn’t want to time it; I wanted to drink it.
Sharp bubbles, full body, leaves a tingling in my mouth and on my tongue. It’s almost as if I’ve been on a nitrous high at the dentist. An Excellent sensation, especially in such a full dark stout.
Massive coffee profile with hints of berries hitting the back of the tongue. The aftertaste is bold and very much like that of a good espresso, but not too bold where it becomes overpowering.
The nicest and most surprising thing about this stout is the perfect balance and half life of berry flavour. The berries come to life just after the coffee flavour in the body starts to wane. Its almost like a perfectly orchestrated symphony of flavours, without too much tympani or muted trumpet. And for being an ale buff, this stout makes me want to rethink my priorities in life. I’ve generally got some heavy criticism of stouts that end in something like “but it’s not bad for a stout”. Here, I’m left wanting more, and the flavour is only going to haunt my dreams, but in a good way, like a high school crush.
Cold autumn or winter nights, sitting by the fire, or cold nights at the beach. I’m sure there are a lot more situations that it could be perfect for, but those are the first that come to mind. Also, you probably can’t go wrong by pairing with some quality dark chocolate or raspberries.
This Daily Drop was brought to you by the flea-bitten mangy cat meowing out my window at night.
Have you had 4 Pines Stout before? What did you think? Tell us about it in the comments below!