Hey it’s stout month and it’s time for a recap on beer blog writing thus far! Leah Arthur, The Colorado Beer Girl, and I sat down for a couple of stouts over at the Vine Street Pub last weekend with plenty to report and taste.
I was feeling quite sleepy and decided to start off with the Addiction Coffee Imperial Stout. Needless to say, it woke me up plenty and was just what the hangover doctor ordered (that’s me, the hangover doctor). It had a great thick body and a sweet coffee flavor with plenty of alcohol and caffeine to feed my top two current vices. Oatlord Oatmeal Stout was up after that. It seemed a bit thin after the Addiction so I wouldn’t really suggest starting with the big palate wrecker that I did. The Oatlord has a bit of a rye consistency and my compatriots (who didn’t ruin their palates early on) commented on the bold mouth feel. Don’t be surprised by the bitterness, which is different than the usual creaminess of oatmeal stouts.
I was excited to see that they have three nitro stouts on tap right now: a chocolate, a cherry, and a tangerine. All of them would go well with a scoop of ice cream or a shot of vanilla vodka. There is no ice cream here, so get a growler to do that yourself, but they do have vanilla booze to add to any stout. The Nitro Cherry Stout has a very subtle cherry flavor and a lot of chocolate–it works well with the texture that comes off of the nitro tap. The tangerine is really close to eating an orange creamsicle.
It was brunch time, so the sweet nitro stouts paired really well with my French toast and would also work with the blackberry banana pancakes. There’s new and exciting stuff being tapped at Vine St. all the time. Be sure to check in on Monday, February 27, for a taste of Renegade Brewing’s much sought after Peanut Butter Stout. The Vine St staff are always really friendly, but make sure to bring some cash or be prepared to barter your body because that’s all they take as currency.
I’m not a fan of winter. I don’t enjoy spending time skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, or anything else that involves being cold. February in Colorado often brings some of the chilliest temperatures of the season. So why would I be excited that this February is one day longer than it has been in four years? One extra day of Stout Month! And on a recent Saturday, it was actually nice enough to soak up some sun on Vine Street’s patio while sipping on some delicious dark beers.
While they did not have this year’s homebrew winner on tap this particular day, it’s clear why the 48 Smooth Chai Stout topped all the competition to emerge victorious—creamy, spicy, and of course smooth. But there were lots of other great choices on the menu too.
The Trickster, a hoppy stout, is sometimes referred to as a Black IPA. I highly recommend Trickster for those who aren’t necessarily stout fans. In fact, not only do I recommend it to people who think they don’t like stouts, but I challenge you to try it. If nothing else, it will give your taste buds a nice surprise.
Java Porter is a staple at Vine Street. If you enjoy that, order an Addiction Imperial Stout—it’s like Java Porter on steroids. From first sniff it’s obvious that this beer packs a punch. At 9.5% ABV and brewed with over 10 pounds of coffee, this one will wake you up. It’s great for an after-work or late night pick-me-up.
While the Stoked Oak Bourbon Stout seems to be heavier on the vanilla flavor than oak, the Totally Stoked is the way to go. The Oak character shows up quite a bit more and as it’s been aged for 6 months in Buffalo Trace barrels, it’s a dream beer for whiskey lovers too.
I saw the Cafe Amaretto Stout on the menu as of day one and waited a long three weeks for it to be tapped. While amaretto can sometimes be overpowering, I think this recipe struck a perfect balance—just the right amount of amaretto flavor without going overboard.
Stout Month continues through next Wednesday, February 29. You never know what will be on tap any given day, so stop in and find out before it’s too late!
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