Thursday, December 18, 2008

Christmas, Santa, & a Lump of Coal review

Tis the season and we've realized something. There is just no way that Santa would not leave beer in a brewer's stocking! However, unless he's bringing a time-tested favorite as a treat, he surely would leave a brew that has a nice Holiday theme to it. Ah, the joys of a new tradition being started.
So, yesterday found us at Wine Gourmet here in Roanoke. It is one of the best places to buy beer in the Valley, and their staff couldn't be friendlier or more eager to help! While we were there, as a gift to Justin, we joined their Beer of the Month club, so be looking for reviews and more to come about that.
One of the beers we got was Lump of Coal. It sounded deliciously tempting, slightly naughty, and so we drank it last night.
Here is the review of the beer from Shelton Brothers, Looking forward to a depressing holiday? Here is liquid consolation. This 8% bittersweet chocolate stout is the best you could hope for in these dark times. Actually, come to think of it, considering how bad you’ve been, this little coal-black gem is more than you deserve for Christmas this year.
The handiwork of vastly talented (but altogether too cheery) master brewer Peter Scholey, Lump of Coal is the perfect stocking stuffer for the beer lover or manic depressive in your family.
Though we had high hopes for Lump of Coal we were disappointed. Though somehow it seems like an oxymoron to have high hopes for a lump of coal. Our thoughts? First, it was seriously lacking needed aroma. The only scent we picked up from it was alcohol, which if it was classified as an American Stout (under BJCP style guidelines), wouldn't be too terribly bad. There definitely wasn't any roasted malt aroma or any chocolate aroma either. As far as the look of it though, it looked just fine & had a fine head on it, so that part was good. Flavor: it was definitely a sweet stout (intentional or not), with a slight taste of chocolate, but completely lacked any roasted flavor. Mouthfeel: It was an easy drinking stout, with an appropriate body. -- Ok, this is where we disagree: Justin found it medium to heavy bodied, and I (Carrie) like my stouts full-bodied enough to chew on, so I found it just medium. But still it was fine by definition.
Our over-all impression? It could've used some more time aging, and it definitely needed some more roasted characteristics. Grade - somewhere between a B- and a C+.
Santa's Butt will be in a stocking, so ... well, I don't think anything more needs to be said there. And this month's Beer of the Month are Bell's Two Hearted Ale & Bell's Porter - we've always liked their beers so we're eager to try them.. Tis the Season to have Santa's Butt in your stocking and Bell's beer in the fridge!!

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