- Mike Riedel
With all of the fledgling breweries opening, it's easy to forget about the new suds hitting the streets from established beer makers. This week, I chose two beers that bend their respective styles just enough to make them tease the palate with exciting twists and turns; you'd think you were reading a spy novel.
Templin Family Brewing Delmar Imperial Stout: It's thick and black, like motor oil that's seen its fair share of miles. An impressive head that looks like brass sits on top. A huge and bellowing nose of baker's chocolate, held up with notes of roasted malt and light coffee beans, assaults the senses. The first sip begins with an infusion of bittersweet chocolate; think somewhere along the lines of dark fudge, enthusiastically bitter with a heavy hand in the molasses department. This beast is chock-full of cocoa powder and dense fudge cake. A hint of sweet anise is present in the tail end, along with a light dose of coffee bean. The finish has a good mix of flavors all around, though it's dominated by a healthy dose of bittering hops that dry it all out, countering most of the chocolate sweetness from mid-palate. The 11.5% alcohol packs a wallop, starting strong but fading as you find your groove.
Overall: This beer would definitely benefit from a year or so in your cellar. That might bring out the fairly subtle dark fruit qualities some crave and could go a long way in masking the slight booze presence. This is a solid imperial stout that takes full advantage of a rigorous hopping schedule that keeps the sweetness at bay. If you like 'em dry, this spring stout will treat you right.
Roosters Brewing Co. Pink Boots Cold Session IPA: Women, as well as men, own breweries, brew and package the beer and handle just about every other aspect of the suds we enjoy. The Pink Boots Society is a women's organization dedicated to assisting and uniting these brewers. For the last few years, Pink Boots members from all over the country have gathered on March 8, International Women's Day, to brew a single beer to raise funds for the group's cause. Dozens of ladies representing breweries from across the state recently gathered at Roosters' new B Street Brewery in Ogden to brew a cold session IPA.
Look at this beer in the sunlight and you see multiple colors: rose, fuchsia and orange pop out most significantly. The head is a rosy gold that percolates and thins out at a moderate pace. The aroma brings hints of orange and lime, but most prominent is a botanical tartness. The taste follows, with citrus, strawberry and hibiscus. Honey-dipped malts emerge from there as the proprietary Pink Boots hop blend floats up on the aftertaste.
Overall: An interesting take on an IPA. While it's botanical in nature, the smells and tastes follow enough of the IPA's traditional structure to deliver a refreshing beer that hits all the right notes.
Every brewery that participated—and most local breweries did—has the Pink Boots beer on draft. This 4% IPA won't last long, so giddy-up! Templin's Delmar imperial stout can be found in 16-ounce cans at their brewery or at local beer pubs. As always, cheers!