Tuesday, April 10th 2012
Great Crescent Stout
(Great Crescent Brewery)
This brewery located in Aurora, Indiana (population around 4,000) is cranking out canned beers at a tremendous rate. Their canned offerings now total an even dozen, lending credence to our theory that use of alternative labels on can blanks allows more craft beers to find their way into our refrigerators. Their Bourbon’s Barrel Stout earned a CraftCans.com 2011 Reader’s Poll Shout-Out for Best New Beer, so let’s check out the base stout that created that fantastic brew!
From the Great Crescent site:
"Great Crescent Stout is crafted using American hops and is the same stout we use in the Bourbon's Barrel Stout; we pull some off before it goes into the barrels. This beer is created using dark roasted malts and exhibits full flavors of chocolate, coffee and has a full bitterness from the black malt that balances with the sweetness from the 2-row malt. If you already enjoy stout this one will impress you."
Here we go...
Pour - Pitch black as a moonless night. Our aggressive pour resulted in a nice and sturdy tan head with some black spots here and there. Wet rings of lacing hold on for a few moments before rolling back down into our can-shaped glass.
Aroma - well-roasted chocolate malts, strong bitter coffee, and hops.
Taste - A touch of smokiness at the start before a wash of light sweet chocolate, a few moments of bitter coffee in the middle, then a very pleasant hopped chocolate finish and aftertaste. Pause long enough between sips and some anise/black licorice flavor seems to come out. The flavor profile is great and the mouthfeel is interesting - what seems like a thin, watery start evolves quickly into a heavier, flavorful finish.
Overall - A very nice stout that is definitely worth trying if you can get your hands on some. We especially liked the interplay between the chocolate and coffee flavors without the overwhelming aroma of smoke that we sometimes find in the stouts we’ve tried. The chocolate goodness that prevails at the finish is always a hit with the CraftCans team and keeps us wanting more.
Note - As indicated on their site, this is the same stout that finds its way into Maker’s Mark barrels for Great Crescent’s fantastic (and first barrel-aged beer to be canned) Bourbon’s Barrel Stout. Based on the beers we’ve tried – canned, bottled and on draft – we know it takes a great base stout to create a great barrel-aged stout. We’re thinking this beer would make a great java stout too (and yes, Dan, Lani and the rest of the Great Crescent crew, we’re dropping a hint!)
Posted by Trent
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