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Wednesday, December 19th 2012

Phantom Punch Winter Stout
(Baxter Brewing Company)

Baxter's recent winter release pays homage to a big event which took place in their hometown of Lewiston, Maine. The can tells the story and the design, by artist Josh Fisher, is an outstanding example of what you can do with a cylindrical canvas. 

From the Baxter Brewing site:

"Baxter has named its winter stout in celebration of Lewiston’s 1965 Ali/Liston heavyweight championship. “Phantom Punch” is a Foreign Extra Stout with a hearty 6.8% ABV; enough to warm up winter gatherings, but not too much to prevent sipping a few by the fire. Its deep black hue and rich tan head compliment the full, but not overly-heavy body. Roasted and toasted malts dominate the flavor, with hints of caramel and strong notes of chocolate.


Meanwhile, roasted organic cocoa nibs reinforce the malty chocolate flavors, while real vanilla beans suggest a touch of sweetness without weighing down the brew. Lastly, Phantom Punch has just enough British hops to balance the stout’s maltiness, but this is Baxter’s least hoppy beer to-date."

Here we go...


Pour - darks as a winter's night in Maine. There are some shades of brown and red when held to the light. A big coffee colored head sits on top. 

Aroma - if you like big roasted malt aromas than this will make your nose happy. Strong dark roast coffee, bitter chocolate, cocoa and vanilla all intermingle quite nicely. 

Taste - one sip brings a flood of roasty/toadty malt flavor into my mouth. The bitter chocolate and coffee flavors hit the tip of the tongue right away and the sweetness from the malt combines with some of the cocoa and vanilla to round things out. It has a dry bitter roasted malt finish and just a hint of citrus from the hops. Love all the rich roasted malt flavors and just how smooth this is going down. It would be great to try this on nitro sometime. 


Overall - a very well-assembled stout that should make the stout and malt crowd quite happy this winter. It brings about pleasant memories of Dieu du Ciel's Aphrodite, with its cocoa and vanilla flavors and aromas. I'll definitely be enjoying more than a few of these during the long New England winter ahead.


Note - Lewiston is the smallest city to host a heavyweight title bout since Jack Dempsey fought Tom Gibbons in Shelby, Montana (population 3,000) in 1923. It remains the only heavyweight title fight held in the state of Maine.

The second Ali-Liston fight was embraced by The Pine Tree State. Maine Governor John H. Reed announced to the press, "This fight is one of the greatest things to happen in Maine. Nevertheless, it would go down in history as a debacle.

Due to the remote location (140 miles north of Boston), only 2,434 fans were present (the arena seated less than 3,700), setting the all-time record for the lowest attendance for a heavyweight championship fight. The fight also ranks as one of the shortest heavyweight title bouts in history as Liston was knocked out before the end of the first round. Many in the small crowd had not even settled in their seats when the fight was stopped. - Wikipedia


Phantom Punch Winter Stout
Style: Foreign/Export Stout
Brewery: Baxter Brewing Company
Lewiston, Maine  
United States  
Container: 12 oz. can
Malts: ???
Hops: ???
ABV: 6.8%
IBUs: ???
Date: December 19th, 2012

Posted by Russ

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