Townsite Perfect Storm Oatmeal Stout

townsite_perfectstormAt long last, I am closing in on my goal of having sampled the entire Townsite lineup. Ever since they began delivering to the Island, I have been steadily working my way through every beer they have put out since my wife and I first visited their operation. At this point, only seasonal releases remain; and after tonight, only one beer will be left! But since I’ll have to wait until October to try that one (their Time Warp Wet-Hopped Pale Ale), there’s nothing to but wait and enjoy this one!

As far as Oatmeal Stouts go, this one was very good. In addition to the usual stout characteristics – black and opaque body, a rich malt with notes of coffee and chocolate, and a pleasantly bitter finish – this one has a hint of coffee liqueur of the nose. Not something I was expecting, but it certainly didn’t detract from the overall experience. In fact, I might go as far as to say this is one of the best stouts I’ve had in some time.

Appearance: Pitch black, opaque, good foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Rich malt, notes of espresso, dark chocolate, coffee liqueur
Taste: Coffee-like dark malt and mild hop bite, semi-sweet and bitter chocolate
Aftertaste: Lingering bitter malts and espresso flavor
Overall: 9/10

In truth, there are actually two Townsite beers that I have yet to try. But from what I’ve been told, the Charleston Belgian Triple was discontinued after its first year and replaced by the YOGN 82. As such, it is beyond my reach and any reasonable expectation of sampling. Unless anyone has a bottle of it lying around they would be willing to part with…?

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Hopworks Survival 7-Grain Stout

hub-organic-survival-7-g-20605-864zAnother beer from south of the border has been lingering in my fridge for some time, again due to the fact that I was saving it for my beer class. But given my affinity for Oatmeal Stouts, and the fact that this is one I had yet sample, I predictably caved. Lucky for me its not too hard to find around these parts, since it comes to BC from the great state of Oregon.

I’ve tried only one other beer by the Hopworks Urban Brewery, their organic HUB Lager. And that was a most pleasing drinking experience, so I expected good things from this beer as well. And consistent with what I’ve come to expect from an Oatmeal Stout, this beer poured a deep black, had good foam, carbonation and a creamy head. And of course, the flavor was a profile of coffee and cocoa, roasted malts and some nice hop and malt bitterness.

But what was also pleasing about this particular stout was the combination of grains – which included wheat, amaranth, quinoa, spelt and kamut in addition to Barley and oats – led to a very smooth taste and mouth feel. Hence, I give it a particularly high rating that I haven’t given to a stout since the introduction of Hoyne’s Voltage Espresso Stout.

Appearance: Black, opaque, good foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Roasted malt, minerals, hint of coffee, mild hop bitterness
Taste: Smooth malts, slightly bitter, creamy, hint of espresso, grassy hops
Aftertaste: Lingering coffee and roasted malt bitterness
Overall: 9/10

Onto the next tasting and the next HUB product! There are quite a few, and I’m not entirely sure about the prospects of finding them all up here, north of the 49th Parallel!