Thursday, January 10, 2013

Loveland Aleworks Imperial Stout review

Loveland Aleworks Imperial StoutGrowlers are the best thing to take home with you when a brewery doesn't bottle their beer. A recent visit to Loveland Aleworks in downtown Loveland, Colorado paid off with me bringing home a 32oz half growler of one of their bigger beers - Loveland Aleworks Imperial Stout.

This imperial stout isn't their biggest beer ever, they were also about to release a double imperial stout, but it is one of their best beers in my opinion. I sampled a glass at their brewery before bringing home the growler. The beer weighed in at 9.5% ABV and had a bitter rating of 6 IBUs. It was one of about 10 different beers they had on tap that day. For a brewery that's only been open for about a half a year, they certainly had a great variety of beers on tap.

One nice thing that Loveland Aleworks does is card and label each of the growlers they give out. My growler came tagged almost like a gift card so that I could give it out as a holiday gift if I choose. So how was it? Here's a Fermentedly Challenged review.

Appearance: Most imperial stouts are jet black and Loveland's Imperial Stout was no exception. Held up to the light I could barely see any lighter edges. It poured with a very low medium brown head. The beer was fresh out of the freezer and that could have prevented some of the head from building. At the brewery I saw this pour with a healthy head. There was a slight lacing around the glass that stuck around for just a bit. Being extremely dark, I couldn't see any sediment in the glass or at the end of the session. The beer was adequately carbonated even out of the growler.

Imperial Stout fresh off the tapAroma: It's easy to like imperial stouts as they tend to have some of the biggest and best malt aromas there are. This beer had a bountiful bouquet of molasses, black licorice, sweet chocolate, and a nice roasty aroma. This beer's aroma was very pleasant to inhale.

Taste: Loveland Aleworks put a lot of rich malts into this beer. The beer started out very cold, but I let it warm up. The beer itself was very creamy. There was a bit of roasted chocolate, licorice, semi-sweet malts and a hint of coffee-like bitterness. This was a big full bodied brew. Good amount of bitterness without too much sweetness. The higher alcohol content is noticeable so drink a smaller sample size and savor it slowly.

Overall: I'm fortunate to have this beer available off the tap in my local area. I only wish they would bottle this so that I could pick it up at my local store. This was an imperial stout I would have no problem recommending to others who love big bold stouts. It's a solid beer all around. Can't wait to try their double imperial version of this next.

Disclosure: I paid full retail price for this beer as part of a 32oz growler I got at the brewery itself.

Related articles:
- Great Divide Espresso Oak Aged Yeti Imperial Stout review.
- Santa Fe Imperial Java Stout review.
- Grimm Brothers The Count Imperial Stout review.

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