Monday, 30 July 2012

To Øl Sort Mælk

Good evening all. I had the subject of tonight's post on Saturday and only had the opportunity to take down some brief tasting notes, intending to write them up later when I wasn't so busy. Now it seems that "later" has arrived, so allow me to present my thoughts on Sort Mælk, a Whisky BA Milk Stout from To Øl (Copenhagen, Denmark). Review after the pic....

Sort Mælk (13.1% ABV) pours a jet black colour with a light brown head that settles to a patchy covering over the surface of the beer. Surprising when considering the high ABV percentage, but not exactly a bad thing. The aroma is pretty incredible- full of chocolate, coffee, dark fruits (reminiscent of fortified wine/port), licorice and some medicinal/smoky notes in the background. I'm not sure from which region the whisky barrels originated, but I would guess either Islay or Highland as the whisky aromas are more robust and slightly on the peaty side. The dark fruits from the roasted malt become more predominant throughout the duration of the beer, whereas initially the coffee and chocolate aromas are the most powerful. The volatility of the alcohol is very apparent and remains consistent over the course of drinking. Certainly a powerful Imperial Stout so far, and the taste continues this theme with a myriad of different flavours- chocolate and coffee (although more subdued in comparison to the nose), lactose sweetness, caramel, burnt toast, tobacco, vanilla, yeast extract and some light hop character in the finish/aftertaste. It's very rich and full-bodied with plenty of alcoholic character from the barrel ageing, and the flavours described seem to come and go whilst the consistent background is simply a slight awareness of the roasted malt. Thankfully the oscillating senses are rather consistent, so there's no opportunity for things to get boring. The flavours don't stay around for long in the finish, which also means they don't cloy on the palette and so invite further sips. The mouthfeel is slightly thick and the beer is mildly carbonated. In addition, despite the high ABV percentage it's very drinkable, which is always a good sign with an Imperial Stout (or a bad one in regards to potential inebriation!). Overall, this is a brilliant stout from a brewery that never fails to impress- the subtlety of the milk stout base allows the barrel ageing to shine but not predominate, whilst the balance between all of the flavours and aromas creates a memorable and very satisfying drinking experience. Highly recommended!

Until next time....

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