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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Caldera Old Growth Imperial Stout

An evening trip to the Gypsy aimed at (ultimately unsuccessfully) grabbing a pint of Hopworks Urban brewery (HUB) Organic Ace of Spades Imperial IPA, I noticed a new tap from Caldera Brewing Co, Caldera Old Growth Imperial Stout.

Caldera Old Growth Imperial Stout poured an impenetrable black with red highlights from the tap, capped with a thin, oily film of tan head.  The nose (admittedly somewhat obscured by the smell of food cooking in the kitchen) was predominately mild coffee with an unsweetened chocolate backbone.

Quite a contrast to the nose, Caldera Old Growth Imperial Stout hit the palette with thick and creamy coffee start that was almost immediately overwhelmed by milk chocolate, caramel, vanilla, and a nutty flavor.  I joked with BJ, the bar tender, that it tasted like a dark chocolate almond snickers bar with a bit of coffee bitterness as the palette cleared.  The final notes were reminiscent of chocolate covered espresso bean. 

Caldera Old Growth Imperial Stout  was a surprise to me, being much less aggressive and spicy than other Oregon Imperial Stouts like The Abyss or W'11 KGB Imperial Stout.  It is very dessert-like without being too sweet, and I have to applaud Caldera for making such a round stout that hides a big ABV.

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