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Peter LaFrance

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

A taste of… Tailgate Sweet Stout

Tailgate Beer (Contract)
Irvine, CA

This is the second of the Tailgate contract brews that were sent to me by Tailgate’s owner Wesley Keegan. As I noted in “A taste of … Tailgate “Light”,” he had great big stones including a “Light” beer with the other three beers. Well, this time I’ll see what there is to his Sweet Stout. As always, the beer is poured at 50F into a standard straight-side pint glass that is beer clean. I try to do tastings before 1000 hours so that taste buds have not been affected by previous food or drink. Without further ado, the following are my tasting notes for Tailgate Sweet Stout. II was impressed that this was not the twist off top.

Just short of opaque, this is a deep dark beer. The head is a relatively rocky dark sandy head, made up of medium to small bubbles.

The first impression in the aroma is of the patent and other heavily roasted malt. There are undercurrents of coffee that remained dominated by the aromas of the black malt.

This is perhaps one of the gentlest stouts I have ever tasted. Nothing during the moment between lip and sip was there any hint of the flavors to come. The first flavors to develop are those of the highly roasted malts. This is quickly followed by a hefty wallop of hops. The combination of the slightly tannic in the slightly tart finishes without either one of them losing the contest

Mouth feel.
There is a surprising amount of mouth feel here. Without the thick texture associated with most stout, I was expecting a medium to thin range to the mouth feel. However there is a good deal of body to this beer.

There is a noticeably metallic finish to this beer, but it doesn’t hang around long enough to be obnoxious.

If I were to blind taste test this beer I would have this said that it was a porter rather than a stout, and reduced points for being too dark and using too much kilned malts. However, as the label says it is a Sweet Stout, I applaud the effort and note that it is an ideal introductory stout, for people who don’t think they like dark beer. Without a doubt I would also suggest that this beer be used in, and enjoyed with a fine beef stew.

Website: http://tailgatebeer.com/

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