In a blind tasting by BJCP trained experts, this beer rated

92

Smuttynose Brewing Company Smuttynose Imperial Stout

“Lovely complex malt sweetness—like chocolate-covered Fig Newtons, or maple syrup, with a touch of earthy hops to help balance. Like a shot of strong expresso, no cream. Complex and deep, but a bit intense so sessionable is not part of this section. Big cherry, light plum, big chocolate, moderate coffee, light hops bitterness, touch of alcohol, moderate caramel. Aftertaste: big chocolate, touch of coffee, light bitterness. Starts out like a thinner-bodied barleywine, but the hops and roast bitterness crack that illusion. The promise from the nose is here, but it doesn't quite mesh as well in the flavor because the lingering hops and slight astringency add some harshness. Hops flavor is as big as the roast. Sherry, malt, dried fruit and esters are still nice, though.”

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