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Monday, January 28, 2008

Ten Fidy Imperial Stout

That is just serious stupid. Y'know? I mean, look at that. It's not just black, it's solid, it's carvable. This is a beer you could take a chisel to. I wonder if I could take a chef's torch to that ruddy head and caramelize it...

Marty Jones, who's been pitching Colorado beer in general and the Oskar Blues Canned Beer Apocalypse in particular for quite a few years, asked me if I would take a look at some of the Beer Drinker of the Year resumes, pick my top three choices to pass along to the semi-finals. Sure, I said, and why don't you see if you can fit a can of Ten Fidy Imperial Stout in there with them? Done, he said, and I sat back and rubbed my hands. And waited. And waited. And figured...oh well, I'll just wait for it to show up next month. Then when I got back from Miami, there was a small box at my maildrop, and in it were ten resumes (some of you guys take this beer shit way too serious... congratulations!) and a can of Ten Fidy and a can of Gordon. Jackpot!

So I put it aside, checked the resumes, did work, dealt with The Tooth, and now, tonight, I'm enjoying it. The aroma has burnt malt, sweet malt, some hints of citrusy hop, and a touch of olive brine that I find in imperial stouts sometimes. There's also some graham cracker and a floaty bit of melon, with just a faint hint of the alcohol power in there. Take a hit: a bit sweet for my tastes in an impie, but it's joyous with it, the burnt bitterness is halved by the malt, and the solid bitterness wicks up all the excess at the end.

One thing I really truly love about this beer is that you know it's an ale. Too many big beers are subjected to clean-as-a-whistle fermentation regimes, as if the brewers were afraid of the identity of their yeast. Embrace it!
However, one thing I really truly do not enjoy about this beer is that sweetness. It's me, I guess, but I do not like the flabby sweetness of too many American imperial stouts. It's popular, and it sells beer, but hell, you could say that about light beer, too. I like a dry, burnt, almost tarry imperial, like Weyerbacher used to make.

Most people don't, though, and if you like something you can really sink your teeth into, an impie that's big and bold and bitter, Ten Fidy will do you right.


Anonymous said...

CARVABLE? Beautiful! Best descriptor in years!

Stan Hieronymus said...

I hope Marty had the package insured - me, I just got resumes to grade. A can just sold for $51 on eBay (plus $8 shipping)

Lew Bryson said...

Hey, Stan, you gotta ask. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Unknown said...

$51?? I just picked up a 4-pack here in Fort Collins (at Wilbur's) for $13. If you like Ten Fidy, you should try Old Chub as well, great beer from Oskar Blues for a lot less.