When I looked out side earlier today to see snow flowing through the air I knew my commute home this evening was going to be a blast. Five and a half hours later it was of course still snowing, so I grabbed my bike from the rack and went off into the wintry wonderland that is Minnesota. After a fun commute trying not to slip under cars and keeping my eyes clear of snow once home the only thing to do was grab a beer. Though my fridge is packed with beer I need to review the two degree temperature outside made the choice of a nice Southern Tier Imperial Stout that I have never sampled a shoo-in. The writing onÂ this bottle credits the Mayans and their respect for cocoa as an inspiration for what is sure to be another wonderful beer from a marvelous brewery. On to the chocolaty goodness. This ale pours a dark mat black color that is completely opaque, producing a number of inches of rich brown head that is quite frothy and lingers for some time. Like other beers from their Blackwater series this brew has an impressive nose. As soon as you get close to the cup you will want to eat a chocolate cake as creamy cocoa scents are intense and dominate. If you try to ignore the chocolate aromas you get a little bit of malt and some alcohol as well. The flavor is quite nice, heavily roasted malt is dominate reminding you that even if you are drinking a chocolate beer it is still a stout. Chocolate notes compliment the malt very well and I notice a cherry like flavor as well right behind though I think it is largely from some sweetness in the malt. The roasted flavors are a bit bitter but the smoothness of this ale almost overpowers it. Once again Southern Tier has managed to make an impressively alcoholic 11% ABV brew incredibly drinkable with almost no ethanol taste. Body is medium and the mouthfeel is quite creamy and smooth. Though this beer has some sweet components fans of big strong stouts will still appreciate this brew as its flavor is largely of roasted dark malts. A very good choice on a cold day such as today or for anyone who doesn’t oppose dark malts and would like to try something unique and chocolaty. Another wonderful display of the talent at Southern Tier and something I would drink regularly if only it were more available and a bit less expensive. Give it a shot and ride your bike.