Dark Horse Tres Blueberry StoutFebruary 25th, 2009 beckel
Today I have a beer in my hand I have been anticipating for some time. As the third installment of Dark Horse Brewing’s Holiday Stout Series Tres offers us some blueberry to add to our stout. On Monday I made my way out to The Four Firkins to grab some goodies they had just gotten in, namely Winter Warlock, Hop Stoopid and Fore (Tres had been in stock for a bit but luckily there was still a few four packs hanging around) but as always I found a few more goodies that I couldn’t help but get; Southern Tier’s Back Burner Barleywine and a four pack of Young’s Double Chocolate Stout because I still haven’t given it a try. I happily loaded my bag full of brew and merrily biked my way home with little concern even though I felt a can depressing slightly as it bumped against my back. Taking Minnetonka Blvd home brought me to a Chipotle and I figured it would be a decent dinner as I didn’t feel like preparing anything and haven’t consumed their food in some time. After waiting in line for a few minutes and watching my bike carefully I exited with fajita in hand and set my bag near my bike to secure my grub. Sadly upon opening my bag I noticed a large amount of liquid on the cardboard of the four packs and the faint smell of chocolate. Luckily upon investigation the only victim was one can of Young’s which I duly opened and finished the last few sips of before throwing away. I don’t think I’ve ever had a can explode in my bag before, perhaps the nitrogen widget contributed to its demise. Oh well at least all of the bottles survived and I didn’t have to pull my hands out of my bag covered in blood like I did the time a growler broke. Short of the can of Young’s the only other victims were the labels of the Tres and Fore who’s carrying packs soaked up the good stuff like a sponge, they’re still intact you just might notice some stout abuse in the pictures. But I digress because I have a lovely blueberry aroma calling to me. This ale pours with about two fingers of rather dark milk chocolate head giving this pitch black beer a lovely appearance. Aroma is just what I expected, a wonderful slightly sweet blueberry scent that transitions into rich dark malt creating a nice roasted smell with a bit of coffee as well. Flavor is very interesting. Blueberry comes out immediately but is rather subtle and a nice compliment to the dark roasted malt flavors of this brew, particularly the chocolate flavors. There is a good amount of roasted malt flavor but it is likely not roasted for too long as it has a much smoother mouthfeel and taste than most Stouts reminding me of a Milk Stout. The body is light for a stout and with a 4.5% ABV this is an incredibly drinkable beer. I would even give it theÂ session beer distinction if only it were a bit lighter in body and mouthfeel, but I’m not quite sure how one would do that with a Stout and not make it seem like drinking dirty water. The more I drink this beer the more I enjoy the additional flavors the blueberry creates (and the more I wonder if it really is only 4.5%). Probably not a beer I would buy too much of in the future (largely because I am too much in love with their Scotty Karate [review]) but a damn tasty beer I would gladly consume if it were offered and am very pleased to have had the opportunity to sample and a wonderful example of how additional components can enhance a brew. Anyone who likes stouts and does not mind the addition of some real fruit will likely enjoy this brew as will those who may be hesitant to approach dark beers but enjoy chocolate and blueberries. Would work wonderfully as a lighter desert beer or a compliment to a nice creamy dish or fresh fruits and veggies wonderfully. Give it a shot and ride your bike.