30th Anniversary Stout: Here’s to 30 more!
Man! It’s been 30 years since 1985! (Actually, it’s 31 years since, isn’t it!) The persistence of time is crazy! It never stops or slows down. (Well, I guess it slows down as you approach the speed of light or a black hole, but that’s not what we’re talking about right now.) You blink, and 30 years are gone, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It took Bell’s Brewery 30 years to come up with their 30th Anniversary Imperial Stout, and I’d call that a very good thing. There was no better way to celebrate their Pearl Anniversary (FYI, that’s what the 30th is) than with this beer!
30th Anniversary Stout pours that beautiful, used motor oil black. It is viscous and seems to pour slowly in to the glass. A very small, brown head forms and disappears very quickly. There is no lacing to speak of.
The aromas starts with deep roasted, slightly charred coffee paired with dark, almost burnt chocolate. The alcohol is featured right up front and adds a bit of a sweet balance to the coffee char and chocolate bitterness. It is very oaky and has the slightest hint of vanilla.
The flavor is interesting indeed! It is smooth and creamy right for the start. There is a charred oak taste followed by burnt coffee. Some dark fruit rises at the back of the palate with each sip. The alcohol is strong and pronounced but it doesn’t overwhelm. There is some strong, oaky char in the finish and the aftertaste is accented by a bit of caramel.
This is definitely a great beer with which to celebrate a 30th Anniversary! I give it 4.5 out of 5.
Pick this up when you find it and celebrate a great brewery. You’ll be glad you did!
You’ve done well, Bell’s! Keep it up! Here’s to the next 30 years!