Sweet Chili Stout by Meilby Brewing, 5.3% ABV, 55 IBU.
I pour a pitch black, viscous-looking liquid into my glass. The fairly long-lived head is averaged-sized, it has a medium brown colour and a nice creamy texture. Some of the foam sticks to the glass.
The aroma is strong, dark roasted malty and very sweet, it’s almost sugary. I don’t know if this makes any sense, but it smells thick and viscous, just like it looks! It has some nice and gentle notes of woodsmoke. And, when I take a deep sniff, it’s actually possible to feel a chilli burn! Wow, this is probably hot stuff!
When i take my first generous sip my suspicions are immediately confirmed: holy chipotle, this is violently hot! An absurd chilli burn kicks in the moment I get the liquid into my mouth, and as I swallow my throat is ripped into pieces by the malevolent brew. I’ve had my share of chilli stouts, but none of those where even remotely close to the vindaloo strength of this evil devil. The flavour is totally dominated by the burning chilli, and it makes it difficult to concentrate on anything else than my melting tongue and my deteriorating inner organs. Ok, maybe I’m overdoing this a bit, but this really is far too hot for me.
But hey, let’s take another approach: maybe this this is a 5.5% beer that needs to be drunk as it was 4 times as alcoholic, maybe this is a sipper that shouldn’t be downed in a couple of gulps? So, pretending this is a heavy weight imperial stout (which isn’t very difficult, the body is full and the texture is thick and oily) I enjoy the rest of my glass in small, lady-like sips, and that actually works. After a while my brain and my palate have adjusted, and I start picking up other things than just pure pain. Especially the very nice gentle smoky notes go very well with the spices and the overall dark roasted coffee feel of the beer. The taste is very sweet and the long-lasting finish has a nice moderate bitterness.
And yes, the carbonation is soft.
Conclusion: it’s very difficult to rate this one. Even if it fits fairly well as a slow sipper it’s still too damn hot for me. But I really like the flavours that manage to escape the claws of the chilli, and the mouthfeel would have been perfect if it wasn’t for the chilli overdose. I’d love to taste a sissy version of this one!
Aroma: 7/10 Appearance: 4/5 Taste: 7/10 Palate: 2/5 Overall: 12/20 Ratebeer score: 3.2/5.0