Friday, February 8, 2008

Obovoid Empirical Stout

I'm on my way home from work and I have orders form The Wife to stop and pick up a bottle of wine, and of course that means I'm also grabbing some beer. So, I pull into Smitty's Wine and Spirits at Antioch and College Blvd., my goto spot on the way home from work (yeah, I work in the Magical Land of Blah, aka Johnson County). I've decided that February, my first month of blogging, is going to be all about stouts. I have a bottle of the huge Bell's Expedition Stout waiting in the beer fridge and I wanted to warm up with something a little tamer. I settle on a bottle of Obovoid Empirical Stout from Boulder Brewing Company in Boulder, Colorado and a bottle of pinot noir. After a light supper consisting of some bland, Target salmon and some tasty cumin coated roasted carrots, it's time to get down to business.

Obovoid is a oak aged oatmeal stout weighing in at 7.5% ABV. This is the 8th release in Boulder Beer's Looking Glass Series of extreme brews. To date, I've been pretty impressed with the Looking Glass Series, Hazed and Infused is a most try. Tonight will be my first dance with Obovoid.

Obovoid pours a dark, thich brown with a frothy mocha colored head. Oak and damp earth mixed with chocolate and just a touch smoke provide a delicate and inviting aroma. The flavor starts off with a brief, malty sweetness that quickly fades into a mix of toasted oak and dark chocolate with some earthy hops dancing around the edges. The swallow leaves a lingering taste of bitter chocolate and a woody dryness. This stout is medium bodied and very smooth, the alcohol is completely hidden and unnoticed.

Overall I give it an A-minus grade. This is a smooth, quick drinking stout. I like how the oak from the barrel aging is mellow and subdued, I'm not sure if the oatmeal contributes to this or not, but it is a good introduction to wood aged beer. Next I'll have to kick it up a notch to a slightly bigger, bolder stout.

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