On Saturday I had the privilege of co-hosting the second Twitter Taste live with Reluctant Scooper (on twitter @reluct_scooper) of the UK. Two of the brews were Samuel Smiths, a historical UK brewery, and the other two were from Rogue. I have recently become a huge fan of stouts, so I was thrilled when I got the offer to co-host. Unlike the Belgian tasting, I was this time familiar with both of the Rogue brews – the Chocolate Stout and Shakespeare Stout. Because I don’t usually review international beer, I had never tried the Sam Smith’s Oatmeal Stout or the Imperial Stout before.
It was a smaller tasting than the last one, but there were several other concurrent events (including the celebrations for Beer Drinker of the Year) that may have prevented some regulars from getting in on it. But the smaller crowd allowed us to really talk specifics, and I learned (and shared) a lot about the history of stouts and the two breweries. For example, stouts used to be marketed as health foods and cure-alls, and were specifically recommended for athletes and nursing mothers. Sounds hearty enough for me!
The beers themselves were delicious and interesting. The Sam Smith Oatmeal Stout was drinkable and pleasant, without much bitterness. The Rogue Chocolate stout was probably my least favorite (but not bad) and featured a really chocolate/cocoa powder taste on top of a nice dark brewing. The Rogue Shakespeare stout is one of my favorite stouts, and it was nice and smooth. The last, the Sam Smith Imperial was truly imperial, with a nice alcohol sting and tastes of raisins. The tasting covered a nice spectrum of flavors, and to have the two oatmeal stouts to compare side by side was delightful. I also love hearing what others think about beer they’ve never tried, which is what makes these events so fun.
The highlight of the evening for me, too, was to hear John LeMansey’s take on things. He has a great blog, Beer Critic and it was a pleasure to hear his descriptions that make my literary senses tingle with envy. And if that weren’t enough, he takes beautiful photos of what he drinks.
The next TTL event is on March 7, and features three brews from Dogfish Head, hosted by the Beer Wench. I am not sure if I will be able to participate in that one, but if you want to see what happens when creative beer people get together to talk pure beer from all corners of the globe, I highly reccomend the experience.