I got to go to Atlanta this weekend for a work-related conference and took the opportunity to visit a couple of the new growler stores that have popped up into the scene in the northern metro area. One of these was The Beer Growler, of which there are currently five locations total – I went to the one in Alpharetta. I should also mention it was a Sunday afternoon.
I chose Bell’s Special Double Cream Stout, because the fact that it’ll be in a growler I’ll need to drink it over a few days after opening it, but no longer than three. A good stout is easy to drink and light on the palate, a definite for a daily drinker since I have no friends who’ll come over to help. The folks at The Beer Growler also mentioned that this was a special edition and wouldn’t be around long or found in bottles. Therein lies the greatness of the growler store – the ability to take home something the brewery didn’t put in a bottle.
A first pour of this rich, dark treat gives notes of wood, chocolate, and even some coffee. A thick khaki head forms and stays a while, but not the whole time. It is thick without feeling like a loaf of bread, and flavorful without being too hoppy. To me, this is the right amount of malt so that it doesn’t overstay its welcome in my mouth. It warms the back of the tongue and the throat with an aftertaste of alcohol, and at 6.1% ABV subtle enough not to get upset about.
I did find from the page at Bell’s Web site that it’s a Winter seasonal, and it is available in bottles and draft. However, it wasn’t found in the bottle that day and I took a chance on a Bell’s beer being fantastic. I won.
I had three in a row that night and I must say I forced myself to stop there. I’d hate to think I ruined a chance at my second opinion, but the first one speaks for itself. I’d get this one again, only I’d love to share it next time…
Pairs with: Spicy and/or tomato-based (Italian, Thai) and even milk chocolate and caramel, I’d say…