So, I’ve been told that today is the inaugural event wherein beer bloggers around the globe will be posting on the theme “Not your father’s Irish Stout”. Well, this sounds like something I should be a part of! It just so happens that, on the birthday of this event, I am traveling again in the Pacific Northwest, hanging my hat in the small town of Sandpoint, Idaho. So, while I was searching the shelves for an appropriate Stout for the occasion, I couldn’t have been more pleased than to realize that this small town happens to have a small craft brewery by the name of Laughing Dog. Furthermore, I was doubly pleased to learn that Laughing Dog Brewery brews a Sweet Stout. This is great on many levels because, a) I love to try out local craft brews, and b) I don’t believe I have ever had a Sweet Stout, or at least a beer that explicitly called itself such. So, I grabbed my six-pack and paid my money and hear I sit!
This beer pours a lovely dark black color. You can see some hints of a chocolaty brown tint around the edges where the light hits the beer, but it is otherwise black as night. The head of this is one of the most pleasing attributes. It is rocky and the color of dark caramel with excellent retention. The aroma of this is subtle, but nice. There are definite hints of coffee, with a light sweetness that brings to mind the rhyming counterpart – toffee. In the mouth, the “Sweet” appendage really comes into play. While not overwhelming, the beer has a smooth sweetness reminiscent of chocolate and toffee all through the mouth. Accompanying this is a rich roastiness with some malt that traverses the palate and plays most notably in the aftertaste. Overall, I’d say that this is an excellent stout. While it won’t stand up in burliness next to some of the Russian or Imperial stouts out there, I don’t feel that this is the goal. Rather, this is a subtle and sweet beer that lots of beer drinkers will enjoy, regardless of how seasoned they are, and this would likely be a great entry-point to folks wishing to experience the world of Stouts. Very well done, Laughing Dog.
P.S. – I also had the Laughing Dog IPA last night, and it was phenomenal. If I can get my hands on some more, I’ll do a proper review
P.P.S. – Did I mention that the dog on the label is named Ben? How could it not be good?!