Friday, June 28, 2013
Hibernal Vinifera Stout
This can of Ska Brewing's Hibernal Vinifera Stout came back with me from a Colorado vacation several months back. There's a second can with Ed Roberts' name on it if we can ever figure out where to meet, park, logistics bullshit. I've had it in my car three times but the rest of the stuff never pans out. Soon!
Four of the original six were consumed after massive ski exercise. When I told my wife one of the nights I had a beer brewed with her favorite wine grape, Malbec, she did NOT believe me for a second. I showed her the can and had my credibility instantly restored. But her face while trying the beer was a little WTF too. Oh, well.
So yeah, this is an oak-aged, foreign-style stout brewed with Malbec juice. The can is decorated with a "harvest-goddess" type woman wearing an Indy checkered flag skirt. I like to refer to the scene as "boobs, bines, barley, 'bec". Around the top rim of the can are a bunch of brainstorming words: solstice and divine and wrath, etc. "Recycle" is there twice and I'm not really sure what "Ngeshtin-Ana" means. Never mind. I bet that's the chick from the illustration.
Rich, pruney, cocoa aroma with a decent amount of roasted malts and grapes (if you beg your imagination). Rich chocolate and smoke flavors are big at the beginning, even with some light charred wood and a little bitter coffee. Those flavors are hit by some grape and cherry tartness which lingers all the way to the finish.
Tannic and acidic wine flavors are easily noticeable. The finish is very dry with some oaky flavors. Medium body, low carbonation, creamy texture. The Malbec flavors linger in the aftertaste. I'd suggest letting it warm up before even opening the beer as the flavors started to shine at higher temperature. Pretty nice beer all around and definitely unique.