11/1/20: Octopi Brewing's Double Maple Imperial Morning Stout

11:26 AM

It's November. I'm participating in National Novel Writing Month for the third consecutive year. I've been up since 6:30, writing sporadically. It's cold and blustery outside but I have a fire roaring in our buck stove and I'm downright toasty. I'm four thousand words and two lage cups of coffee deep into this November's portion of my novel. I'm warm and cozy and in need of a solid break.

What better way to take my mind off my monumental task than enjoying the first beer of the blog's second annual Maple Month? Yeah, I couldn't think of one either. So, take a break from writing with me by reading about this beer I'm about to start writing about. Does that makes sense? Who cares! Today's brew: Octopi's Double Maple Imperial Morning Stout.

Octopi is a unique entity here on the blog--to my knowledge, I've never written about a company like them before. They're co-packagers, a contract brewery. Sure, they brew beer under their own brand (case in point: today's stout), but they also brew beer for their clients' brands, on top of other things (creating recipes, serving as an idea incubation service, etc). Founded by Isaac Showaki, Octopi is an extra arm for their clients as those clients move through the beverage industry. This is all really interesting stuff and I recommend you head on over to Octopi's "About" page to read more about it.

This brings us to today's beer. Double Maple Imperial Morning Stout (Double Maple, henceforth) can be found on Octopi's "Order" page (you'll note that it's currently not available for purchase). It's a 11% ABV imperial milk stout with adjuncts of maple syrup and coffee beans. Sounds like a near perfect Maple Month beer to me.

I immediately need to let you know that Purrl doesn't care for this beer. She gave it a single whiff before turning away. It's just not her thing.

You know what? I think she's in the wrong here. This is a wonderfully aromatic stout. The maple's big on the fore of my first waft, and the coffee's there, too. The maple's sweet while the coffee's deep and roasty with a mild bitterness. There's a candied sugar quality attributed to the stout's style (milk stout) and possibly the maple in tandem. If there's a single thing I'm mildly suspicious of, it's that there's no hint of that high ABV in the bouquet. None. If I was going off the stout's nose alone, I'd peg it at 5 or 6%.

Candied maple sweetness is big in the stout's flavor profile. It's nowhere near cloying; that sweetness is definitely an appeal for me. The coffee's here, too, although this is much more present in the finish where it melds with the hops and malt to give the stout a roasty, slightly bitter grounding. The ABV is here in the flavor, as a boozy punch between the maple, milk sugar sweetness and the roasty end. It rises again as warmth in my face a minute or so after each swig. This is a wonderfully tasty beer that'll definitely wake you up before knocking you right out again. 

There're dark fruits present (which are staples of imperial stouts), figs and plums, and a bit of dark baker's chocolate, as well. But these take a backseat to everything else the stout has going for it, those big and bold breakfast flavors.

Double Maple is a velvety smooth drink. Feeling big and bold in my mouth but drinking deceptively easy for how strong it is. This is one you'll need to be careful with.

During November mornings, especially because I work to get two thousand words written on weekdays during the month, I wake up a little early. Usually a half an hour to an hour before I'd regularly rouse, so I can get some solid writing in before I have to leave for work.

It's dark and cold those mornings. We keep our thermostat lower when we sleep, meaning I'm awake and at my laptop as the heat's slowly catching up to speed. I'm groggy for a little bit until I get to settle down with my morning meal.

I always have a cup of coffee and chocolate chip oatmeal. That's the breakfast that gets me writing the quickest. Double Maple reminds me of that, bold and invigorating, just the kick I need to get going, only this can has booze and maple for good measure.

We're starting 2020's Maple Month strong. Octopi's Double Maple Imperial Morning Stout is an exceptional maple beer, toeing that maple sweetness line expertly. I'm giving my bottle a 9.5/10. This needs to be a compulsory purchase for you (assuming you like maple in your beer) if you come across it in the wild.

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