5/30/17 West Sixth Brewing's Snake Eyes Imperial Stout

4:06 PM

Yesterday was Memorial Day which, here in the United States, marks the beginning of summer for many (I know that we're still about two and a half weeks out from the solstice, but whatever). People had cookouts where they barbequed burgers and hotdogs, they ate corn on the cob and potato salad, and they probably drank some of those great American beers (or, more than likely, most people drank that straight-up urine-tasting malt water that's labeled Bud Light).

Sitting in my apartment today I can tell you that it's hot. I'm in shorts and a tank top. I can hear cicadas out of the kitchen window (which overlooks the backyard) and birds out of the living room window (which overlooks the street). All told, yeah. It's pretty much summertime now.

And, of course, I'm the weird guy who doesn't necessarily always follow seasonal trends in the beer he drinks. While most craft beer drinkers would kick back on an evening such as this with a kölsch, a shandy, or a gose, I'm celebrating the early onset of global warming-induced unpleasant warmness with a nice, heavy stout.

West Sixth Brewing, the company responsible for tonight's brew, has been discussed on the blog before. But, in case you're relatively new or just flat-out missed those posts, let me catch you up to speed. West Sixth, as explained on the About section of their website, was founded in an old Lexington, KY bakery in 2012. This team of just over 40 people make a ton of beer--they explore many different styles in the multiple series they put out. Oh, and they are most decidedly and well deservedly proud of the impact they're making in the world. They're eco-friendly and support small businesses in their area.

Now you have a some idea of Snake Eyes' brewery and what they do, so let's get into the stout itself. It clocks in at 11% ABV. It boast seven different kinds of malts, which give it flavors of coffee, chocolate, caramel. These flavors, its official page touts, serve "...to take the chill out of the air!" I guess I'm drinking this way out of season, huh?

Snake Eyes' aroma definitely alludes to its hearty ABV. I'm also picking up subtle, roasted coffee notes and hints of the teased charred caramel. But the booziness of the stout is showcased prominently here. It has a rumminess to it that I love. Purrl, my cat, found nothing she loved in the beer's nose. She gave it a quick whiff and refused to even acknowledge the can any further.

There's chocolate present in the stout's flavor. I'm picking up on coffee and a teeny bit of caramel layered under the coffee. But, like the aroma before it, Snake Eyes' taste is largely overshadowed by its alcohol content. There's a big boozy flavor here, which ultimately helps the stout by lending it some rummy raisininess.

The fact that this a thick and creamy beer is good because that serves to complement its flavor profile exceptionally well. Each swig tells you that what you're drinking is a big, heavy imperial stout.

During the long winter breaks from Ohio University I would be myself at my parent's house for nearly two months. Not that I minded this--at the time my folks lived out in the country and I genuinely enjoyed the solitude that was provided by the snowy atmosphere outside of the windows. I would spend my time there hanging out with my family, reading, getting caught up on my video game playing, watching movies and TV, listening to music, and writing songs.

I would also take long runs. During these runs I'd watch snow fall from the sky and turn the gray and brown countryside white. The snow would swallow everything; each sound and every bit of color. But instead of feeling down about this, I felt tranquil. That feeling of sweet oblivion is what Snake Eyes is conjuring up in my mind's eye.

If I haven't made this clear enough yet, West Sixth's Snake Eyes is an exceptional imperial stout. It's rich. It packs a wallop. It is everything an imperial stout should be. I'm giving it a 10/10. Hell, I'd probably give it higher if my scale allowed for that. It is, to me, thus far in my beer drinking life, the pinnacle of the style. It's still on sale at the store from which I purchased it, so you may be able to find it without much difficulty. And, I do suggest that you find this beer. It's peerless in what it does.

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