11/12/20: Central Waters' Salted Maple Stout

5:28 PM

Two days ago it was pushing 80°. When I woke up this morning it was exactly 32°. I've cranked out 2,500 words for my National Novel Writing Month project and, damn, I'm ready for a beer.

Tonight, we're breaking into a maple stout I'd anticipated writing about earlier this month: Central Waters' Salted Maple. How's it drinking after a long, cold day? Let's find out.

This is my first Central Waters beer, so let's talk a little about the brewery. Based in Amherst, WI, they're committed to sustainability. They have solar power and make conscious decisions regarding all aspects of their beer production: sourcing environmentally-friendly bottles, brewing with locally-grown ingredients, and working to actively conserve water during the brewing process. Be sure to hit up their "Sustainability" page for more information.

Salted Maple stout, which clocks in at 10.75% ABV, has real maple syrup, a bit of salt, and velvety layers. All of this is according to it's official page, of course.

The stout's bouquet is all milk stout. Deep, roasty dark chocolate and coffee rounded out with sugary sweetness. I guess that some of that sugariness could come from the maple. I'm finding a bacon quality here, too, and I think that this is maybe from the salt? Really, I don't quite know. Overall, the stout's aromatics are perfectly fine. Lottie, who gave my can thirty-five whiffs, is a huge fan of it.

Salt is the prevalent flavor in my mouth after my first swig. The deep stout notes (dark chocolate, coffee, dark fruits) are all present and accounted for. I get the maple, which is heavily tempered by the salt, and a hefty dose of booze. It's a strange flavor profile--one that soars to sweet highs with the maple that finishes with a grounded earthiness, while salt gets caught in my cheeks and maple lingers on my lips.

Salted Maple's mouthfeel is damn near perfect. Velvety (Central Waters really nailed the description here), full, and robust as all get-out. 

The stout reminds me of sitting outside with a beer in the snow. See, one of my favorite things to do every winter is do sit outside--bundled up, of course--and taking my time enjoying a beer while I watch the snow pile up around me. 

When we lived in Cincinnati proper, I would head out onto our balcony during all major snowfalls. I'd have gloves on my hand to keep myself warm against the snow and whatever cold bottle of beer I'd be holding. I'd sip from it as the sky grew dim and the snow muted the city's sounds about me.

As much as I enjoy the memories Central Waters' Salted Maple Stout conjures up, and as much as Lottie enjoys it, I can't say I'm a big fan. The saltiness and the earthiness really overpower the maple in the beer. If I wasn't drinking this in Maple Month, it'd be a 7.0/10. During Maple Month, it's a 6.5/10. Average, and not something that the stellar mouthfeel can remedy.

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