Tasting Notes: Irish Stout from Cahaba Brewing Co.

cahabaIrishStoutIn celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, we decided to double down on Tasting Notes this week by getting festive with a little Irish Stout from Cahaba Brewing Co. (Birmingham, Alabama).

At the start of February, we let you all know that Irish Stout was returning to shelves and taps as Cahaba Brewing Co.’s current Seasonal offering.  To create their take on the Irish Dry Stout, Cahaba’s brewers crafted a recipe that boasts floral Horizon hops, fruity Irish yeast, and “unique influences of roasted barley and roasted malt.”  Since the release of Irish Stout just so happens to coincide with the world’s greatest drinking holiday, this beer weighs in at just 4.4% ABV so that you can easily enjoy it all day long on St. Patrick’s Day.  Irish Stout is currently available in 6-packs of 12 oz. cans and on draft at craft beer retailers, restaurants and bars located within Cahaba Brewing Co.’s distribution area in Alabama.

Speaking of St. Patrick’s Day . . . that’s today and that means it is Stout time.  Let’s get into this can and some Tasting Notes!

Tasting Notes for Irish Stout from Cahaba Brewing Co.

Appearance:  Seemingly inky black in appearance, the introduction of direct light reveals that Irish Stout is actually an incredibly dark shade of brown.  The body is opaque, but carbonation bubbles can be seen consistently lifting from the bottom of the glass.  The pour produced nearly a finger of tan foam that eventually falls to a thin but lasting top cap.  With the beer appearing to be slick on the glass, any lace that attempts to cling on eventually slips back down to rest once again in the top cap.

Aroma:  Roasted malts dominate the aroma with an enjoyable sweet smokiness.  A light earthy character from the hops casually settles in to work wonderfully with the roasted grain.  The aroma closes out with a touch of cocoa and strikingly distinct notes of barley. Coyly seductive, this is an aroma that we easily fell in love with.

Taste:  That closing note of barley in the aroma is the first to eagerly greet you in the flavor.  Slightly sweet, toasted grains hit the palate and eventually develop comforting notes of smoke.  Bittersweet dark chocolate and muted floral/earthy hop tones push forward to supply balance.  The beer finishes with just a slight pop of nondescript dark fruit flavors.

Mouthfeel:  Irish Stout is on the lightest side of medium in body with an energetic carbonation level.  It may be lightly sweet on the palate for just half a moment, but the beer ultimately dries out quickly.  ABV . . . what ABV? At just 4.4%, this Stout is ridiculously easy-drinking.  The aftertaste is minimal, but there is a touch toasty, roasty malt left behind.

Final Thoughts: When it comes to being an Irish Dry Stout, Cahaba Brewing’s Irish Stout is all that it should be.  Full-flavored but not cloying.  Dynamic but not busy.  Satisfying but still easy-drinking.  Although we were thoroughly impressed by the entire experience, Irish Stout’s aroma and mouthfeel are simply on another level.  The fact that they nailed these two categories shows that the brewers really took their time in developing a recipe that truly honors the style and the brewing traditions of Ireland.  If you are celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in Birmingham, do yourself (and all of us) a favor by skipping the green beer to celebrate in proper fashion with a tall pour of Irish Stout from Cahaba Brewing Co.  Be safe out there and have an amazing St. Patrick’s weekend.  Prost!