Friday, January 12, 2018

The Dark Hours of a Lost Rhino

Imperial stouts are somewhat paradoxical.  I love imperial stouts.  There is something about sitting out on my deck, sipping the viscous, pitch black liquid while I stare at the stars that is very relaxing and enjoyable.   I have been wanting to brew an imperial stout for a very long time.  Yet, as much as I enjoy the imperial stout, I don't drink it very often and I have not brewed it yet. 

A while back, my beautiful Angel took me on a trip through the Virginia craft beer scene.  One of the stops was Lost Rhino Brewing.  I sampled a couple of beers, which were very good, but it was the bottles in the fridge that caught my attention.  The bottles were part of the brewery's Genius Loci Series, These beers are limited-run beers, using regional ingredients, that test the creativity of the brewers.  One of the beers in that fridge was the Dark Hours Imperial Stout.  I decided to buy a bottle, stash it in my basement, and enjoy it at a later time ... on my deck while looking at the stars. 

The Dark Hours pours pitch black, like motor oil.  It is like the darkness that falls in the wilderness, with only the new moon to guide you because the nearest light is miles away.  There is that cloud of milk chocolate foam that hovers overhead.

Without sight, you turn to your next sense.  The sense of smell.  The aroma greets you with hints of cranberries, cocoa and a little booze.  Just enough to entice you to take a taste. A sip takes you to another sense.  The sense of taste.  This imperial stout fits neatly into the style, but still asserts its own character.  There is dark chocolate with a little boozy cherry on the inside.  It is that proverbial box of chocolates, only without the box and no chocolate.  Just a well bodied liquid that is able to evoke something that it is not.

This is a very good beer and provides inspiration to try more imperial stouts.  If you happen to find yourself in suburban Virginia near Lost Rhino, it is definitely worth the stop.  Until next time ...


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