I would slap me too if I heard someone say this, but of the countless ounces of Kate I have been fortunate to have over the years this is the first time it is from a bottle. I have had so much during the release that the thought of another sip doesn't even enter my mind for a good year (just in time for another release). I was most fortunate that someone else decided it was time to pop one open from their own stash today.
Best RIS ever.
We let her warm up a bit before splitting between two snifters after a long brew day. The head just looks like you would want to fall backwards into it like a tan pillow of trust, about the color of the label. The carbonation looks to be right where it should be, giving a near guiness-like display of bubbles. What looks to be a total blackout give off a deep garnet glow when held to the light at the bottom of the glass.
Oh wow, a year has treated this gal amazing. While I do not think the nose is very strong, the taste and mouthfeel overcompensate in being just that good. The body is a dark pillow in my mouth, it is full yet not heavy and very smooth. It even feels amazing on the lips, seriously, like a feather. A mother's voice couldn't sooth a person as well as this one. It begins smooth with dark chocolate and cocoa nibs, take a quick turn for some bitter coffee notes, and eases back into a creamy finish that leaves a silky coating in the mouth.
This is my #1 RIS. It is the most balanced and drinkable of all the "hype" RIS's out there today. There is no RIS as drinkable and satisfying as Kate the Great, fact.
Served In: Snifter
Getting the chance to sample Kate the Great on Easter courtesy of brewandbbq, Thanks Jeff! Kate gurgles midnight black from the bottle into my snifter. This beer actually sucks up the light in the room. Not much of a head up front but halfway through the pour a fingers worth of creamy dense mocha colored head showed up and never left. Tiny carbonation bubbles rush along the glass keeping the head in place throughout. Great looking drink lines are left behind after each sip.
As this warms the aroma becomes more and more complex. Waves of anise crest throughout and then drop from sight before cresting again. Deep roasted malts, bakers chocolate, and cocoa all meld together to create an intense, inviting nose. On top of all this throw in a handful of dark ripe berries and you have yourself a mouthwatering complex RIS.
Everything I picked up in the aroma comes through in the flavor. The chocolate, roastiness, and cocoa meld together perfectly to create an intense yet seamless RIS. The chocolate comes through big mid-palate through the finish with the roastiness adding a bite on the swallow. This really is a top notch RIS with an incredible complexity of flavors!
The mouthfeel was good up front but as this beer nears room temperature the true nature of the beast comes out. The body is fantastically smooth and velvety. Kate massages the tongue on its slow tour of every tastebud in the area.
The drinkability is as high as I could expect from any big complex RIS making this one a true danger if you're not careful. My glass is disappearing far to fast as I try and figure out all the layers to this brew.
I'm always a little skeptical, and I hate to admit it but I am more critical, of a beer with this amount of buzz behind it. This is a fantastic beer no matter which way you look at it and if you read the rest of my review complex is the word! Keep Kate the Great comin'!
Served In: Snifter
Originally reviewed on: 02-10-2009 23:16:50
Served on-tap by Tod (my bad for misspelling your name in the Official KtG day thread - sorry Tod!) himself at KtG day a few minutes after the first tapping...into a Portsmouth snifter. Finally! Let's see if Kate can bring it...and how...
Pours an ultra-dark brown - more than dark chocolate or espresso. Maybe combine those with licorice or Sambuca black and you goddit. A bit of viscosity but not terribly thick. Ginger head is just under a finger - sticks OK with a bit of lacing.
Brown sugar is front and center on the nose with a good alcohol burn. The dark roasted malt is so clean, though, on the backdrop. In a word...silky.
I'm at a loss for words here and can't really describe this...incredible! So much vanilla and roast combines in Beautiful Chemistry with the mild brown sugar and a little milk chocolate. Hops are on deep background but there's a nice woody, grassy quotient that dries this up nicely. Absolutely perfect.
The palate feel is perfectly balanced. Not too light, not too heavy. Not too much of anything but just enough of everything, as overabundant as this may be. It doesn't come off as a caricature - all elements fire on all cylinders.
Now the warning. Because this is so smooth, it drinks way, way WAY too easily for its ABV. Goes down quicker than (insert name of decrepit cherished female relative of your mortal enemy here) on the 29th of the month with rent due. This has got to be the best beer I've tasted to date. I guess it has the sweetness of Dark Lord with the dryness of Darkness, and it all ends up in perfect balance. Out-friggin'-standing. The trip to Portsmouth was well worth it.
Serving type: on-tap
Price: $5.00 Served In: Snifter
*Uploading my old reviews, this one has a review date of: 1-20-08. If I can acquire the beer again I will re-review it*
Winter 07/08 release
Thanks to drseamus for the growler, shared with a couple of people at the Lost Abbey Red Poppy release.
Pours a dark brown color with minimal head, yet a good retention.
The aroma is incredible, one of the best smelling imperial stouts I've had. Dark roasted malts, cocoa, a bit of coffee, dark fruits, and some fruity alcohol.
Tastes similar to the aroma, dark roasted malts upfront with some dark fruits and a cocoa/chocolate malt finish.
A bit dry and hint of alcohol in the after-taste. I'm going to have to seek some more bottles of this one, really an incredible stout.
Served In: Pint Glass
A: Pours a medium viscosity, doesn’t look too heavy. Head is text book…1/2 inch of creamy brownish khaki bubbles. Body itself is mostly opaque but allows some light through the thin areas of the glass. A really dark brown in color.
S: Extremely oily. Good amount of rich dark bakers chocolate…almost vinous, vanilla in the highs, rustic espresso in the lows, fudge like brownie sweetness and a faint hint of smoke.
T: Begins super oily…so oily it almost lends a plastic taste. The oiliness is a superb blend of espresso, bakers chocolate and tight hops. Its spicy across the tip of the tongue with some more plastic notions. This entire process almost numbs the tongue…I can say that’s a first with beer. Lot of anise, some buttery aspects and even more herbal qualities play across the tongue. After the swallow, intense alcohol dominates every aspect of my mouth…from the gums to the nasal cavity. Finishes a little bitter, quite spicy with long lingering bakers chocolate.
M: Medium body with a full mouthfeel.
D: Nice stout indeed. Good balance but the oiliness is a bit over the top for me. And lets get something straight….2nd best beer in the world? Come on. Seriously.
Served In: Pint Glass
Pours out quite black, with only some very fine carbonation atop it that dissipated really quickly. There's some very fine lacing left behind on the glass, but not much.
The smell is full of fine, dark chocolate. Behind it is some roasty malt, and just a little bit of coffee.
The taste is that of legend. Creamy, and full bodied, and full of everything detected by the nose, and more. There's some strong alcohol and backing bitterness that I didn't smell, along with a really sweet-tasting finish/aftertaste.
The mouthfeel is wonderful, just a little bit on the thin side. Decent carbonation, too.
Overall, an extremely drinkable version of an imperial stout. For the most part, you'd never know the ABV was so high.
Served In: Pint Glass
Thanks a ton to nase for the bottle!
A - Pours and inky black concoction. Looks thick. Head is cocoa colored, about one finger thick and isn't going anywhere. Nice sticky lacing.
S - Big roasty dark malts. Dark chocolate and some powdered cocoa. The chocolate smells are so big and bold it makes me salivate. There is some soft expresso lying behind along with a slight anise odor. Do I smell gingerbread? I think so. Exceptional.
T - Oh wow, this is extraordinary. Big vibrant chocolate flavors envelope the tongue with dark chocolate, milk chocolate and cocoa all at once. Some subtle expresso flavors come in. Then you get a bitter wash that is quite pleasant. This is really all about the chocolate and that is aok with me. Super tasty.
M - Big, rich, and chewy. Smooth carbonation.
D - This is not a good beer, it is a great beer. Find it. You need it. Good thing I have Darkness to comfort the thoughts that I can't get this locally.
Served In: Pint Glass
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