GOOSE ISLAND NIGHT STALKER - VINTAGE 2010
When this beer first came out, it was one of the more aggressively hopped stouts we've seen, and intentionally so. This imperial stout was a hop bomb with a mixture of roasted and sweet thrown in. In all honesty, I wasn't overly impressed with it and thought the whole make up of the beer was kind of a mess. Bitter, green hops were very big on the front of the taste while the dark fruits and roasted malts kicked in mid way through the taste while a lingering bitterness brought up the rear. Now being four and a half years since this was bottled (bottled February 2010) this has taken on a whole new character. This is a great example of what time can do to a beer.
Some of the hops are still present in the aroma, but nothing near what is was fresh. Having the hops withdraw a little has shed some light on the molasses, toasted malt, coffee and chocolate qualities of the beer. As the beer opens up a bit, you find a bit of toffee, biscuit and some hints of leather.
The flavor is spot on in what one would expect from a well crafted imperial stout. Chocolate and dark fruits like fig, black cherry, and dates are big in the taste. Coffee and molasses play in while the hops take a backseat and mainly just keep the beer from being overly sweet or a malt bomb.
It's tasty, thick, and ends a little dry like powdered cocoa and coffee grounds. It's far less hoppy and drinking exceptionally well while hiding the 11.5% alcohol. It took four years to get to this point and allow the hops to subside enough to let the rest of the beer come through.
Seeing as hops are a natural preservative, it isn't beyond reasonable thought that this beer has been able to develop over the years due to the excessive amount of hops involved. Every ingredient of the beer counts when constructing the flavor profile, both fresh and aged.
WHAT IS CELLARED?
Our CELLARED series aims to explore the world of aging beer and sharing the effects of time in the bottle. Bottles have been kept away from light and at temperatures between 44-60 degrees. Individual experiences may vary depending on storage environments.