Welcome back to the Daily Beard, everyone! Posts have been light as of late but fear not, normalcy shall return. For now, I bring to you one of the tastiest beers I’ve had in a while, and I drank it from a can of all places. I know, I said that I’d only be reviewing beers that I’ve poured into glasses, but craft beer’s natural habitat is not a can. If the brewery puts their beer into a can, I’ll respect that, and drink it as such. Plus, it’s an imperial stout, and a stout in the can is a little mind boggling. Specifically, it’s Oskar Blues’ Ten Fidy Imperial Stout, so named for its 10.5% ABV. And, when the can itself is covered in gems such as “cancupiscent” (which is a play on concupiscent, which means lusty and sensuous) and “prepare 2 be hit”, I’m afraid that if I don’t drink it from the can, it’ll grow arms and try to stab me. No stabbings occurred, and now I can pass along the tasty goodness to all of you.
Things started off with a huge malty aroma of roasty brown bread. Immediately following were rich notes of coffee slathered with molasses. The molasses gave it a touch of sweetness on the nose, even before the first taste. Assisting the molasses stickiness were hints of dark fruits – minor plums, a handful of currants, and a pinch of black licorice candy – creating a rich bouquet of mingling floral sweetness and roasted darkness. The final aroma note was a bit odd – a mellow saltiness that was similar to soy sauce. This may vary from can to can, but there was a definite combination of scents that created a salty, slightly toasty aroma of Kikoman. Visually, I didn’t pour it out, but when I looked down into the can, it appeared as if I was staring into a bottomless pit of darkness.
Over on the taste side, the beer basically explodes onto your tongue. An ultra malt profile arrives with flavors of roasted grape-nuts and bread. From here, huge coffee notes arrived – bold and full bodied, but not overpowering. It’s definitely not a java stout. Molasses returns on the tongue, carried by the same dark fruits once more. It adds a touch of sweetness that works great with a slightly herbal vibe that arrives a bit later. As the drink continues, the sweetness changes from the herbs and molasses to a deep, chocolate fudge – enveloping the mouth with a massive darkness that continues to grow with each drink. The fudge slowly shifts into a dark chocolate syrup flavor, where it finally comes to a stop as pure potent stout. The 10.5% is partially masked, allowing some boozy hints of its alcohol potency to shine through here and there. This alcohol edge isn’t unpleasant and is awesomely managed within the other flavors. It allows the tastiness of the beer to stay front and center, while the alcoholic oomph keeps things ultra toasty. It’s a wonderful thing.
Oskar Blues’ Ten Fidy Imperial Stout was not only delicious, but it was a joy to drink. Despite its supreme darkness and alcohol potency, it goes down like liquid silk and makes you happy. The flavors are balanced to perfection, and seem unending as you’re drinking – showing a huge complexity that only get’s better with time. Just because it’s in a can, it’s well worth the standard craft beer price, so grab as many as you can.
I recommend Ten Fidy during a cold evening, where the furnace just doesn’t seem to be doing it for you, and you need a little something extra to stay warm. It’d also go great with dessert such as cake, cookies, or pudding. Really, it would be delicious no matter when or where you drink, so enjoy. Oskar Blues’ Ten Fidy Imperial Stout earns a massive A.
Lasting Strength: 10/10
Overall: 9.6/10 A