A local craft beer bar, The Tap Room. It’s the release event for Stone’s newest collaboration beer, the Stone Farking Wheaton W00tstout. This particular collaboration is a departure from the norm, that of breweries coming together to make a beer. Here, we have nerd popular Wil Wheaton, an avid home brewer, Drew Curtis, creator of FARK.com – a news aggregating site, and Greg Koch, Lord Imperial King of Stone Brewing, coming together to make a beer that is not devoid of puns (wheat beer by Wheaton, cue giggles). In the end, we get an Imperial Stout, with pecans and a portion going through barrel aging, as well as the highest ABV Stone has put out to date.
Appearance : Midnight without a moon is an apt description for this. This poured off the tap entirely sans head, but using my own devices and wiles (I asked for a wine glass and poured some into it) I was able to discern a hazelnut, off-white colored head originates from this brew.
Aroma : The first sniff greets with dark molasses stretching into burnt sugars, with hints of bubblegum popping through. Nutty aromas are sneaking around the edges of this initial nasal greeting. Warm boozy woods are pervasive throughout the experience, and will persist during the entire drinking venture. Dry pecans start to pick up as it warms, and the bourbon barrel asserts itself as dominant among the other aromas. Hints at fruit can be furtively found around the bossier aromas, and finally chocolate peeks through as well in association with very soft vanilla. This pours a bit too cold off draft lines, and becomes so much more engaging as the temperature heads up towards a proper cellar temperature.
Flavor : Big bourbon woods are what tumble on to the tongue first. Plum will then flit quickly past, in a sort of drive by greeting. Fruity bubblegum follows nearly immediately after, and unlike the plum, will stick around to spend some time with you. Towards the end of this pre-swallow flavor evolution stone fruit juiciness embraces the mouth and fades out to a delightful booze heat. Dryness from the pecans shows up, with a very subtle pecan nuttiness that begins to spread and make itself known. Smooth as just professionally waxed marble. Oily. Sexy. There is a huge nutty aftertaste and finishes very dry, along with bourbon flavor. As it warms it is fruit forward into bourbon booze warmth with hints of spice and vanilla, finishing at a dry pecan nuttiness. This is good stuff here.
Body : Heavy body and heavy mouth feel is to be encountered here, so if you’re not prepared, you’ve been warned.
Bitterness : The bitterness within this beer is more from roasted malts more than hops, I felt. However, that is not to say hops are non-existent, and there is a melding of roast malt bitter and hop derived bitter. It is a very pleasant bitter, and hop heads and non-hop heads should both be perfectly fine with this beer.
The Takeaway : Damn good, but perhaps too wood heavy? I feel the pecans should have been enabled to play around more, and become more prominent. However, it still isn’t that big of an issue, so much as to take away from an overall delicious woody booze nut fest in a glass. There are woods for days in this beer, and it has inspired me to become a woodsman playwright. If you like big stouts, drink the hell out of this, because it is fun, challenging, and tastes like a deity of bourbon soaked wood came into the brewery to help brew this beer. Word. 13% ABV and 65 IBUs on this nerdy stout. The overall quality of this beer merits a 4.5 out of 5 apples . Find this beer, and I’ll see you next post.
Jared Lewinski is obsessed with beer. As such, he has uprooted his life in New Jersey to attend the Brewmastery and Brewery Operations Management program at Niagara College, a program that has, for the past three years, been producing top-tier brewers for Canada and beyond. As a child of the American Craft Movement, Jared has big opinions and a love for big beers. His hope is to bring an outsider’s perspective to a fascinating and tumultuous time for Canadian and Ontario made craft beer, and the culture that it represents…And is growing his beard out for his woodsman playwright journey.