Briefly abandoning my love of the mixed six, I went out and picked up a couple of six packs (a number of sharing opportunities were on the horizon) from Kress Liquors. One of those six packs was the Boaks Monster Mash. I was intrigued for two reasons. First, I had the opportunity to try Boaks at last year’s Brewer’s Plate. At that time, I was treated to a sample in three stages of aging from Brian Boaks, former homebrewer turned microbrewer. It was a unique and eye-opening experience. The second reason involved the style of the Monster Mash. I love a good Russian Imperial Stout or RIS (not to be confused with a R.O.U.S. or Rodent of Unusual Size which is obviously something completely different). Boaks has four other beers in their line-up: The Abbey Brown Ale, the Double BW (Belgian Wheat), Two Blind Monks (a Belgian Dubbel) and Wooden Beanie (an aged version of the Abbey Brown Ale mixed with vanilla beans and aged in Jack Daniels barrels).
Here is what Boaks has to say about the Monster Mash:
This Russian Imperial Stout is an intensely flavorful beer. Chocolaty, roasty, fruity, and bittersweet, with a hidden alcohol presence. This beer was designed to be sipped slowly on a cool evening in a nice cognac glass. Let it warm up to get the full flavor. This beer won Best in Show at the 2005 NJ State Fair when Brian was home brewing.
I found this beer to be…
- Appearance: A dark brown (almost black) with lots of slowly dissipating, fluffy tan foam.
- Aroma: Sweet, roasted malt and coffee grounds with a little hops and a little citrus.
- Taste: Chocolaty with a syrupy sweetness and an acrid coffee bite with a slightly bitter, hoppy (and maybe a hint of licorice) in the finish.
- ABV: 10%
This was a very nice effort from a micro-microbrew. The balance could have been a little better but the combination of flavors was very nice. And, for an ABV of 10%, the Monster Mash wasn’t overly boozy and paired really well as an after dinner/dessert beer.