PORTSMOUTH — They came to taste one of the world’s best beers. The line to sip a glass of the Portsmouth Brewery’s 2012 release of Kate the Great Russian Imperial Stout snaked outside and around the corner from the restaurant on Market Street beginning at 2:55 a.m. By 10:50 a.m. when the doors opened, it was close to 500 strong, at least double last year’s number.
Nestle’s Quick. For anyone who has had Nestles Quick: dominant taste and aroma. Color: dark amber, clarity great with amber highlights. Head pillow with a hint of rock. Mouthfeel: Nestle’s Quick. Hint of peppers. There are several peppers here but they are way in the background. The peppers are more in the mouthfeel: which while wonderful: needs to be more in the taste. Why put them in unless a little more dominant? Pepper sense kept fading in and out, probably because peppers were late additions or dry hopped. Body is full: even a tad chewy. But that is more the cocoa and the peppers: not as much the malts they brag about on the bottle which are well hidden.
Needs just a few more early additions: just a tad to make it more dominant in the taste.
Nice, pure white, pillow head.
The taste is incredible. Great chocolate background. “Mole” is appropriate, as in a mole you might prepare for cooking. This dominants with a malt mouthfeel background that supports; but unfortunately never quite expresses itself. The peppers seem to pop in and out out, I suspect because they’re more in the aroma, a bit less in the taste as the beer warms.
Or, hey, you could just back off just a smidge on the mole guys! That might make the rest express itself a tad more.
But, if you would a like Nestles Cocoa beer, this is for you. Very pleasant and appealing.