Ever since I wrote about Stone Brewing Co.’s latest collaboration brew last month I’ve been dying to get my hands on a bottle, because I’m a big fan of Stone’s past collaborations. Yesterday, I found one, and today I’m drinking—and reviewing—it.
I’ve had a few different beer styles flavored with mint in the past, and I was not a fan of any of them. So I was somewhat skeptical of the Ken Schmidt / Iron Fist / Stone Mint Chocolate Imperial Stout before I tasted it. But I’m pleasantly surprised, because this imperial oatmeal stout is delicious. That shouldn’t come as any surprise because the brew was made by three seriously talented brewers: Stone Brewing Co.‘s Mitch Steele, Iron Fist Brewing Co.‘s Brandon Sieminski and home brewer Ken Schmidt, who won Stone’s 2012 home brewing competition with the recipe for this stout.
I poured my stout slowly into a small Stone tasting glass, and it settled with very little head. Its sweet, pungent aroma of chocolate and coffee is immediately apparent, and you can’t really smell any mint. The brew is a beautiful deep-brown color with a tan head.
I let the bottle cool in my refrigerator overnight, but after reading Stone’s suggestion to drink the beer at cellar temperature, I let it sit for 10 minutes or so after removing it from the refrigerator. And I purposely drank it slowly to let the beer near room temperature.
The stout is thick with very fine carbonation. It tastes strongly of chocolate and coffee, and it finishes with a very mild, almost-indistinguishable mint flavor. That’s a good thing, because the mint is secondary to chocolate, coffee and molasses malts, and it compliments them instead of overpowering those flavors. And as the beer warms up, the distinct flavors really pop.
Ken Schmidt / Iron Fist / Stone Mint Chocolate Imperial Stout has an ABV of 9.6%, and the warm alcohol taste combines nicely with the chocolate, coffee and mint. I’m honestly impressed with the brew, and I’d definitely drink it again. I also have to believe that the brew would age very nicely, so I’m going to try to find another one for my cellar.
Ken Schmidt / Iron Fist / Stone Mint Chocolate Imperial Stout started shipping on October 8, and it’s available in 18 U.S. states: Arizona; California; Colorado; Florida; Illinois, Massachusetts; North Carolina; New Mexico; New Jersey; New York; Ohio; Oregon; Pennsylvania; South Carolina; Texas, Virginia, Vermont and Washington. I paid $5 for my 12-ounce bottle, which is reasonable for such a complex, high ABV beer.
Ken Schmidt / Iron Fist / Stone Mint Chocolate Imperial Stout gets an 8/10 on the Urban Beer Nerd scale. (It has a BeerAdvocate.com rating of 91 based on 27 user reviews.)
Check out the video below for more details on the beer and its origins. (Is it me or is the narrator annoying as hell?)