Stout – American: Oskar Blue’s Ten FIDY

Ah Spring! It’s coming and it’s that time of year where you don’t know wether the heavens will open, it will snow, or the sun will be shining with a warm breeze. The same goes for Beer. I always have Stouts, Porters, Lambics, Fruit Beers and IPA’s sitting around to deal with the Schizophrenic weather.

That being said, this midweek beer is one of my favourite Imperial Stouts – Oskar Blue’s Ten FIDY. It’s brewed in Colorado. It’s nice to see Oskar Blue‘s cans popping up around the UK, as they make some really good beer and the fact that it’s becoming more easily available is never a bad thing!

Let’s start with Oskar Blue‘s Description of the beer:

This titanic, immensely viscous stout is loaded with inimitable flavors of chocolate-covered caramel and coffee and hides a hefty 98 IBUs underneath the smooth blanket of malt.  Ten FIDY (10.5% ABV) is made with enormous amounts of two-row malt, chocolate malt, roasted barley, flaked oats and hops. Ten FIDY is the ultimate celebration of dark malts and boundary-stretching beer.

Although this description really “bigs up” the beer, I think it deserves the reputation they are trying to portray. The fact it’s a big, imperial, oatmeal stout… what else could you write about it?! By reading that description, it makes it sound like an absolutely amazing beer, and we’ll find out if it is a little bit later on.

Let’s start with the Malts in this brew, Two-Row, Chocolate, Roasted Barley, Munich Light, Crystal 77, Cara. Also Flaked Oats are added as a fermentable. Next up, the Hops! Ten FIDY is Hopped exclusively with Columbus. A pretty simple recipe, like a lot of Oskar Blue‘s beers… but so effective!

When you pour this beer, it’s a deep, thick Black with a Tobacco coloured head with absolutely great Head retention for this style. It even leaves sticky lacing on the sides of the glass! I don’t think I’ve had an Imperial stout, apart from this one that had such great retention and actually left lacing on the glass! On the nose there’s lots of Roasty Malt notes, Coffee, Chocolate and a light bit of Alcohol in the background. How does this beer taste? Where do I start?! Smokey flavours, Raisins, Roasty Coffee and Chocolate notes, Light toffee and a touch of sarsaparilla and molasses on the finish. The beer is quite thick and viscous, lightly carbonated and finishes Medium dry. This is a fantastic beer for colder weather, and definitely one of my favourites!

You can buy Ten FIDY in the UK at:

Brewdog Store

Bottledog, Kings Cross

I’m sure this beer is going to pop up in a lot more places soon, as the Oskar Blue’s Beers are being more widely distributed in the UK. If not this batch, the next in Autumn.

EST. CALORIES: 315   ABV: 10.5%

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Aged Stout – Danish/American: Evil Twin/Prairie Fine Ales Bible Belt

Bible Belt - Evil Twin

This week’s beer is an excellent collaboration Imperial Stout from Evil Twin and Prairie Fine Ales called Bible Belt. This one is definitely a beer that will warm you up in this snow, 13% and aged on Imperial Stout aged on Coffee, Cacao Nibs, Vanilla Beans and Chili Peppers. The picture above is from the first time I had it, at Brewdog’s Shoreditch bar. I loved it so much that I now have a collection of them in my cellar!

Let’s start with Evil Twin and Prairie’s Description of the Beer:

Let’s face it – we love big, flavorful stouts. As luck would have it, our friend Jeppe at Evil Twin Brewing feels the same way. We decided to brew a beer together that took elements from our favorite stouts we each produce to come together as one beer. Bible Belt takes elements we love from Prairie Bomb! and combines them with Evil Twin Brewing’s world famous stout, Even More Jesus. The end result is a smoky, spicy stout that is sure to please the pallet.

Personally, I think this is a good description of the brew. We’ve got the back story and how it tastes without a long page of blurb. Sometimes that can be a lot better than a story that is pages long – in this case it is. I like how this is a mash up of both of their Stouts, and it made it hard to figure out what the recipe could be! Speaking of recipe…

As this is an Imperial Stout, Malts are king! I think the Malts in this beer are 2-Row, Crystal 150, Chocolate Malt, Special Black Malt, Black Malt and Roasted Barley. After this I think there’s also some fermentables, Flaked Oats and some Brown Sugar. As for the hops, I think a generous amount of Magnum has been used. After this the beer is fermented, and during secondary fermentation the Coffee, Cacao Nibs, Vanilla Beans, and Chili Peppers are added and it is aged. I’m not sure how long the beer is aged for, but I think it’s most probably around 90 days.

This beer pours dark as tar with a large caramel coloured head that dissipates very quickly to no head leaving little dots of lacing on the sides of the glass. On the nose, the first thing you notice is a huge Chocolate and Coffee aroma, almost like a Mocha. Some Vanilla notes, Dark Roasty Malts and a little bit of an Earthy bouquet towards the tail end. This beer smells absolutely fantastic! When you taste it, the first thing you get is lots of Chocolate, Coffee and Dark Malts followed by earthy and spicy Chilli Pepper that does creep up on you a little but it’s not too high a heat to deal with. There’s hints of Vanilla, but unfortunately it’s merged with the Coffee at the start and the Chilli flavours dominate towards the end. Although there’s a little bit of Chilli heat in this beer, it’s actually really really smooth and finishes medium.

Unfortunately, Bible Belt is pretty tough to find online in the UK, but you can get it from the following places (if it’s not in stock, ask!)

Utobeer – London

Beer Moth – Manchester

Brewdog Shoreditch – London

Bottledog – London

DogTap – Ellon, Aberdeenshire

Hopefully we’ll see this beer better represented online soon!

EST. CALORIES: 390   ABV: 13%