Midtfyns Licorice Imperial Stout
Type: Imperial Stout
Midtfyns Bryghus released four imperial stouts to commemorate the closing of their original brewery where they brewed 1000 batches. The beers released are numbers 0997, 0998, 0999, and number 1000. They are each different, licorice and fennel, chili, bourbon, and the final beer brewed in their Broby facility a walnut and walnut leaf imperial stout. So we have finally come to the one I have been slightly dreading. Not because I believe it will be bad, but because it contains my most hated ingredient. That is right, I won't hide it, I am a card carrying licorice hater. Now I am not just against dark licorice, I hate all licorice, sweet, salty, red, green, hate them all equally. Piratos and twizzlers equally reviled. So now with that out in the open I want to say that I realize there are plenty of people who do like licorice. Therefore I am going to try to review the beer objectively, giving only commentary on what I taste and not bias it by my own personal tastes. With that little disclaimer out of the way let's check this beer out.
Pours nice and dark with I think the tallest and longest lasting tan head so far in this series. I know this is going to amaze you, but the nose is absolutely dominated by licorice. Dark fruity sweet tones are also detectable, like some sort of black licorice and plum jam. Even as a licorice detractor I can honestly say the aroma of this beer is quite complex and actually very pleasant. Now the moment of truth is upon me. The taste is huge and sweet. This is a licorice lover's dream beer. Huge licorice taste, but also very very sweet. Instead of the natural licorice usually found in imperial stouts, the flavor here is far more reminiscent of the actual candy, mostly due to the sweetness. It completely reminds me of the licorice pieces I accidentally eat in the dark of a movie theatre from my wife's bag of Haribo. Once the sugary licorice flavor drops off you are left with quite a bit of roasted coffee and milk chocolate in the aftertaste along with a nice round oaky flavor. Big syrupy mouthfeel, totally coats the mouth. Surprisingly for me the aftertaste is very pleasant and saves it from my all encompassing licorice wrath. Alcohol is understated but quite present at higher temps, this is one in the series I would recommend at the colder end of the serving spectrum, which is 10-14 C.
Not sure how I should sum this beer up. I am obviously quite biased on the flavoring, so this is going to be a score based more on the beer itself then the flavor. The beer is a nice example of imperial stout, though it is on the sweet side it is well within its right to be due to the addition of the licorice syrup. It still stops short of completely cloying sweetness and delivers a very nice resounding aftertaste. I am going with eight, as it is a nice beer without a lot of flaws, just not to my flavor liking. If I were a licorice junkie I could see this being a much higher score.