Midtfyns nr. 1000 Valnød Imperial Stout
Type: Imperial Stout
Yesterday (Nov. 3rd 2013) Midtfyns Bryghus released four imperial stouts to commemorate the closing of their original brewery where they brewed 1000 batches. The beers that will be 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. Today I decided to skip ahead and go with the most interesting and experimental, and coincidently also final brew, walnut and walnut leaf imperial stout. I have tried some nutty beers in my time, and yes, both figuratively and literally. I always feel a little let down, as in I can't normally distinguish any flavor imparted by the nuts. Although according to the label this beer was made with "green walnut soaked in spirits since 2005", creating a "walnut elixir". Well that certainly sounds like it should have some kind of nutty kick. The bottle also lists walnut leaves as an additive to the brewing. Well when you shake the brewing tree you are bound to get a few nuts, and I guess in this case some leaves too.
Pours a good shade of imperial stout black. The head is huge but has no staying power and drop down into a comfortable little tan scum on top of the beer. The nose is dominated by a sharp alcohol smell, guessing this comes from the "walnut elixir". A bit like a high alcohol spirit smell, something an action hero would pour onto a wound to disinfect it then take a big swig of because he is a real man. There is a sweet bit of dark malt back there too but it can't really pass the wall of ethanol. Time to man up and take a drink. Surprisingly the taste of alcohol is much more reserved in the taste. While still omnipresent through the entire taste it doesn't entirely overwhelm the sweet syrupy malt taste as completely as in the nose. The main taste is sweet black licorice and a background of coffee. The aftertaste consists of pleasant coffee and resounding alcohol, a bit like a heavy handed irish coffee. Very sweet sticky mouthfeel, with a quite unique feel I am guessing is a result of the nuts or leaves. I can honestly say the taste improved immensely as the beer warmed. The recommended serving temperature on the bottle is 10-14 C (50-57F), I would recommend staying at the higher temperature end of that scale.
I am not really sure what to give as a final verdict on this one. While the high alcohol smell was off-putting, it did not effect the taste so much. I have had other imperial stouts where the alcohol taste is far more pronounced and distracting. On the other hand I don't really get a lot of any sort of nutty taste or anything you might imagine would be coming through on a beer with "walnut" in the title. To be fair though, this is still a nice imperial stout, all the hallmarks are there, nice body, licorice and roast. So I will be giving it a more average score of 7, based on it being fine for a stout and having at the very least an interesting taste and mouthfeel. I am not sure this is what the brewer was hoping for, but it was certainly much different then what I was expecting.