I decided to look recently while in the checkout line at the supermarket to see if one could still buy Wrigley’s Doublemint chewing gum. I work in a school, so of course I know that chewing gum in general is still a thing, to the dismay of a subset of teachers (not to mention the cleaning staff). However, I didn’t remember seeing or hearing about that particular brand for a long time, even though the advertising jingle is one of those bits of flotsam that will remain in my brain forever. On the other hand, I don’t watch much television and often use the DVR to avoid ads, so I used Google Images to learn that the Wrigley product is still going strong and that twins have continued to star in ads for Doublemint right up through the current decade.
Of course I’m not really interested in chewing gum–I’ve actually been thinking lately about double stouts, also known as Russian imperial stouts, and other close relatives in the beer universe. As noted in my last post, a recent quest has been for readily available beers that represent a small indulgence relative to my usual selection of craft beers—the difference between $7-8.00 for a six-pack and $10.00 for a four-pack or big bottle. I already mentioned a few of the double IPAs, so this post will list some of the stouts that I’ve been considering.
My new acquaintance Aaron sent along a can of an interesting collaboration between two local businesses: Grey Sail Brewing (Westerly) teamed up with Dave’s Coffee Roasters (Narragansett) to produce Dave’s Coffee Stout. The dominant flavor note here was the same aftertaste that I get from chocolate covered espresso beans. Although both of these are interesting experiments, neither the chocolate treat nor the beer is likely to work its way into my normal rotation. (The stout is not currently listed on the Grey Sail web site—maybe it’s a seasonal that will return next winter?)
I’ve had Southern Tier 2X Stout (or a close relative) sometime in the past. No picture and no particularly memorable tasting notes here, so this one also wasn’t the answer to my quest.
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing in CA was a restaurant purchase at Luxe Burger Bar, our customary dinner out after an evening at one of the RI Philharmonic Orchestra’s Rush Hour concerts.
These concerts are fun—purposefully shorter than the full Saturday program, starting a little earlier and designed to be more family-friendly. With students at the RI Philharmonic Music School, our family gets an even deeper discount, and we shamelessly bribe our kids with the promise of a fancy burger afterward. In addition to decadent build-your-own burgers, Luxe also has a nice selection of bottled beers, which is good since the draft selection is sometimes disappointing, and back in February I was definitely in the mood for something chewy to go with my burger. I haven’t tried to find this to bring home, but the North Coast web site lists them as being available at a couple of nearby stores, so it is a possible addition to the list.
One I will definitely keep on my radar is Boulevard Brewing Dark Truth. Nicely smoky and with a body and viscosity that were satisfying without being overdone.
Another one that I have tried previously and will be keeping my eye out for is Siren Noire from Heavy Seas. This one comes in a big bottle, but even though it uses both chocolate and vanilla in the brewing process I wouldn’t limit it to being a dessert beer (though you could certainly go that route if you wanted to). The web site lists this as a seasonal beer available starting in January so there’s probably not any out there now, but they also helpfully suggest some alternatives, including their Alpha Effect “Hazy IPA” which I’ll get to some other time.
I keep waiting for the seasons to really turn here in New England, but the weather has continued to keep me in the mood for substantial beer (and scotch) rather than pilsners or gin and tonic. The forecast for this week, however, has us getting up into the 80s, so maybe that time is finally here. Cheers!