Two Brothers Brewing Company. A local gem here in Chicago’s west suburbs bringing us favorites like Domain DuPage, Resistance IPA, Bitter End Pale Ale, and a host of others. I enjoyed their Red Eye Coffee Porter, and was excited to drink their North Wind Imperial Stout, which is their winter seasonal. Mine poured a nice thick black into the pint glass (normally I would be using a tulip or snifter but I wanted to show off our PHM glass), and developed a nice tan head. The head dissipated almost 100% after a few minutes, but laced with style all the way down the glass as I drank the beer.
North Wind smelled like dark roasted malts. I did not pick up much dark fruit or licorice … just roasty, nutty coffee and chocolate. It seemed on the more bitter side of aromas, but not overwhelmingly so. With that initial impression I tipped back the glass and enjoyed my first sip. It was pretty smooth and silky, “mediumly” carbonated. You can definitely sense the high ABV … so this beer is a chocolatey sipper of a stout, and you would do well to let it come up in temperature as you enjoy it. As with most stouts, I enjoyed it more and more as it warmed. It gets even smoother when you do this, and you can get a better sense for the flavoring. Towards the end I was able to pick up on licorice notes … notes I didn’t really sense at the beginning when it was cold and bubbly.
Overall this is a well-made stout, brewed by people who know what they are doing and who understand how much we need beers like this during the cold Midwest winter months.