Black Me Stout, Champion Brewing Company (Charlottesville, VA)

IMG_1603 editI don’t consider myself a ‘square’, although referencing that moniker probably makes me one and shows my age as well. When looking back on my 30+ years of my life, I found that while there has been some slight variations on the particular artists and bands that I listen to, the overall genre has the same. Many would call them ‘jam bands’, but its really original bands who mix a variety of music elements together and who have innovative instrumentation. That some/most of their songs are 15-plus minutes long for the live versions (and that’s really all that count) and that he rest of my company (present wife included) roll their eyes when they are in my car is just a harmless side effect.

Now while I try to branch out now and again to other music, punk music really has not been my thing. I take a purely hippie approach to it and believe that love the music you love. On my recent trip to Charlottesville, I was presented with a few band-beer collaborations from Champion from bands outside my bubble. I will admit I had to work the Interwebs to find out who these bands were, but my philosophy stayed the same, especially since there was a genuine interests in craft beer by musicians. Keeping with our stout reviews of late, we look at the ‘Against Me!’ Champion Brewing joint effort.

Black Me Stout, Champion Brewing Company (Charlottesville, VA)
Stout, ABV: 6.0%

Presentation: Tap pour into pint glass.

Appearance: Black with little opaqueness around the bottom and sides. Head was dark brown to light brown up the semi stagnant head.

Smell: Bitter roasted coffee and chocolate malts that trends to a more dryer English stout than traditional American style. Faint wheat/bread and light hops.

Taste: Exhibited your standard dark malt flavors up front, but becomes very dry, in part to the wheat and hops noticeable on the back end.

ABV/IBU Feel: I thought I would never lead off with IBU’s in a stout, but the 45 in this brew is very noticeable and makes a large part of the overall character of the beer. It dries out the beginning and leaves a slight bitterness at the end, almost past a ‘mouth reset’. It is the ABV at 6% which is not that noticeable as the sharpness is mixed in with the hop profile.

Overall: When looking at stouts, this pushes away from both the sweeter milk stouts and even most traditional American stouts. The dryer finish on the mouth makes for a different experience, but one that is enjoyable. Because of this, you can have this with some savory Irish fare, like Shepard’s Pie or Corned Beef. In addition, this is a year round beer, albeit in the summer months it  might be a little taxing. A great beer all around.

Score: 8.6

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