As an afficionado of beer in general and the Craft Beer Advent Calendar in particular, I try to approach each day's selection with the appropriate level of attention and respect, but today was difficult. Today was the day that the Rare Hipster and Totty and I finally convened to consume the legendary Utopias I had obtained for us last week.
We had some brilliant but frankly pedestrian beers before and during supper while dining on the steaks I had grilled, and today's offering, Deep Space, languished until after supper and the first glass of that legendary elixir from New England.
You see, described as a "foreign extra stout" from Poland, today's advent beer seemed less likely to satisfy as an accompaniment to a meal, and better served to be an interstitial course between servings of Utopias.
Deep Space decants as a luxurious deep brown, not quite Guinness-black, and coffee and toasted malt scents are discernible right from the pour. A finger of off-white foam caps the glass.
The burnt coffee and toasted malts continue to oppress the olfactory in a most copacetic fashion, and a sip confirms what the nose has suspected: these malts have been scorched. A hint of smoke permeates the proceedings to be sure.
The coffee gives way to bitter chocolate and bread malts, with a bitterness that owes little to hops and more to carbonization, but is balanced.
Deep tannins give Deep Space a satisfying finish and rich mouthfeel to round out the experience. At 6.5%, this is a poor choice for a session ale, but I would have another, if offered.
This beer would excellently complement a plate of bbq ribs, pulled pork, or anything else with a strong, smoky flavour. I'll be looking for this beer after the advent season!