Wednesday's tasting of the Coronado Brewing Stupid Stout awakened something in me. Maybe it's because we're sliding into the winter months or I've been a little preoccupied with hoppy beers, but my thirst for stouts has been unquenchable ever since. This is problematic for many reasons, not the least of which is the world's unceasing demands that I be somewhat sober on occasion. Reality, you are a pitiless slavedriver.
In fairness to reality, though, the real obstacle is the heft of the stouts themselves. A bomber of imperial stout may claim a standardized 22-ounce volume, but it seems to summon up a fullness that vastly exceeds it. The liver is willing, but the gut is weak. It's frustrating enough that I often bypass these thicker brews, but when I'm faced with a bottle of Aztec Brewing's "Noche de los Muertos," I happily run headlong into feeling distended.
The nose on this stout is rife with cinnamon and further bolstered with the aromas of milk chocolate and coffee, reminiscent of the smells wafting up from the rack of accoutrements in fancy-pants coffee joints. It pours jet-black with a thick, taupe head. The first sip embodies much of the sweet and spice of the aroma, delivering more cinnamon, fudge and roasted malts. It even has a subtle burn to it that's very mild and terribly pleasing. Given the sultry and chewy flavors it delivers, the beer feels almost peculiarly thin. I'm not saying it's too thin, by any means, but the characteristics don't feel aligned. However, given my previous gripes, that may also be its greatest asset.
If you want a beautifully crafted and warming dessert stout that you'll actually have room for after dinner, you've got to give this one a whirl.