Beer Reviews – May 2010

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For those of you new to the scene, cask beer is unique because it has not undergone the carbonation process via carbon dioxide and is served without any CO2 or Nitrogen. It is served a little flatter and warmer than what the general public is used to, however it lends to the flavor and the aroma what the normal carbonation process could leave out. Luckily for us Utahns, we have a couple places around town that will serve some quality cask beer.

Shot in the Dark Coffee Stout
Brewer/Brand: Desert Edge
Abv: 4.0%
Serving: Cask

Description: On cask at the Bayou, this stout is jet black in color and has a nice off-brown head. The aroma is definitely coffee forward with notes of roast and caramel. The flavor is rich, to say the least. There was additionally some chocolate, a roasted astringency and fruit tones—definitely a mouthful.
Overview: This is hands-down my new favorite cask beer to hit The Bayou. If you have that craving for a coffee stout, then look no further. The rich character of this brew makes it a solid drink on its own. However, if you want to pair this, go for dessert.

Squatters McGruehs Irish Dry Stout
Brewer/Brand: Squatters
Abv: 4.0%
Serving: Cask

Description:  Off the tap, McGruehs pours black in color with a light tan head. The aroma is rich with chocolate, sweet caramel and dry roast. The flavor has quite a bit of chocolate, a bit of dry roast in the backing and some dark plumy fruit making its way around.
Overview: Last year I managed to miss this one—I guess that’s what you get for trying to get a drink at Squatters around St. Pats. But this year I made my time at the bar and got my hands on a glass, and I am not upset one bit. This is a quality dry Irish stout to get you a little Irished up.

Desert Edge Special Bitter
Brewer/Brand: Desert Edge
Abv: 4.0%
Serving: Cask

Description: Off the pull, this orange-to-golden colored bitter instantly puts off a killer aroma of soft fruit, citrus hops and an almost earthy backing. The flavor is a malt forward complexity that is laced in soft fruit and decent bittering characteristic that leaves a pleasant lingering on your palate.
Overview:  Why would I do more than one review for Desert Edge this issue? 1) They’re the shit. 2) Don’t question my judgment. When it comes to the cask, the brewers at Desert Edge know what they are doing. Also, to add a unique twist to their cask specials, they have started adding oak on a regular basis. So for all you oak heads out there, you now have a guaranteed source to get your fix.