Saturday, July 06, 2019

Beer of the Week: Blue Mountain Barrel House Dark Hollow

Me enjoying a Blue Mountain Barrel House
Dark Hollow bourbon-barrel imperial stout
at Me's Burgers and Brews
in Danville, Virginia.
Beer score: 9.0

Company: Blue Mountain Brewery

ABV: 10.0
IBU: 70

Like a lot of modern beer aficionados, I like being pleasantly surprised by a beer I've never tasted before, perhaps even a beer I never knew existed until I walked into a particular restaurant or other establishment.

Such happened to me today when I entered Me's Burgers and Brews in Danville, Virginia. Traveling through the region, I had not necessarily planned on stopping at this restaurant, but I was in the mood for a good burger and I knew about Me's though I'd never been there.

First off, quality burger. Truly. Easily the best burger I've ever had in Virginia and one of the best burgers I've ever had anywhere. I order The Louise Penny burger which came with bacon, cheddar cheese and a maple mayo. I had been a little leery of the maple mayo, but upon giving it a try, it was perfect, not too sweet but noticeable without taking away from the rest of the burger.

Okay, okay. On with the beer.

Anyway, outside the front of the restaurant was a chalkboard sign with a goodly number of beers, and among the beers listed was the Blue Mountain Barrel House Dark Hollow, a bourbon barrel imperial stout. It sounded awesome to me, so that was the drink I ordered with my awesome burger.

I've often said the first sign of a good stout is that you can't see through it in a clear glass, and that was the case here. This stout appeared like a good stout should, thick and dark with a foamy tan head.

This was a strong stout, in flavoring and in alcohol content, so consider this a word of warning to those who prefer the lighter brews. Even a small, eight ounce glass of this stout packs quite the wallop and might leave your head spinning a little. But that's just the alcohol. As for the flavor, expect a dark, rich chocolate and some burnt oak textures, perhaps even a touch of caramel and maybe the barest hints of fruitiness.

If you enjoy good, strong stouts, then this one should be for you. Also, I'll add that though there's a relatively strong alcohol taste here, it's not overpowering, allowing this stout to go down quite mellow.

Is this a unique stout? No, not quite, but it's also not far from it. All in all, this is a pretty darn good stout and worth the time of any serious beer snob.

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