I discovered BARLEY FORGE BREWING CO. quite by accident. I had some time to kill while waiting for dinner reservations and decided a beer would be the perfect appetizer. And what a great discovery it was! I don’t usually drink stouts because many of the new breed of stouts are usually very hearty, high octane and take some time to enjoy fully and completely. But I was feeling a bit of IPA fatigue that day (despite the fact that Barley Forge has some pretty good IPAs), and decided on having their flagship stout.
I ordered The Patsy, a coconut rye stout poured from a nitro tap* which is the preferred way to enjoy the full flavor spectrum of this ale. It pours black with a thick, tan foamy head. The smell suggested dessert, a sweet and inviting blend of roasted coconut—so much coconut—and mocha with a subtle hint of vanilla. The Patsy tasted just like it smelled—like a delicious coconut and mocha dessert. There was also a subtle Irish creme flavor on the palate followed by the dark toasted malt typical for a stout as well as a slight, dry rye spiciness at the back end. The mouthfeel was full-bodied and creamy and the flavors just lingered until the next sip, much like a rich delicious dessert should. Did I mention that this stout was delicious?
I liked the Patsy so much, I took home a 6-pack. The bottled version doesn’t taste as rich and full-bodied as the nitro version. It is more carbonated which mutes some of the Patsy’s flavors that you get with the nitro version, but it still tastes great, particularly if you let it sit for a bit after pouring it. However, given the choice, definitely get this one on nitro. If you’re not a big stout drinker, this may very well turn you into one. —J.A.
*Beer pressurized with nitrogen rather than carbon dioxide which gives the ale a fuller, creamier taste and feel due to the lack of carbonation normally present in beer.
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