I didn’t hear about a stampede of people rushing to get this offering from Breakside when it first game out, which seemed odd. Salt & Straw are well known in the city for doing great ice cream and their salted caramel is considered to be excellent. When I told other, non-beer focused people, they seemed quite a bit more interested than they would about other beers I might talk about.
On the upside, I found some for a reasonable price and was able to pick it up. My first sampling of the stout took place at Breakside’s tasting room in Milwaukie, though, where I believe it was served too cold. It tasted thin and I wasn’t sure why anyone would go for this. My girlfriend liked it a bit more so when I saw the bottled version I figured I would give it another shot, this time letting the beer warm up.
There is lots of chocolate malt in the nose. A hit of saltiness at the finish–how the hell did they do that? Darker roast comes out as it gets warmer, so the beer veers more on coffee flavors as time passes.
There is a dry quality to the finish, too. The caramel effects seem pretty muted and it’s a lot more effervescent than I would expect for a stout. But it’s a good beer.
Needs to warm up though, for the flavors to come out. Unfortunately, I may have let it warm up too much? The roasted qualities of coffee start to override a lot about this beer and it became more one-dimentional with about 1/3rd left in my glass to drink.
As good as it is, it also seems temperamental, fragile. Nudge it the wrong way in either direction and it becomes surly and less pleasant but…when in the right temp range, it’s dead on good. Check it out.