Indiana produces some fierce teddy bears
It’s been some time since I’ve written up a beer review, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been out there trying new beers. I’m pretty sure it just means I’ve been lazy. Back to the task at hand. One of my three New Brew Year resolutions was to drink more local beers. I’m going to say this sort of counts since Upland Brewing Co. hails from Bloomington, IN – a mere 130 miles. Yeah, its a stretch. However, I’ve been meaning to try their beers since they first infiltrated the Cincinnati market a few months ago.
I was immediately intrigued by the name of Teddy Bear Kisses, their imperial stout aged on Fair Trade cocoa nibs. I have to be honest the Fair Trade part made my eyes glaze over but the important part of imperial and cocoa caught my attention. After sitting on it for a couple of weeks I decided it was time to have at this cuddly little teddy bear.
This stuff pours black as night with a nice dark tan head that rose up about half a finger. The head dissipated pretty quickly leaving a thin ring around the glass. This is to be expected from a beer with 10.2% ABV. The aroma is dark roast and a slight plant, organic matter. Some sweet notes as well. Overall, it doesn’t have a real overpowering aroma. It took a number of deep whiffs to come up with this (or my sniffer is broken).
The flavor begins a little sweet followed by a strong warming alcohol, booze flavor. The heat is pretty strong and pronounced in the swallow but fades pretty quickly after that. The aftertaste is where the cocoa really starts to kick in, leaving a bittersweet baker’s chocolate flavor. You also get some of that organic flavors present in the aroma. This must be from all the cocoa nibs that it sat on.
In general, it’s a nice Imperial Stout that could probably stand some additional aging. If I come across it again soon I may pick up a bottle to age for awhile to see if the booze heat subsides over time. This was bottled in October 2012 but I could see this flavor evolving over an extended period of time. I also would LOVE to try a bourbon barrel aged version (which I believe they make). I think a nice bourbon, vanilla flavor would mix well with the flavors and compliment the booze heat.
The 22oz bomber was about eight bucks.