Winter is on its way and soon the howling wind and bitting cold will remind us to stay inside and cozy up to some good food and warm drink. It is a time set aside for realizing the harvest, good friends and family, good times and, of course, great beer. This week, we celebrate yet another awesome creation from the one-and-only Henniker.
Henniker Brewing Company is located in Henniker, NH. Founded in 2011, HBC has captured the attention of craft beer lovers in the NH beer scene. They are today a 30 barrel brew house exclusively sold in NH and distributed widely throughout the state in 22 oz bottles, growlers (half gallon bottles) and kegs for restaurants and taverns. Visit their website at www.hennikerbrewing.com
“King Misanthrope” is a traditional Russian Imperial Stout (RIS) coming out of their quite limited ‘Off the Grid’ program and the last of this series for this year. As defined on Henniker’s website, ‘Misanthrope is a person who dislikes humankind and avoids human society.’
Misanthrope is a big (10% ABV) dose of malt, roasted coffee and chocolate with notes of molasses and earthy peat and wood. It is rich black with a pronounced mocha foamy head and abundant lacing throughout your sips. Other notes arrive late; brown sugar, fruit and wood tannin. Your first taste reminds you of creamy or syrupy chocolate expresso. In fact, the flavor is so complex, you will want to re-examine this beer over and over…
Decadent begins to describe how well balanced and gorgeous this stout tastes. What adds to the complexity is that the entire batch was aged in toasted maple wood whiskey barrels from a distillery in Lee, NH. This could be the reason for the earthy notes and woody flavor hints. This 22 oz bottle of goodness will fetch your richest regards to its endeavor and have you yearning for another chance to meet the king, but alas, it is soon gone.
Being a seasonal, you will want to find this one quickly; they just don’t last. It might still be available at Case-n-Keg in Meredith and Laconia but supplies are limited. (**At press time this beer was available on draft at the Union Diner. See their ad on this page for more info.) Many on BeerAdvocate.com have rated this beer 4.5+ out of 5… meaning, stop what you are doing and go find one!
Jim MacMillan is the owner of WonByOne Design of Meredith, NH, and is an avid imbiber of craft brews and a home brewer as well. Send him your recommendations and brew news to