How is your winter coat coming along? Confused?
Recently I noted that during the hearty winter months in New Hampshire, we tend to put on a few extra ounces (or pounds) that I look at as insulation or otherwise known as your winter coat. With this in mind, we venture down the fuller side of darker beer called stout. If you frequent these pages in the past, you’ve noticed a concentration on these fuller beers. There was even a review called Stout Shoot-Out looking at 6 (big) Stouts. The one we look at today was missed but is truly worth knowing… 10 Fidy by Oskar Blues Brewery.
Oskar Blues started in Longmont, Colorado. It’s flagship beer back in 2002 was Dale’s Pale Ale that helped grow the company enough to open another brewery in Brevard, North Carolina. Having an East Coast presence (especially close to Asheville, NC’s wildly expanding craft brew mecca), allowed Oskar Blues to brand a vast number of excellent offerings, all in 12 oz cans, to really become a big player in the craft beer industry. Each style pushes the limits of taste and flavor to its fullest.
10 Fidy Imperial Stout, according to their website, boasts a huge build of base grains (what starts in all beers), chocolate malt, roasted barley and flaked oats. The slang name is a reference to its sheer immensity. With this sizable amount of grain, hops are applied to help balance out the sweetness with bittering (that’s the hop’s job) and cleverly conceals 65 IBUs under a velvety smooth and incredibly viscous liquid.
Blacker than black, 10 Fidy pours with a mocha head and last for just a bit. You will immediately recognize chocolate and coffee notes as you approach your initial sip. Rich, roasty, and bready, you’ll also find some dark fruit, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla and a bit of charred oak hit your palate. Thick but not chewy would best describe the mouthfeel of 10 Fidy. Since the bittering is applied against the rich maltiness, the boozy 10.5% ABV is well hidden, but beware of multiple doses…
BeerAdvocate.com has officially rated 10 Fidy as ‘World Class’ awarding it a 96 out of 100. The Bros give it top rating of 100. Followers also rated it as high as 4.92 out of 5.0 for this beauty, so get over to Case-n-Keg in Meredith or Laconia to see what Oskar Blues is all about!
Tasting note: Next week, we will examine 10 Fidy against a similar style called Old Rasputin.
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 email@example.com.