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Tasting Notes: De Molen: Het Uiltje: Light The Darkness

By Alcoholandaphorisms

Tasting Notes: De Molen: Het Uiltje: Light The Darkness

De Molen: Het Uiltje: Light The Darkness (Netherlands: Imperial Stout: 19.3% ABV)

Visual: Black. Still. Very viscous pour. Thin brown rim of a head.

Nose: Chocolate liqueur. Thick fudge. Boozy vanilla. Bourbon and rye mix. Buttered crumpets. Burnt marshmallow. Cocoa dust. Light smoke and moss. Treacle.

Body: Thick. Oily chocolate. Vanilla toffee. Chocolate liqueur. Mild choc limes and choco strawberry. Heather. Slight alcohol air. Crumpets. Salt.

Finish: Chocolate cake and chocolate liqueur. Alcohol air. Hazelnut chocolate. Coffee cake. Cocoa dust. Brown bread. Salt.

Conclusion: This is stupidly smooth for an over 19% ABV beer. I mean, it has alcohol weight – there is no way to completely hide it, but it feels at most a kind of 10% ABV warm, boozy, tingling kind of thing – but not rough in any way. Considering it has been ice fortified that is even more impressive, that method is one that tends to bring out the harsher alcohol edges in my experience.

It is thick, oily, chocolate liqueur like with soft choc-fruit notes underneath like choc lime and choc strawberry. Though I will admit those notes could be just weird mental images coming out from impressions of the higher alcohol.

As you might expect of a thick Imperial Stout like this, the oak influence is huge. Lots of vanilla toffee from the oak, extra oily, slightly fruity notes from the Speyside whisky, there are even heavier notes that feel like Islay influence, even if there is no actual Islay aging to attribute that to. Those last set of notes could be the high abv, showing themselves as slight medicinal and salt notes rather than harsh evident booze.

It’s basically the big barrel aged stout pushed about as thick and heavy as it can get without sacrificing itself to the alcohol. It isn’t a revolution of a beer, but it is big, fun and well made. Lots of chocolate, a solid bready to crumpet core to give a chewy weight, odd subtle notes and crammed to the gills with barrel aging influence.

I’m loving it – boozy but not harsh. The boozy character may still put off some, but if you are up for the idea of an ice fortified beer, then you should already expect the booze. This is polished, smooth complex and rich – all good by me.

Background: Ok, I mainly grabbed this as I feel it may be sued into oblivion if they ever try to do another batch. Star wars themed images, name and box. Disney are not known for being understanding. Apart from that this also looked like a decent beer – an ice fortified Imperial Stout aged in Speyside whisky casks with American oak chips. Nice. Also a collab between two awesome Netherlands based breweries, so I had confidence it would not just be some harsh high booze waste. I’ve seen this listed as an Eisbock online a lot – which is odd, as to my knowledge an Eisbock is an ice fortified dopplebock, while the base of this is an Imperial Stout. I could be wrong and the term has expended to be any ice fortified beer, but for now I am listing it as an Imperial Stout. This is one bought at Independent Spirit, I drank it after getting back from watching Captain Marvel – it seemed appropriate. Great fun film – especially for a 90s kid like me. Gogol Bordello came up on random on my music player, so shoved some of them on while drinking. For what I hope are understandable reasons, I was a tad drunk while doing notes on this – I’ve tried to make them somewhat readable here but I had less to work with than usual. Hope they are ok.

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