“Tapping the Keg” is a weekly review of craft beers brought to you by campus correspondent Dan Wood
Long Trail has quickly become a favorite brewery among craft beer drinkers with its famous Long Trail IPA, featuring the silhouette of a hiker as their symbol and the origins of their namesake. But since their rise in popularity, Long Trail has adopted a new logo, resembling a 17th century wax stamp prominently displaying “LT” in the center. With a new look came new beers, and the first to catch my attention was the blacked out Unearthed stout.
With the bottle of dark brown glass and label composed of a large tree digging its roots deep beneath the soil, all painted in black, you should get the sense that this is indeed a very dark beer, traditional to the stout style of brewing.
Out of the bottle and into a glass, Unearthed stout is darker than a fully roasted coffee. Even when held up to light, nothing penetrates this deep black stout. When poured this beer is followed by a thick head the color of espresso foam. With the intense color and consistency and an alcohol by volume of 7.9% this beer is both intimidating and intriguing.
The nose is very daunting with the distinct smell of dark roasted malt, wet earth, and caramel, with a punch of alcohol. After taking the first sip, a completely different set of flavors springs forth, with top notes of cream, toasted nuts, oats, and milk chocolate. This refreshing start gives way to a very smooth molasses taste with a medium body. The finish on this beer is incredibly complex. For a beer that is this high in alcohol and has such a strong nose and color, it has almost no unpleasant lingering bitterness or burnt notes. The finish is extremely light, and leaves you as if you had just eaten a high quality piece of dark chocolate, and chased it with warm coffee and milk.
Stouts are often deceiving in this way; Guinness is the most well known stout in the United States and potentially the world. Although it is intimidating with its color and status among the Irish, who are well known as heavy drinkers, Guinness is a very light tasting beer, with almost milkshake flavor qualities and a relatively low alcohol by volume percentage.
Pairing stouts can be a bit more difficult than other beers because of their distinct set of flavors that the brewing style tends to land. But with this beer your range is a bit greater. Unearthed stout would be great with coffee ice cream, chocolate pudding and any sweet dessert that features nuts, coco, or even dark fruits like blackberry or fig. Outside of dessert, this stout would pair well with a fatty grilled steak or other red meats cooked over fire, complimenting the nuttiness given by open flame. This beer is also strong enough to stand up to powerful shellfish like oysters and muscles, bringing out their delicate sweetness. The warm qualities and flavors this stout imparts makes it a must have for the coming winter.
Overall Rating: 9/10
Dan Wood is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org