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Thursday, July 27, 2017


REVIEW-A-BREW:



Beer: Secret  Spot, with Madagascar Vanilla Bean, 11 ABV
Style: Imperial Stout
Brewery:  Green Room Brewing, Jacksonville Beach


About six weeks ago, June 17 to be exact, Green Room Brewing in Jax Beach threw its 6th year anniversary party. As is the brewery's anniversary tradition, the annual Secret Spot Anniversary Ale is released on that day. The Secret Spot is an Imperial Stout aged in Dominican Rum Barrels. While the brewery historically pours variants of the Secret Spot (think coffee, vanilla, coconut) on tap as part of the anniversary bash, this year, the brewery released bottles of the treated versions for the first time. 





The Green Room anniversary party is one not to be missed, and, of course, I attended again this time around. First of all, let me just say that the 2017 Secret Spot Coffee Bean version was rather amazing. Because coffee and vanilla are two of my favorite flavors in stouts, I brought back a bottle of 2017 Secret Spot with Madagascar Vanilla Bean, which I haven't opened til today. 

So, let's take a look at this beer.




Beer Characteristics:


The beer pours thick, with a deep tan head. The aroma is chocolate, and in this case, notes of a noticeable, but not overpowering, alcohol presence. We are talking about rum barrels, after all. The thing I like about rum barrel aging is that there is a general subtlety. Typically, I find that rum barrels tend to complement the beer and what the brewer wants to express through the beer, rather than turn it into liquor. 

Chocolate and vanilla are an unbeatable combination, and this beer delivers a highly palatable experience. Vanilla notes come through on the flavor, along with sweet chocolate. The beer, however, has just the right proportion of sweetness, and it's not overwhelming. Add in just enough kick from the rum barrel that doesn't take over the main flavor ingredients, and this is one beer that can be sipped anytime. Hey, it's late July, and I'm thoroughly enjoying this right now. 

Overall, the beer is smooth. It has a full mouthfeel, almost creamy. There's a bit of a warming effect on the back from the rum barrels, but it leaves your mouth wanting more. It doesn't drink like an 11% ABV beer, and, I suppose that can be somewhat deceiving (she says, as she pours herself another glass).  

It's a decadent beer. It's almost sinful to have to wait another year. 

Cheers!  ­čŹ╗


Linda

Linda Johnson
Certified Cicerone®

(photos by Linda Johnson)
Opinions are my own


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