Mar 2, 2007

The Session #1: Not Your Father’s Irish Stout

Disclaimer Seeing as how I work all day Friday and wouldn’t get to this post until Saturday, I decided it best to drink the beer last night and blog about it this morning. Although I cannot think of anything better than enjoying a fine stout in the comfort of my cubicle, I’m sure that the boss wouldn’t be too keen on the idea.

The Session Logo

For the first ever Beer Blogging Friday event, now dubbed The Session, I had three beers lined up from a previous purchase that I was just itching to get my greedy little hands on. In no particular order, they were:

I’m a ridiculously huge stout fan — you’ll find several of them in a list of my favorite brews. Having already had the Brooklyn and North Coast beers on several occasions in the past, I knew that I couldn’t miss with either of those for today’s event. I was prepared to go with the Old Rasputin, easily one of the best stouts available, but decided that going with a new beer for The Session seemed more appropriate. I mean, how could I not enjoy an unknown (to me) brew on the inaugural Beer Blogging Friday? So the Old Rasputin, was begrudgingly placed back into the fridge and out came my new friend, Mackeson.

I’m not sure why I haven’t had this one before. I had seen it on just about every trip to the store, but when you’re competing with the likes of the Old Rasputin or Brooklyn’s Black Chocolate Stout, you really have to do something outstanding to catch my attention. But, being a fan of the stout that I am, I decided to pick it up and give it a try, knowing full well that if it wasn’t up to par I had the other two waiting to comfort me.


This one smelled wonderful. There is plenty of roasted coffee, chocolate and a little caramel sweetness.


I’m of the opinion that, while any properly poured beer is a beautiful thing, watching a stout emptied into a glass just can’t be beat. Mackeson carries on the tradition with a deep black color and rich burnt toffee head. Only the slightest light broke through the black when held up to a light.


It’s not as rich as the Brooklyn beer, nor is it as complex as its North Coast counterpart, but the XXX Stout does hold its own in the taste department. It’s smooth and creamy. The roasted coffee and chocolate is there as is a nice subtle, lingering hop bitterness. It’s not as thick as some stouts, but it’s certainly not too thin.


I really enjoyed this one. I think it would make a much better session beer than the other two samples mentioned above. Both the Brooklyn and North Coast beers weigh in at over 9% ABV. With the Mackeson coming in at a respectable 4.9%, it makes for a less potent and more likely option for a session beer. If I were to have only one beer for the night, I would probably go with the Chocolate Stout or the Old Rasputin, but if I were to have a couple, I’m pretty sure I’d select the Mackeson over the other two.

Rating: 3.5/5