February 4, 2013 | Beer, Reviews

Goose Island Night Stalker

Goose Island Night Stalker photo

Goose Island has been shipping their tasty treats to Virginia since this Spring, but it’s arrival couldn’t officially be crowned until their stouts arrived. Sure, Sofie, Pere Jacques and Madam Rose are all amazing beers in their own right, but the brewery’s stouts were what I was really looking forward to. From the mythical Bourbon County Brand Stout to this bottle of Night Stalker (and upcoming review of Big John), the stouts have fully lived up to expectations.

This 11.7% ABV (and 60 IBU) brew is the same base as their BCBS, but forgoes the barrel aging and instead is dry hopped and then dry hopped some more. The result is a fantastically hop-forward stout that packs a quality roast with plenty of pine, grapefruit and citrus to leave a grin on your face.

Appearance

Night Stalker pours like old motor oil with a dense, dark brown head that fell smoothly to thin surface cover.

Aroma

Roasted coffee, earthy malt, grapefruit and pine fill the nose with a wonderful array of scents.

Taste

The beer arrives with a solid hop presence of grapefruit and pine that mingles smoothly with dark chocolate, roasted coffee and an earthy character. A healthy bit of orange arrives in the lasting finish that’s also slightly bitter and drying — and warming. There are a ton of hops in this beer, giving it a much fruitier and piny nature than just about any other stout (imperial or otherwise) that I’ve ever had. What’s more is that even at its high alcohol content, the beer is deceptively drinkable for such a full-bodied brew.

Overall

It may not be as legendary as the BCBS, but I’ll be damned if Night Stalker won’t be making a regular appearance in my fridge throughout the colder months of the year. I’m not sure it’s one that I would set aside for any length of time as the hop character of this beer is what really make it something special. In fact, I do believe I’ll be cracking one open this evening.

Rating: 4.25/5

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