Oct 19, 2016

Ocelot My Only Friend

I’ve only had one other beer from Ocelot Brewing and that was a collaboration with Bluejacket out of the District. It was a damn fine beer, but with any collaboration, it’s tough to tell just how much is from one brewery or another, so it didn’t truly serve as an introduction to what this Virginia brewery is capable of. Well, based on My Only Friend, a big (10.5% ABV) bourbon barrel-aged Russian imperial stout — oh, and a 2016 gold medal from GABF for Sunnyside Dweller — I’d say these guys know how to brew a beer.

My Only Friend is an outstanding beer with incredibly smooth flavor and balance between bourbon, wood, coffee and cocoa while hints of vanilla, anise and molasses come and go as they please with each sip. coffee-like bitterness and a moderate sweetness keep each other in check as the beer lingers forever on the tongue, glowing warmly in the chest. A bit of earthiness keeps everything from becoming too decadent (cloying, really) and makes for an enjoyable drinking experience.

The Bluejacket collaboration teased at what Ocelot Brewing was capable of. My Only Friend firmly cemented the notion in its deep, dark oily depths. This beer is incredibly smooth and refined, but also keeps things grounded with a quality earthiness and solid bitterness. My only regret is not traveling to the brewery in order to find more of this brew. Damn good.