Jan 30, 2018

Solace Manhunt Stout

Manhunt, a 7% ABV imperial stout from Solace Brewing, is my first introduction to the northern Virginia company. I’m sure you all have heard some variation of the adage regarding first impressions. This particular brew does not present well and as a result, I don’t know how certain I would be to venture into purchasing anything in the future from the brewery.

I’m not one to typically pan a beer as I believe, for the most part, taste (and all the impressions that come with it) is part of one’s personal preferences. That said, there are some ingredients and outside elements that just don’t go well together. Such is the case with Manhunt. I’m not sure if it’s the base beer at fault or the specific red wine barrels in which it was aged, but both present aspects that don’t sit well with the other. An acrid, roasted char combats with a muddled barrel influence that presents more wood and smokiness than any vinous notes. Add in an assertive hop bitterness and things just get confusing for the tastebuds.

This bottle was originally picked up because I hadn’t tasted anything from the brewery before and this was the first wine-barrel aged stout that I had crossed paths with. I can now see why I haven’t seen any other stouts aged in these types of vessels — the flavor profile is not cohesive. I hate having to pour out a beer, but that was the ultimate action with Manhunt.