Cheers to another new year
A Review of New Year Stout 2012 by Frankenmuth Brewery
Posted on 1/22/2014 by Chops
In the craft beer world, special occasions require special brews. When my birthday rolls around, I always select a special beer to mark the occasion. When my wedding anniversary arrives, my wife and I always like to share one of our mutually favorite beers. Perhaps the most challenging occasion to match with special suds is New Year's Eve. The entire holiday is centered around partying and drinking with friends. For craft beer fans, that's an important dilemma to sort out. Luckily for 2013 I had a beer specifically catered to just such an occasion: the Frankenmuth New Year Stout. When the air is cold and the mood is pleasant, there's no better way to warm the belly than with a big roasted malty beast. For this review, I had a quart of the 2012 version, bottle number 166 of 801.

In the glass, this beer had a deep dark brown coloration with a ruby hue. It came with a rocky tan head that had really nice retention. On the nose, I was greeted with a mixture of dark chocolate and sour cherries. Wow, not what I was expecting, but intriguing nonetheless. I also uncovered notes of dark fruits, toasted bread crust, and roasted nuts. This was a very unusual introduction for a big imperial stout, so I had no idea what to expect from that first sip. But, Frankenmuth has always done me right, so I offered a toast to my friends and dove right in.

Oddly enough, the flavor offered no surprises at all. I easily uncovered sour cherries, a mild nutty roast, some toasted bread crust, and dark chocolates. To be perfectly honest, this beer reminded me of a chocolate syrup dessert topped with candied nuts and maraschino cherries. The beer had a solid medium body and a tangy mouthfeel, yet was very smooth and easy to drink. The finish was somewhat tart and exited with a cherry-infused malt roast aftertaste.

Overall, the 2012 version of Frankenmuth's New Year Stout was a tart fruity treat. I greatly enjoyed the experience, as did my beer-loving friends. This was a fun beer to discuss and we all had a great time picking out the various flavor notes. It's certainly an oddball for the style, but the quality and accessibility more than made up for any bemusement. Provided that you can get your hands on one, this is a big stout that I can recommend to most beer fans. I only caution novices because that 10% ABV can sneak up on you in a hurry. Course, that might be exactly what you are after on New Year's Eve, so drink up and enjoy yourself. Cheers and Happy New Year!

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New Year Stout 2012 by Frankenmuth Brewery
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