Savor the gritty goodness
A Review of New Year Stout 2013 by Frankenmuth Brewery
Posted on 1/23/2014 by Chops
Explore the craft beer world for long enough and some unexpected opportunities will present themselves. Most craft beer fans have at least a small tendency to hoard their prized nectar. Beers that age well, like imperial stouts and barleywines, tend to find their way into the back of beer cabinets. Every now and then beer collections need to be organized, which can lead to interesting discoveries. I reworked my own beer cabinet this past December and found that I had a quart bottle of the Frankenmuth New Year Stout 2013 (bottle 81 of 1313). And with New Year's just a few weeks away, it seemed like the perfect brew to match the occasion. But wait... apparently I also had a quart bottle of the 2012 version. Now that's what I call a happy discovery. I now had a fun evening of contrast and compare ahead of me.

This review is for the 2013 version. You can check out my previews reviews here:

2012 Review : Click Here

2011 Review : Click Here

In the glass, the 2013 version had a near-black coloration with little edging. It came with a big rocky beige head that had long lasting retention. On the nose, I found the dark fruity tartness that has been the signature of these stouts, but was not as heavy in this version. I also found notes of caramel, malt roast, dark chocolate, and a whiff of smokiness. Compared to previous versions, this stout had a much more traditional introduction.

Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of this flavor profile is how the chocolate and malt roast notes play off of each other. The combination of milky chocolate, a coffee-like roast, and a touch of smokiness create what I can only describe as a bitter baker's chocolate flavor. It's strong and dominant, so best to make peace with it. Hiding underneath are faint notes of caramel and toasted nuts. The beer has a solid medium body and feels somewhat chalky. The finish is a tad gritty and exits with a bitter coffee roast aftertaste.

Overall, the 2013 version of Frankenmuth's New Year Stout is a dirty delight. I say this with affection because this brew will beyond please fans of strong raspy stouts. Everything about this beer screams gritty goodness. As a result, I can only recommend this brew to seasoned beer drinkers. It has plenty of chalky aggression that will smack around novice taste buds. On the flip side, this is definitely a brew to crack open and share among fellow beer lovers. Trust me, you'll have a lot to talk about and it's a great way to kick off the new year.

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New Year Stout 2013 by Frankenmuth Brewery
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