Monday, 7 March 2016
A nice lad who makes his home in Victoria, British Columbia, and who I met through his romance with my pal, the incomparable KF, hooked me up with a bottle of Kelp Stout. This beer hails from Tofino, British Columbia, where its brewed up nice by the folks at the Tofino Brewing Co. True to its name, Kelp Stout is brewed using locally-harvested kelp. So that's cool. Sold in 650mL bottles, the label of this 6% alcohol ale is singularly impressive, featuring an inverted octopus rendered in a cool black and white tattoo style.
Coffee-black and with an attractive tan head, Kelp Stout doesn't have a particularly seaweed-y aroma. In fact, there's only the slightest whiff of the maritime in a nose that is otherwise characterized by mild notes of roasted malt. The flavour, too, is a bit muted, though it has some lovely subtle elements. Again, roasted malts are a driving force, but these are complemented with leather and espresso. As well, the presence of kelp shows itself a bit more in the flavour, particularly as the beer warms. This manifests as a slightly salty trait that gives the finish a gently briny quality that I quite liked.
Kelp Stout is an unusual ale, though a fairly agreeable one. I probably wouldn't want to bring a sixer of the stuff to a party, but a lone bomber hit the spot for me. As for critiques, a bit more hops bombast towards the finish would help give this beer some depth, and a bit more richness up front could possibly flesh it out a bit. All in all, this is a curious and enjoyable stout--one I'm quite glad to have sampled and which I would gladly revisit.
Rating: 8.0 out of 10.