Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Black Sheep

Dark, sweet, and sudsy, Black Sheep is a milk stout from Nixon, Ontario. Sold in 500mL bottles at the source, the New Limburg Brewing Company, Black Sheep contains a pretty sound 5.9% alcohol. It's an opaque onyx brew that dwells beneath a serious and determined fog of tan head.

Through its thick head, Black Sheep didn't give away much in the way of aroma, but there some roasted malt notes, as well as expressions of sweet mocha. Much more potent is the flavour, which takes a milk chocolate initial note and swings sharply toward a bitter, almost harsh, cacao finish. Along the way, there are a few French roast elements thrown into the mix as well. Considerable sediment is left behind.

Like many milk stouts I've sipped, I was expecting Black Sheep to be over-sweet and maybe a bit syrupy, but the beer I downed was complicated, flavourful, and only semi-sweet. A bottle conditioned ale, this stuff was fully ready to seduce my palate. It's a beer for slow savouring, not hurried guzzling, as its profile matures as it warms. It also tastes considerably stronger than it actually is. This beer is nearly worth the trip to Norfolk County on its own, and definitely required tasting if you find yourself in the area. When I bought a range of six N.L. beers, I expected this to be a weak link and found it to be a real beauty.

Rating: 9.0 out of 10.

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