I don’t usually drink beer at 10:30am, but when I do, it’s breakfast stout. I drank this on my birthday last week in an effort to start the day on the right foot. Breakfast stout is an oatmeal stout, further fortified with coffee for a wholesome first meal. Mikkeller is a Danish brewery producing this “imperial” stout – it is 7.5% ABV. Not particularly strong for a Russian imperial, but unusually high for an oatmeal stout.
I didn’t take tasting notes at the time because hell with it, it was my birthday. I can tell you this from memory though: first of all, it’s good. To expand on that as best I can: this is a classic oatmeal stout: it’s not sweet, and it’s full of oaty heartiness. Pretty bitter actually. Add to this though a fairly potent espresso flavour – dark roast. If you like dark roast coffee with no sugar and cream, this is probably up your alley. If not, I can’t imagine it would be, because the coffee flavours are strong, heavily roasted, and bitter. Fortunately this is just my kind of cup.
Townsite Brewing hails from the small town of Powell River, BC. The old, original part of Powell River is called Townsite, hence the name. Other than a once world-leading paper mill site, they also brew some beer. Good beer, in fact. I had read very favourable things about this beer over at Beer Me BC and thus kept an eye out for it, being an oatmeal stout fan already.
Looks like a typical oatmeal stout – no light gets through, light brown head that doesn’t stick around too long as the beer is not highly carbonated. Smells sweet, like brown sugar on oatmeal. Starts off nicely sweet upon sipping with come caramel notes, then breaking slightly for the oat flavour and some hoppy bitterness to come through. Still ends semi-sweet with dark chocolate notes, which is nice – many oatmeal stouts tend to come in without this sweetness which causes the oats and hops to really do a number. Their influence is notable in this beer but tempered nicely with the chocolate-brown sugar sweetness. An excellently balanced and complex beer. I would definitely pick more of this up – it’s a little bit of a step up in price from my usual Nelson Brewing oatmeal stout 6-pack, but a worthwhile one.