Goose Island Night Stalker
Brewery: Goose Island Beer Company
Beer: Night Stalker, 22 oz. bottle
Style: Imperial Stout
POP: Binny’s Beverage Depot, Lakeview
Price: $8.99 (?)
I’m typing this in Evernote, which is a neat piece of software that Billy Broas (of billybrew.com) has suggested. I’m using the desktop version on my laptop, but for a beer blogger on the go, the iPhone app synchs flawlessly with my account, allowing me to save photos and notes about beer all in one place. Thanks for the tip, dude!
I’ve made it known that I’m not overly impressed with most of Goose Island’s year-round offerings (save for their IPA or Sofie, which are both solid), but their special releases are second to none. Do yourself a favor and skip the 6-packs and spend your cash on a 22 of something unique from Chicago’s juggernaut of the craft beer world.
Goose Island’s Night Stalker imperial stout is an oily jet black coming out of the bottle, with a head that gradually creeps up to a finger or so but dissipates quickly. Served cool but not cold, this beer has a THICK mouthfeel with minimal carbonation. This is like drinking mud, if mud was wonderful malty goodness that got you buzzed. Or perhaps it’s more akin to the overused euphemism “like motor oil.” Either way, it’s thickness is the most defining characteristic. The flavor presents a decent amount of hops with a bit of an alcohol finish. Going along with its syrupy texture (another overused euphemism), sweet malts with a bit of carmel or molasses really round out the flavor.
Hot damn. The alcohol is even more present as the beer warms. Know how when you have a sip of whiskey and you exhale the alcohol aromas after the sip? Yeah, it’s like that. 11.2% ABV really packs a punch, and the sweet malts favor this taste as opposed to masking it. The brewer’s notes suggest aging Night Stalker for up to 5 years; with as sweet and alcoholic as this tastes only a few weeks after bottling, I can only imagine how powerful this would be after a couple years in the cellar.
Final verdict: It’s not for everyone, but if you’re in the right mood for it, not bad at all. I’d buy it again especially if it’s on sale.