There is one thing that few breweries in B.C. can claim to be, and that is organic. One of the few that can lay claim to that designation is Crannog Ales of Sorrento. Crannog is a microbrewery on their own farm where they grow their own hops. And while they do not distribute widely across the province, there is much to know about their Back Hand of God Irish Stout.
B.C. Beer Reviews: Crannog Ales – Back Hand of God
This beer is perfectly to style in colour. It is a jet and completely opaque black. When held to the light you cannot see through it. There is a light tan head to the beer.
There is a slight roasted characteristic to the aromatics. It is subtle, so it does not overpower the other notes at play here. This is something that comes with a good Dry Irish Stout.
There is also a very noticeable coffee aromatic to this beer. It is not biting like bitter dark coffee, but rather a smooth and well-rounded coffee aroma. It goes well with the slightly roasted note.
There is also a touch of semi-sweet dark chocolate. It is not overly overly sweet and does not have the bitter aromatic dark chocolate does. It is also very smooth and is very much a side role to the rest going on here.
Much like in the aromatics, there is a very noticeable and smooth coffee note at play here. It is not even remotely overpowering and allows the other notes to shine through here.
Once again, there is a semi-sweet dark chocolate note. It is lightly sweet, but the bitterness does not come through. It has the taste of a full-bodied stout, but it is much more sessionable.
There is no branding/labeling to speak of. This beer was tasted directly off tap.
The retention of the moderate head is slightly above average, but nothing to write home about.
There is a thin coating of lacing on the glass from this beer.
This beer, while not receiving a ton of hype due to it not being widely available, is arguably one of the best beers in British Columbia. It has the all the taste and aromatics of a big and bold stout, but the the ABV remains reasonable at 5.3% and light enough to drink multiple of. If you have the chance to drink this beer, please do so.
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Main photo by Nic Hendrickson, Lastword Inc., all rights reserved