Review: 2 Crows Counsel Imperial Stout w. Coconut & French Oak

2 Crows Counsel Imperial Stout with Coconut and French OakIf you didn't see my previous (recent) 2 Crows Brewing reviews, last month I ordered a bunch of beer on 2 Crows website as they offer Canada-wide delivery (hors-Québec), so I did something I've never done in my life, order beer off a website! I would've thought by 2020 I would've had ordered beer and had it shipped to me by now, nope! I hope more breweries end up going this route as it's an awesome way to get people to try beer that they wouldn't get to try otherwise. I've had people tell me that the cost of shipping from ordering beer online is expensive.. but in reality, it's not. The weight of a simple can of beer is easily almost a pound (liquid included - using a 355mL can as example) so when ordering a lot of beer like I did, it was REALLY affordable, with it only being approx. $1 per beer, which is a lot cheaper than what it costs me when I ship yeast samples to other parts of Canada. Serious cheers to 2 Crows, I'll be ordering more beer from them once I finally run out of beer.

Today's review is Counsel Imperial Stout with Coconut & French Oak. The beer tops out at 8.3% ABV. I'm not used to seeing Imperial Stouts in cans, but it's slowly becoming the norm, especially for beer drinkers who generally don't hoard age their beer. Counsel's ingredients are Barley, Wheat, Oats, Hops, Water, Yeast and Toasted Coconut.

From their Facebook page: Brewed with a wide assortment of caramel malts, roasted barley, chocolate malt, oats and flaked barley, and boiled for 24 hours to allow for more caramelization and to really amplify the brew’s intensity. Fermented warm with Oslo yeast, a wonderfully neutral kveik yeast strain from bootleg biology. After fermentation, the beer was conditioned on French oak and 100lbs of toasted coconut before being lagered for 5 weeks. Finally, after canning into cute little 355ml cans, we allowed the beer to condition a further 3 months to allow all the flavours to integrate nicely.⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ Roasty, smooth, and lush. Assertive roast, lovely soft coconut, and light tannin structure, full silky body, and clean finish. ⁣⁣

Appearance: Pours like your everyday stout, completely black like molasses, no noticeable carbonation in the body but has a really nice head with a bit of a layering from the bubbles, a thick burnt caramel head on top with a lighter collection of bubbles immediately underneath it that's reminiscent a bit of a soda.

Aroma: Coconut for sure! The beer is moderately boozy with a bit of a Whisky-like vibe to it from the French oak, so it has a bit of a woodiness to it. There's rich roasted coffee notes, a bit of caramel, cocoa nibs and a bit of a lactose-like aroma, though that's likely from the coconut seeing that lactose is not mentioned in the ingredients at all.

Taste: Rich, bitter, mild sweetness and a moderate amount of coconut that I don't really get until a moment in. The beer has a bit of a roasted malt profile to give it a hint of coffee to it, as well as it's mildly boozy with a bit of burnt caramel, so I certainly get a bit of tingle in my body as soon as it hits. Light-to-moderate amount of French oak in there to give it a bit of a woodiness and what I was thinking was vanilla.. but it's likely the coconut. The mouthfeel is very rich and creamy, certainly velvety. The aftertaste is faint with a bit of burnt malt and a hint of apple sweetness.

Overall Thoughts: Great Imperial Stout, I'm someone who is hit or miss for stouts with coconut and this one is not aggressive and actually somehow made me think it was other flavours at the same time (lactose, vanilla). I probably should've bought more than one can as it's decently smooth for 8.3%, so I'll have to remind myself to put this on my list next time I order from 2 Crows, or if this is available at Quality Beer Store in Winnipeg the next time I'm in town.

Don't forget to check out 2 Crows online store!:

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