Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Ex Novo Brewing Company - Damon Stoutamire Rip City Stout

Rip City, baby!
I'm watching the Portland Trail Blazers play the Altlanta Hawks. I won't say that the Blazers are losing...but they're not winning. I haven't always been a Blazers fan but I'm not ever going to be one of those guys who keeps a weird, obsessive, life-long loyalty to a sports team thousands of miles away.

You know the people I'm talking about. They grew up in Brooklyn or Memphis or Kansas City or some other place that is not where they are currently living. There he goes, a dude wearing a Celtics jersey, even though he's lived in Portland for the past 20 years. Come on, man! The last time that shirt was popular anywhere but Boston was when House of Pain came out with Jump Around. Ack! And here comes his equally annoying buddy, Mr. Raiders hat. Would that be a fan of the Oakland or the L.A. variety of Raiders? Hmmmm...sports teams aren't always loyal to their fans. I'm just sayin'.

Yes, I'll always have a soft spot for the teams I cheered on when I was a kid, but I want to be able to go to games in my right now hometown and root for my local team. Thus, I have developed an interest in the Blazers. I've even started proudly using the nonsensical and purely arbitrary Trail Blazers battlecry: RIP CITY! What does Rip City mean EXACTLY, you ask? Truthfully, no one knows. Blazers announcer Bill Schonely made it up during a game against the Los Angeles Lakers back in 1971. That's so...Portland.

I am reviewing an appropriate beer this evening: Ex Novo Brewing Company's Damon Stoutamore Rip City Stout. Damon Stoudamire is a Trail Blazers legend and the beer's moniker is an interesting tribute...I think it's meant as a tribute. Actually, I was just thinking about Stoudamire the other day--wondering how differently things would have been for him if recreational marijuana had been legal back in the early aughts. His arrests for possession and the controversy that swirled around them seem so frivolous and ridiculous now that pot is legal--and an adult can go into any of dozens of Portland dispensaries to legally buy it. Hey! Enough with the digressions! Let's get to the beer!

Damon Stoutamire poured into my stout glass a thoroughly opaque, pitch black color with a thick, creamy, mocha head. The head rose up to a full finger thick and dissipated at a moderate rate. A thin cap and a ring of residual foam were left behind.

Aroma was cocoa, espresso and overripe fruit. Fig. Roasted nuts. A hint of citrus hops.

Taste was coffee and dark chocolate. Roasted malt. A bit smokey but with no acrid harsh. Caramel and toffee notes. A bit nutty.

Slightly full mouthfeel. Appropriate carbonation. Finish was smooth but with a lingering bitterness that I very much appreciated. Hops bitterness and roasted malt flavors were left behind on the palate at the end.

Overall, this is a highly drinkable stout. A hint of smokiness, but nothing offensive. Not overly sweet. Appreciable hops bitterness that wasn't over the top. I like it! Damon Stoutamire is a perfect stout for me. Good stuff and I'm giving it a BeerGuyPDX rating of 3 1/2 crushed cans out of 4.


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