I’ve been reading about how in June one is supposed to be drinking beers from the state in which they live to help support your true local craftbrewers. While this is rather difficult for myself as I live in a small market, I would like to think that I should be able to represent the Midwest rather soundly, if not the state of Illinois itself. That said, today’s beer is from a brewery that has been garnering some talk around the craft beer aisles. Its name is Flossmoor Station Brewing Company and it qualifies for being in my state (Flossmoor, IL). They have several styles that are getting snatched up quickly so I had to try it for myself. Let’s pour!
Wow! This smells more like a stout than almost any brown ale you will find. Loads of toasty malt, dark chocolate, the mellow sweetness of molasses, and plenty of alcoholic coffee. Not that the alcohol is overwhelming, indeed the coffee is certainly stronger, but it someone has definitely spiked the morning joe. Once the head vanishes (it does not take long), one can even pick a few grassy hop notes from the back. Very impressive in a malt-laden style.
This also looks like a stout. It pours a dark chestnut brown that yields less than half an inch of dark khaki colored head. It is all but completely opaque, except for the edges of the pint glass. If the rest of this beer was not so solid, it would have received a lower score for the rather dismal head. I basically has to throw this beer into the glass during the second pint in order to produce any head. After that, it did leave some lacing.
Big. Robust. Amazing. First sensation is toasted nuts and transitions quickly to an amazing backbone filled with dark, sweet molasses (that could be confused easily for caramel), lightly charred malt, and black coffee. The dark, dual sweetnesses of malt and molasses are wonderfully balanced with bitter notes of coffee, hops, and blackened goodness – exactly what one wants to see in a robust brown ale. The finish should showcase the bitter as the flavors pass over the rear of the tongue, but this still seems to show the molasses and malt much more strongly than anticipated. The aftertaste has a sharp, bitter finish with a spicy hop profile and notes of delicious burnt coffee.
Medium-bodied, ridiculously smooth, adequately low-medium carbonation throughout the bomber bottle. There is even a moderate level of creaminess, which contributes even more to its “stout impersonation.” Nothing wrong here.
Overall Impression 10/10
Though this beer borders on stronger styles, it still has all of the markings of a brown ale minus some expected nuttiness. The nutty sweetness is compensated for with the molasses and is much richer in flavor for it. This is a fantastically dark, rich, charred, balanced, brown brew of goodness. Not only will I drink this again, but it rivals some of the best brown ales that I have ever had. Hands down.
Total 47/50 (Outstanding)
Cannot say enough about this brew. It exceeded any hype that I had heard. Its a burnt coffee bean splendor with enough sweet molasses and malts to keep it beyond balanced. It is bitter, robust, complex and a damn good beer. I will buy this. I will share this. I will sing its praises. You should do the same. Big, big kudos to Brewmaster Bryan Shimkos! If the train on the logo is any indicator, this brewery is only going to pick up momentum and be almost impossible to stop. This is a definite winner.
Joel R. Kolander is the Chief Blogger for Sud Savant, a beer-savoring blog for the rest of us. We’re not here to get plowed. We’re not here because we are world-famous beer critics. We’re here because we enjoy savoring a great beer with even better friends. Sharing great beer is just as amazing as finding it in the first place. Lets share!