Ten Fidy - Oskar Blues Brewery, Longmont
My first experience with Ten Fidy was... different. Last fall I took a trip out to Denver, Longmont, Fort Collins, etc. I was making my way around north central Colorado, stopping at as many breweries as I could, when it came to my attention that Oskar Blues has a Firkin Friday even each week. Since I was in Longmont and it was Friday, I figured I should at least stop by and see what the big deal was. This week it was a blended barrel of Oskar Blues' Dale's Pale Ale and their Ten Fidy Imperial Stout. Interesting, a Pale Ale blended with an Imperial Stout? Sure, I'll try that at least once...
The blend was good, quite good... so was everything else I had at Oskar Blues. I liked the Dale's Ten Fidy but I didn't think it gave me a true sense of what the straight Ten Fidy would be like. Unfortunately, Ten Fidy cans weren't available just yet and I was unable to bring any home. I have since been able to procure a can from a friend back home and I've really been looking forward to enjoying this highly regarded Imperial Stout.
Ten Fidy pours a thick opaque black color that only seems to turn darker and darker as it fills your glass. There is practically no head retention to this beer but if you're watching closely you'll see the darkest brown bubbles found in any beer. The aroma is more subtle than I was expecting given the inescapable darkness of its appearance. There's a lightly roasted chocolate malt aroma, but it doesn't strike you as terribly big, definitely not as big as the look of this beer would lead you to believe.
Ten Fidy's flavor makes up for any shortcomings you may have found thus far. There's a smooth chocolate and medium roasted malt flavor right up front that's followed by a sweet molasses and dark chocolate finish. Despite having used the word chocolate twice in the last sentence, this isn't a chocolate Stout, this is just an Imperial Stout with a little sweet chocolate up front and a little bitter dark chocolate in the finish. That bittering chocolate goes a long way to balance out this beer and keep things very Imperial.
This is a fantastic Stout, one that I wouldn't be able to drink in great quantities at 10.5%, but I'd really love to.