Imperial stouts are known for being big, bold, and powerful beers. The alcohol by volume is higher than other beers and they often don't try to mask that, instead offering a complex depth of flavors for those who can sort through the booziness. Ten Fidy from Oskar Blues in Colorado definitely fits the criteria, but the beer itself is smooth and calm, replacing the black cherry tartness in many imperials with a milky, chocolate smoothness.
The beer pours jet black with a brown head and the aroma blends a mild coffee bitterness with milky softness, indicative of the flavor within this dense stout. Ten Fidy, named for its alcohol content (10.5% ABV), is thick. The mouthfeel has an oatmeal heaviness, which leaves a nice lacing foam on the glass as it's consumed. Likewise, it coats the mouth with a vanilla-touched milk stout feeling that softens the 98 IBU bitterness.
Of course, there's also the alcohol to contend with. The beer is strong and it's not for those who don't like to taste booze in their beer. It complements the depth of the beer, countering the bitterness and offering a pleasing oak taste.
Marketed as "the ultimate celebration of dark malts and boundary-stretching beer," Ten Fidy lives up to the promise. It's bold, strong, and incredibly flavorful from first sip to the bottom of a tulip glass. Just be sure to treat it lightly in contrast -- it's sold in four-packs and is intended for consumption in moderation. The best way to moderate is to enjoy it with an equally rich food. "Salted chocolate truffle is amazing" with the beer, says Oskar Blues' Chad Melis.
Want to try the beer yourself? It's available seasonally from September to February, and can be found at Buster's on 28th, Red Cow Minneapolis, Stub and Herb's, Falls Liquor, the Ale Jail, and Lakeville Liquor 4, among other locations.
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