Name: 242 MPH
Brewer: Highland Park Brewery, Horus Aged Ales (United States)
Style: Mixed-Style Beer (Base Style: Imperial Stout)
Review Year: 2020
242 MPH is an Imperial Stout brewed by Highland Park Brewery in collaboration with Horus Aged Ales. This Imperial Stout was brewed with massive amounts of coconut and some cherrywood.
This beer is being evaluated as a Mixed-Style Beer (34B), combining Spice, Herb, or Vegetable Beer (30A) and Wood-Aged Beer (33A), with Imperial Stout (20C) as the base style in the context of the 2015 Beer Style Guidelines of the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP). The most current version of the guidelines can be found on the BJCP website.
Dark brown, almost black; flat head. The aroma profile is coconut-driven, reminiscent of the Filipino delicacy, palitaw. This is supported by fragrant chocolate syrup, cacao nibs, and licorice. Full-bodied, syrupy, and low-carbonated. Very sweet on the palate like chocolate syrup and nata de coco but with a modest malty cacao character. Accents include faint peppery heat, cherries, and coffee liqueur. Preserved cherries, toasted coconuts, with subtle tartness linger after.
242 MPH is a very sweet and syrupy Imperial Stout that highlights primarily coconut and pastry-inspired qualities. We were particularly fascinated by how the coconut manifested in different ways: palitaw for aroma, nata de coco for flavor, and toasted coconut for the aftertaste. Cherrywood is noted to impart distinct cherry flavor, but for 242 MPH, we only noted faint impressions of the said character. More of this cherrywood character would definitely make this beer more interesting.
Given the elevated sweetness, syrup-like viscosity, masked bitterness, and feeble malt backbone, we recognize that 242 MPH is a deviation from the classic Imperial Stout and is more of a “pastry” variant. This being said, we would recommend this Highland Park and Horus collab to drinkers who like their stouts thick and very sweet. However, for those that seek a more robust and balanced Imperial Stout, this is not for you.
Recommended Reading: Understanding Whiskey in Barrel-Aged Beer (The Beer Connoisseur, 2020)
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