Nerdbrewing “Indexoutofbounds Oak Aged Imperial Vanilla Stout – Double Dark Chocolate Ed. (2020)”

Name: Indexoutofbounds Oak Aged Imperial Vanilla Stout – Double Dark Chocolate Ed. (2020)
Brewer: Nerdbrewing (Sweden)
Style: Mixed-Style Beer (Base Style: Imperial Stout)
ABV: 11%
Review Year: 2020

The Double Dark Chocolate edition of Indexoutofbounds is an Imperial Stout released by Nerdbrewing (Sweden) in 2020. Like the original version, this beer was also aged in oak and was brewed with vanilla.

Nerdbrewing was founded in 2015 by Hannes Gruber and Karin Carlsson. A successful homebrewer, Hannes has won quite a few medals at different brewing competitions such as the Swedish homebrewing championships. Currently, Hannes runs solely the outfit and shares a brewery with Lilla Ölfabriken and Chad Beer in Norbergsgatan, Malmö. The name of the brewery and its beers stems from the computer science and software development background of Gruber.

STYLE GUIDELINES

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.

TASTING NOTES

Opaque deep brown almost black with a thin brown head. Moderately high alcohol, chocolate, and a hint of nuts greeted the nose. Full-bodied, moderately low carbonation, with a chewy mouthfeel and notable astringency. Chocolates were at the forefront with equally intense coffee and roasty malt. Secondary dark fruit esters and a subtle peppery heat were also noted. The balance favored the bitterness relative to the sweetness, with the former complementing the dark and roasty malt flavors of this beer. The aftertaste lingered with dark and roasty bitterness leaving a puckering or astringent impression akin to red wine.

THE VERDICT

The double dark chocolate variant of Indexoutofbounds is a boozy Imperial Stout that doubled down on the dark roasty chocolate and coffee flavors. This, to us, is the least fragrant Imperial Stout we have tried from Nerdbrewing so far. We think less alcohol and more vanilla could make this beer more interesting.

The dark and roasty flavor profile was spot-on, but astringency was notable. Astringency or that puckering mouthfeel can be expected from beers aged or conditioned with wood and can also be contributed by some spice, herbs, or vegetables. This character, however, should never be high. In our opinion, slightly less puckering quality and peppery heat could still be pursued, while a more explicit oak flavor could add more complexity to the flavor profile.

All in all, this version of the Indexoutofbounds may not be the most aromatic and the smoothest of Gruber’s Imperial Stouts, but we think it is still a commendable work of art.

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