Nightmare Brewing “Scaphism” Imperial Stout

Name: Scaphism
Brewer: Nightmare Brewing Company (United States)
Style: Imperial Stout
ABV: 17%
Review Year: 2020

Scaphism is an Imperial Stout that weighs in at 17% ABV brewed by Nightmare Brewing Co. from Farmingdale, New York. This massive dark ale was brewed with lactose, honey, and was aged on Tahitian Vanilla and Organic Cacao. Scaphism takes its name from an execution method that involved trapping the victim between two boats. The victims are then fed and covered with only milk and honey, allowing insects and vermin to fester and devour them over time. It took the first victim 17 days to expire.

STYLE GUIDELINES

This beer is being evaluated as a Mixed-Style Beer (34B), combining Alternative Sugar Beer (31B) and Spice, Herb, or Vegetable Beer (30A), 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

Poured black with a brown head that thinned out. Intense and dense aroma profile composed mainly of alcohol, prunes, and some nuts. Full-bodied, very thick, and low carbonation. Tasted like rich dark chocolate with nutty, honey-sweet, and toasted vanilla accents; sufficient malty cacao backbone. Impressions of coffee and chocolate syrup painted the aftertaste. No astringency and hot alcohol notes.

THE VERDICT

At 17% ABV, Scaphism surprisingly delivered a smooth and flavorful Imperial Stout that highlighted honey, vanilla, and cacao. The alcohol was noted only in the aroma; the palate was, as mentioned, quite smooth. The billed ingredients surfaced explicitly, making Scaphism quite a memorable concoction. We think tempering down the sweetness a bit and upping the dark and roasty malt character could improve further the flavor balance of this beer. Nonetheless, it’s a very good sipper for the colder and darker days of the year.

Related Review: Nightmare Brewing “Exposure” Double IPA

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