The Finback x Bottle Logic Omura Trilogy

Omura is a massive Imperial Stout brewed by Bottle Logic Brewing (California) and Finback Brewery (New York) sometime in 2019. This behemoth was aged in Willet bourbon barrels for 10 months and manifested in three versions– Black, Orange, and White– each featuring different combinations of ingredients such as chocolate, coffee, orange, cinnamon, coconut, and almonds.


Omura Black

Name: Omura Black
Brewers: Finback Brewery, Bottle Logic Brewing
Style: Mixed-Style Beer (Base Style: Imperial Stout)
ABV: 12%
Review Year: 2020

Omura Black is a barrel-aged Imperial Stout brewed with chocolates, vanilla, and coffee.

STYLE GUIDELINES

This beer is being evaluated as a Mixed-Style Beer (34B), combining Specialty Wood-Aged Beer (33B) 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

Opaque deep brown, almost black; no head. Intense chocolate and cacao aromas. Full-bodied, syrupy with low carbonation. Rich chocolate flavor dominated the flavor profile; hints of cinnamon and black pepper. The backbone is malty cacao albeit tamed; high perceived sweetness akin to muscovado sugar. Mild impressions of rosemary, mint, and astringency. Omura Black finishes with sweet chocolates and hints of black peppers; sticky yet puckering.

THE VERDICT

Omura Black features a heavy sugary-sweet chocolate base supported primarily by light cacao maltiness. Mild astringency was noted, but this is acceptable since this was barrel-aged. The vanilla and coffee did not surface explicitly.


Omura Orange

Name: Omura Orange
Brewers: Finback Brewery, Bottle Logic Brewing
Style: Mixed-Style Beer (Base Style: Imperial Stout)
ABV: 12%
Review Year: 2020

Omura Orange is a barrel-aged Imperial Stout brewed with chocolates, oranges, and cinnamon.

STYLE GUIDELINES

This beer is being evaluated as a Mixed-Style Beer (34B), combining Specialty Wood-Aged Beer (33B) and Fruit and Spice Beer (29B), with Imperial Stout (20C) as the base style in the context of the 2015 Beer Style Guidelines of the BJCP. The most current version of the guidelines can be found on the BJCP website.

TASTING NOTES

Opaque deep brown, almost black; very thin brown head. Orange marmalade, orange zest, gingerbread/cinnamon on the nose. Full-bodied, syrupy with low carbonation. Similar rich chocolate and muscovado sugar flavor base with modest malty cacao backbone; orange marmalade distinguishes this variant. Sweet chocolate also paints the aftertaste in a similar fashion.

THE VERDICT

Omura Orange, we think, is virtually similar to the Black version– plus the bright citrus characters and minus the astringency. Surprisingly, cinnamon, which is a spice we often do not distinguish explicitly, also contributed to the charm of this dark ale.


Omura White

Name: Omura White
Brewers: Finback Brewery, Bottle Logic Brewing
Style: Mixed-Style Beer (Base Style: Imperial Stout)
ABV: 12%
Review Year: 2020

Omura White is a barrel-aged Imperial Stout brewed with chocolates, coconuts, and almonds.

STYLE GUIDELINES

This beer is being evaluated as a Mixed-Style Beer (34B), combining Specialty Wood-Aged Beer (33B) 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 BJCP. The most current version of the guidelines can be found on the BJCP website.

TASTING NOTES

Opaque deep brown, almost black; no head. The nose blooms with maple syrup, coconut, and fresh celery from the grocery. Full-bodied, syrupy with low carbonation. Similar chocolate and muscovado sugar flavor base but with more pronounced dark fruit, lychee, coconut, hazelnut, and almonds. Aftertaste of almonds and muscovado sugar.

THE VERDICT

Coconuts and almonds, as billed, were very notable in this variant. We think Omura White is the least bitter of the three, and, consequently, the sweetest. The noted fresh celery aroma is unusual for beers of this style. This variant also has a similar base with that of the Black and Orange versions but without the astringency noted in the former.


SUMMARY

Our first impression: these are big “pastry stouts,” and, thus, deviate from the classic Imperial Stouts known to generally embody roasty-burnt malt and deep dark or dried fruit flavors without any syrupy or under-attenuated quality. In other words, these beers are not for drinkers that are looking for boozy, dark-roasty, barrel-aged Imperial Stouts. The bourbon quality was, in fact, not detected explicitly in all three versions.

In our opinion, it was the Omura Orange that stood out with its citrus and spice qualities contrasting the dark, heavy, and sweet base. All these considered, we still think a slightly tempered level of sweetness could improve further the overall balances of all three versions.

Recommended Readings:
The Rise of the Pastry Stout (Comstock’s Magazine, 2019)
Brewing with All Kinds of Sugar (Craft Beer & Brewing, 2018)

Related Reviews:
Finback “Banana Drip” Imperial Stout
Bottle Logic “Reaction State 2019” Imperial Breakfast Stout

 

 

 

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