Brewery: Ska Brewing Co.
Origin: Durango, Colorado
One of my favourite beers was Rue B. Soho, a grapefruit lager from Ska Brewing. It was absolutely delicious, so I decided to seek out a few more beers from the brewery. That is how I stumbled upon this interesting sounding beer, which is a mix of dry stout and Malbec grape must. As Malbec grapes are well known for having coffee, leather and pepper notes, it seemed to be a good idea for it to be paired with the rich tones of a stout. Opening in 1995, This Colorado based brewer has built their reputation on a punk aesthetic, which they try to work into all their beers either in spirit or through the can artwork.
This beer was very dark coffee coloured with a long-lasting latte hued froth. There were naturally big espresso notes in the aroma along with creamy milk chocolate and a hint of sourness which could be the grape must pulling through. The taste was similar to the aroma, with the rich coffee working well with the cacao powder and grainy roasted malts. The pepper and leather notes came through slightly in the aftertaste, thought I wish those Malbec characteristics had been more obvious. It was quite drying on the palate, which I attribute to a mixture of the dark malts and tannins from the grape must.
All in all, I thought this was a nice stout, but didn’t quite live up to its name. If you are going to combine Malbec grape must to a beer, I want to feel those fruity wine notes come through in a balanced proportion to the malt. Unfortunately, there wasn’t enough red wine character to make this unique and stand out from the packed stout market.