As a general rule, I really dislike stout winter beers. Last year, I reviewed Magic Hat’s Howl and it reminded me yet again why I shy away from this winter dominating style. There is always too much malt, too much chocolate, or too much coffee flavors that I always feel like I’m eating dessert.
I love dessert. But I don’t want it bottled.
But that was last year and given that the world may be ending in a few short weeks, I thought I might as well give another stout an honest shot. I found a 6 pack of Two Brothers Northwind inside their variety pack sold at Cosco. I cracked open my first one later in the week and had an epiphany.
I really hope the world doesn’t end.
Two Brother Northwind pours coal black and forms a cola like head on top. I’ve seen dirty white head before, but Northwind seems to extract color from the beer to color its foam. Northwind poured very thin, almost watery. There was very little carbonation. Like other stouts, the aroma bursts of chocolate, coffee, and sweet malts. Already there was nothing that would indicate this was going to go any different than the stouts of the past.
I also want to take a side bar and get you on my side. Think about it. This potentially was going to be the last black beer I would ever try before the apocalypse and the watery appearance and familiar overwhelming chocolate/coffee aroma just made me sad.
I took a deep breath and sighed before taking my first sip. Yes, I’m not being melodramatic here. I actually sighed aloud. But something was different this time. Something was…good. Northwind tasted almost creamy and melted over my taste buds filling my palette with sweet malt and roasted mocha flavors. But this time, neither of these flavors overwhelmed the others. They worked together in a wonderful harmony.
This is without a doubt the best stout I have ever had.
Two Brothers North Wind can be found in 6 packs for around $9 in only in the winter months between November and February. Northwind is listed as a 9% ABV beer, but it did not feel nearly that heavy. Two Brothers is located in northern Illinois and currently distributes only to Ohio, New York, Minnesota, and Illinois only. This is the fourth Two Brothers beer I’ve reviewed and I have yet to find something about this microbrewery that I generally dislike. Northwind is another fine example of the high quality brews they continue to put out.