San Quentin Breakout Stout - Marin Brewing Company
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Ratings: 169 | Reviews: 119 | Display Reviews Only:
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3.24/5 rDev -16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75
1 pint 6 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap and decent label acquired at a local SoCal bottle shop; I try to buy beer brewed in-state when I can. Expectations are above average; I love a good export stout. 7.0% ABV confirmed.
Served a bit too cold for a stout by my book, but not by the label's: "Serve at 50-55 F." Okay then. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.
A: Pours a rich tan colour head of lovely gorgeous cream, great thickness, and real good (~5+ minutes) retention for the high ABV. Looks how the style ought to; creamy and appealing. Body colour is a solid nontransparent opaque jet black. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. I'm real excited for this
Sm: Roasty and creamy - just as it should be. Dark malts. I love the roasted barley focus, which is ideal for the style. A bit of complementary floral hopping, but not too much. A bit of biscuity yeast is apparent. I'd even guess oats; I suppose I just don't know better. Very appealing. Spot on for the style, with enough depth of flavour to tell me it won't be simple crap . A fairly strong aroma. This is shaping up to be much better than expected initially.
T: Roasted barley guides it, with rolling oat notes (I was right!) and dark malts filling out the body. Some floral hopping, but it's minimal and complementary. Unfortunately, it does lack a bit of balance; the roasted barley feels strangely...artificial? Slightly stale? Something's off. Maybe it's just too damn cold; I knew I should have disregarded the label and waited. I any case, it's nicely creamy - a lovely characteristic and one that is a requisite of any good example of the style. Here's a beer brewed with an understanding of the careful roast and cream balance integral to a solid stout. It's mineral-heavy; maybe that's the water used? Little yeast character comes through, if any. No alcohol does either.
Mf: Creamy and soft up front but too thick and hard (i.e. with regard to water hardness). Smooth and wet. Too heavy on the palate, coming off feeling overbearing. The hardness here is a severe flaw and undercuts the flavour profile, distracting the drinker.
Dr: Very drinkable for the high ABV, but it feels like wasted potential; if they'd just fix that pesky mouthfeel! Overall, I do like it - and I intend to try more beers from this brewery. Just ignore the advice on the label and serve this one merely chilled. A good-but-not-great export stout, and not one I'd get again. Still, for a little known (in my experience) microbrewed export stout, it's somewhat impressive. Just not the hidden gem I'd hoped for.
Gets better as it warms.
Serving type: bottle
01-16-2013 04:59:19 | More by kojevergas
San Quentin Breakout Stout from Marin Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 169 ratings.