Santa Came Early
Against The Grain Brewery & Smokehouse

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Beer Geek Stats
Stout - American
Needs more ratings
3.86 | pDev: 3.63%
Against The Grain Brewery & Smokehouse
Kentucky, United States
Reviews: 2 | Ratings: 6 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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BEERchitect from Kentucky

3.74/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

When you hear, "Santa Came Early" the first though it that presents were delivered to your house on a date prior to December 25th. But when I hear Against the Grain say it, its perverted intent comes right out of the pages of Urban Dictionary.

With any stout, the ale pours with a viscous and black body and with a necklace of pearl white that circumvents its tall column of foam after a few very brief moments. Its sticky lace just hangs around the rim- ok, couldn't resist the poetic license there.

It's Christmasy scent is first "Stout" with bold coffee, dark chocolate, heavy toast and a sweeter scent of molasses. But a growing scent is unmistakably of peppermint. And its that dichotomy of stout and mint that is the dialogue of the ale going forward.

As the creamy sweetness of molasses, toffee and caramel wrap around the tongue, it delivers a sweeter tone to the bittersweet chocolate tones to come. Its middle introduces additional tastes of walnuts, toast char and a glimpse of mint. As the sweetness fades and carries with it the toasted elements, the peppermint grows and grows, becoming highly pronounced and poking right through the center of all that malt. With little else to balance the beer, the is simply two entities of roast and mint that stand there nakedly.

Its full, rich and luscious body is creamy, and dry at the same time. As the sweetness recedes and the carbonation fades, the roasted dryness pulls forth and gives a mild burnt-derived astringency to the minty and peppery ale. Finishing both minty-cool and spicy warm, the ale tantalizes the palate sensations deep into aftertaste.

Where the ale is perfectly suited for Christmas, its one to be sampled in short glasses. The flavors are highly gratifying, however palate fatigue comes on quickly. 4-6 ounces at a time are plenty.

Jan 08, 2014
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KYGunner from Kentucky

3.67/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured with all the power and prestige of a well built stout, this had a beautiful black pearl hue and a substantial frothy head.

The scent was a mixture of cool peppermint, toasted malt, coffee char and a little bit of chocolate.

Within one snifter I experienced several different taste arrays that ran from high to low. It started well balanced with a roasted malt, campfire ember and a cool peppermint. As it got a third of the way through it began to taste as if I had just brushed my teeth and sat down with an average stout. The peppermint became overwhelming and very off putting. As it warmed and I came to the end, the balance began to come more in line.

The feel was very cool but thin.

As always I appreciate the exploration and risk taking of ATG. I also enjoyed parts of this beer, just not all of it.

Jan 05, 2014
Santa Came Early from Against The Grain Brewery & Smokehouse
Beer rating: 3.86 out of 5 with 6 ratings