Sumi Zest
Grimm Artisanal Ales

Sumi ZestSumi Zest
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Stout - American Imperial
4.08 | pDev: 7.11%
Grimm Artisanal Ales
New York, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Sumi ZestSumi Zest
Notes: Imperial Stout brewed with orange zest and vanilla.
Reviews: 29 | Ratings: 121 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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Eddieeight from Ohio

4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bought this 2017 vintage in 2020 and it has a beautifully detailed label. Pours up dark brown with khaki colored creamy head. Smells strongly of orange and malts. Taste is the same - malty and orangey. Maybe a hint of cocoa and even a little bit of coffee or that could just be the imperial stout characteristics coming through. Mouthfeel is thick with the tiniest of bubbles. Overall it’s pretty good and I don’t think I’ve ever had a stout brewed with oranges before so plus one for uniqueness.

Oct 04, 2020
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Jaybeam from New York

4.92/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Opened this after almost 3 years of it aging on my shelf. It's my first Grimm beer and it's sensational.

As everyone else has previously said, this beer pours black with a tan head. Aroma: smells yummy (can't pick out any notes besides for malts). Taste: is malty and tangy with vanilla notes. Feel: I don't know if it's from the aging or not but it's is nice and smooth.

Overall fantastic beer and I really wish they took this beer out of retirement.

Nov 11, 2019
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SHODriver from North Carolina

4.25/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2017 Vintage

A: Poured into a snifter to a black beer topped by a dense finger of light tan head which fades slowly to a collar around the edge of the glass with minimal lacing.
S: Smells of milk chocolate sweetness with some coffee and roasted malts in the background. This smells a lot like a milk stout but there's no lactose. The slightest amount of vanilla and orange are present on the nose as well.
T: Taste is chocolate up front with a strong blast of orange zest. Coffee and roasted malts come in as well along with some vanilla sweetness. Nice smoky charred wood notes on this as well but the sweet chocolate, orange, and hints of vanilla keep coming back around. On the finish this one is nice and roasty with some lingering chocolate covered espresso beans.
M: This beer is silky and creamy with a full body. Carbonation is low but adequate for the style while the beer has a drying finish.
O: Overall this is a really nice beer. The adjuncts aren't too over the top and the base beer is very good. This allows the beer to have some really nice complexity and drinkability. I wish I would have gotten to this one sooner when the vanilla would have been more prominent.

Dec 02, 2018
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FriedSlug from North Carolina

4.4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark thick or with a tan head that leaves spotty lacing behind. Big roasty, orange, chocolate nose. Tangy, malty, bitter beer. Lots of sweetness, chocolate with orange and vanilla at the end. Pretty great beer.

May 25, 2018
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EMH73 from New York

3.84/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours black with a one inch tan head that was well retained but left little lacing. Smells and tastes of roasted malts, dark chocolate, coffee, orange zest, vanilla, molasses and booze. Light bodied for the style, light to medium carbonation, dry mouth feel from the orange zest.

Dec 06, 2017
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Harrison8 from Missouri

4.05/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours black with a finger of khaki colored foam on top. Nice tight head formation, with fair retention, and no lacing left behind. Aroma is roasted, toasted, and nutty malts right up front, with a bite of booze, orange zest, and vanilla bean following up. Flavor profile is orange zest and vanilla bean up front, particularity straight out of the fridge. Roasted and toasted malts form a nice base for the flavor additions throughout the flavor profile as the beer warms. Mouth feel is velvety and creamy when straight out of the fridge, but gives more of a grainy, filling texture as it warms. Medium to medium-thick in thickness. Overall, nice flavors in the orange zest and vanilla bean, and quality stout notes. Not huge bodied, but still flavorful. Well done.

Served in a Teku 3.0 from a 22oz bottle.

Aug 18, 2017
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superspak from Ohio

4.23/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle into snifter, bottled in 1/2017. Pours opaque dark brown/black color with a 1-2 finger dense khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Nice dense soapy lacing clings around the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation retaining the cap. Fantastic appearance. Aromas of big milk/dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, caramel, vanilla, toffee, brown sugar, cream, marshmallow, fudge, orange zest, and toasted dark bread; with lighter notes of molasses, dark fruit, smoke, herbal, and roast/toasted earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of dark/roast/bready malts and light-moderate vanilla/orange zest spice notes; with great strength. Taste of big milk/dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, caramel, vanilla, toffee, brown sugar, cream, marshmallow, fudge, orange zest, and toasted dark bread; with lighter notes of molasses, dark fruit, smoke, herbal, and roast/toasted earthiness. Light herbal/roast/charred bitterness on the finish. Lingering notes of milk/dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, caramel, vanilla, toffee, brown sugar, cream, marshmallow, fudge, orange zest, toasted dark bread, light molasses/smoke, and roast/toasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Incredible complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roast/bready malts and light-moderate vanilla/orange zest spice flavors; with an awesome roasted bitter/sweet balance, and zero cloying/acrid flavors after the finish. Slightly increasing dryness from hop/roast bitterness. Medium carbonation and medium-full body; with a very smooth, creamy, silky, velvety, bready, and slightly sticky/chalky mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden; a mild increasing warmth of 11.5% through the glass. Overall this a fantastic spiced imperial stout. All around outstanding complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roast/bready malts and light-moderate vanilla/orange zest spice flavors; very smooth and dangerously easy to drink for the big ABV. Amazing richness and complexity. Solid spice presence, but mostly used to create additional underlying nuances to an already complex malt bill. A highly enjoyable offering.

Jul 01, 2017
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TheDoctor from Canada (QC)

4.1/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Serving: Crowler
Filled: Jun-19-2017

Pours a thick, impenetrable black with cascading carbonation and a tight two fingers of cinnamon cream. Slow settle to leaving sheets of lacing. (4)

Coffee and cream, cinnamon, vanilla, maple-like woody sweetness. (4.5)

Very sweet. Roasty sweetness with some toffee, mocha and the same vanilla-esque flavor from the nose. (4)

Relatively thin, sticky body with light carbonation and a lingering sweet-roast finish,fairly well-hidden alcohol. (3.75)

A big, sweet stout. This one pours a super thick black with an upside down waterfall of nitro-looking head that ends up as a nice cap. The aroma and flavor are pretty similar. Lots of coffee and toffee mixed with the sweetness definitely coming out on top. As it warms the flavors mellow a little bit but it is definitely super sweet throughout. It drinks pretty well but verges on cloying which definitely cost it a little to me.
Otherwise, though, a great beer. I'd have it again, just maybe a slightly smaller format. (4)

Jun 25, 2017
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JerzDevl2000 from New Jersey

4.12/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Traded for this a while ago, as the date on the bottle was from January of this year. Haven't had a Grimm Ale in ages and most of the previous ones I enjoyed were hoppy IPA's, or variations thereof, as this was a bit darker and heavier than what I was accustomed to from them. To be fair, this didn't measure up to those earlier beers but it was quite enjoyable but was roasted enough to feel more like a Porter than a Stout; though I think that's more my opinion than an incorrect categorization of this beer.

The pour to this was what I expected - dark brown with a frothy, mocha head that held it's own. Lots of orange zest (no surprise there) and roasted coffee in the nose with more of both of those in the taste, along with mild lactose sweetness, cream, and bitter chocolate in the taste. This had great body to it as the burnt undertone meshed nicely with the mild valencia-like tone of the orange, giving this a very stately, regal, and European feel to it. Wonderful rings of lacing that slid down into the next were left as I worked my way through this, as the roasted notes softly faded away after the liquid went down.

Plenty of booze here but this was deceptively easy to drink. While not Grimm's best, I liked this beer and it got much better as it warmed up. Creamy, slightly sticky, and dark, there was plenty of mild flavor here that complemented the roasted malt beautifully, as this straddled the line between morning coffee and evening espresso beverage. A gentle Stout that felt like a Porter, I'd have this again with some tiramisu or small dessert bites. Another solid offering from Grimm that expanded their lineup at the same time!

May 30, 2017
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StoutElk_92 from Massachusetts

4.65/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

22 oz. bottle dated January 2017

Pours black with a creamy frothy brown foam head. Smells like rich vanilla, dark roasted toasty bready malts, dark caramel, chocolate, coffee, dark molasses, charred brown sugar, some orange zest, dark fruit, with floral earthy herbal grassy pine. Tastes like rich creamy milky marshmallow-like vanilla, orange zest, roasted toasty bready malts, dark caramel, dark chocolate, dark coffee, dark molasses, charred brown sugar, mild dark fruit, with floral earthy herbal grassy pine. Feels medium bodied, smooth with moderate carbonation. Overall a real great imperial stout with orange zest and vanilla.

May 22, 2017
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StonedTrippin from Colorado

4.19/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

fun one from these guys, a lightly but uniquely flavored stout, not quite as good as the sumi ink, but an impressive beer nevertheless, thanks to my man back east for keeping the steady stream of grimm coming out for me! cheers dude! shiny and heady, always pretty to see lighter colored foam resting effortlessly on coal black beer like this. persistent and airy, very pretty. i smell the orange for sure, its zesty as the name suggests, a little bitter, very true, but its well below the level of potency that would make this smell like a chocolate orange, its not forced, its an accent at the most. the same is true with the flavor, its nicely restrained. the vanilla is subtle too, a nice layer of sweetness with it, a great counterpoint to all the dark malt, which is bitter in the finish, starchy like maybe some oats are in the mix, and its well chocolaty, really nice with the vanilla. i like how its not so in my face, its stout before its flavored stout, and i think thats an increasingly uncommon situation. lots of dry ashy roast here, subtle coffee, burnt bread, toasted coconut, and the fresh citrus cutting through just a little bit. weighty but dry by the end, it has a wonderful texture. huge beer on paper, but its not like that in the glass, no heat to it at all, very mellow which is cool with the freshness of the citrus, its like mature and brand new at the same time. fun one to share with homies, and a cool start to a heavy beer session on a very cold and snowy late spring evening! a neat mix of seasons in the glass too, very nice!

May 01, 2017
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lordofthewiens from New Mexico

3.96/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

In my teku the beer was a very dark brown color. There was a medium-sized tan head and lively carbonation. Some delicate lace.
Aroma of chocolate and vanilla. I had a difficulty picking up the orange zest. In fact, even with allowing the beer too come closer to room temperature, I'm not sure of the zest.
Chocolate and vanilla taste. Sweet. Orange zest showed up late and lingered into the aftertaste.
Smooth and sweet.
Good beer, just not as good as I was anticipating.

Apr 16, 2017
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Pontzie from Florida

4.03/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

L: clean dark porter. Minimal head. No lacing to note

S: the label tells me to expect orange zest but it is rather hard to find. Good basic maltiness. Slightly sweeter citrus scent is present but very light.

T: good stout. The citrus sort of hits the back of the palette. There is something almost burnt about it that makes it dark and tasty but sometimes a bit bitter.

F: good feel in the mouth. Drinkable for sure.

O: good. A little bit thinner than really exceptional stouts. The citrus is not as forward as I expected. It leaves a slightly bitter taste.

Apr 09, 2017
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JordonHoltzman from New York

4.24/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From bottle, about 3 months from bottle date. Jet black body, light brown bubbles that fade quickly.
Light roast, burnt caramel, vanilla, and a slight brightness from what I assume is the zest or some hops but I can't identify orange zest.
Taste matches the aroma, very well balanced. Not too much roast or overly sweet. Was hoping for something like a creamsicle mixed with stout but not enough orange. Still a very well made stout though.
I very much enjoyed it but probably wouldn't get it again unless I was told the orange zest was amped up a good amount and had positive results.

Apr 04, 2017
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BEERchitect from Kentucky

4.31/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Leading with a semisweet imperial stout, the promise of vanilla and orange zest proves too much for the curious cat in all of us to deny. Popping the cap and pouring the beer for pure exploration in taste is a must.

Grimm Ales' Sumi Zest pours with an ink black motor oil consistency- one that layers with a creamy deep mocha froth and leads with bold caramel, dark coffee and heavy cream scents. Sweet on the tongue, the taste of caramel, vanilla, molasses and coffee creep onto the tongue with a dessert-like palate.

Saturating each and every tastebud, the middle palate is decadent with bittersweet chocolates, caramel, vanilla, cream and toffee. Slowly relaxing malts open up a fruity counterpart of grilled red grape, brandy spice and a peppery overall demeanor. Moderately bittered, the finish weighs in on a long and roasty sweet linger.

Full, lush and creamy, the beer's pulled candy sweetness trails hard in aftertaste while coffee, cocoa and nutty woodsiness continue the roasted dessert-like quality of malt.

Mar 26, 2017
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dbrauneis from North Carolina

4.02/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours an opaque yet still clear thick viscous jet black in color with moderate amounts of fine active visible carbonation along the edges of the glass and faint very dark cola brown colored highlights. The beer has a two finger tall dense foamy dark mocha colored head that slowly reduces to a large patch of mottled medium thick film covering the entire surface of the beer and a medium thick ring at the edges of the glass. Just shy of significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate to strong aromas of roasted + dark chocolate malts with moderate aromas of sweet dark chocolate, vanilla, and citrus orange zest. The vanilla + orange really started to show up once the beer came up to temperature.

T: Upfront there is a moderate flavor of roasted, dark, and chocolate malts with a moderate amount of lactose-like sweetness and a subtle hint of charred malts. Moderate to strong flavors of rich sweet dark chocolate and moderate flavors of vanilla + orange zest. Light amounts of roasty bitterness which is quickly overtaken by the lingering sweet dark chocolate in the finish.

M: Medium to full bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Smooth with a hint of roasty dryness in the finish. Minimal amounts of alcohol warming are present.

O: A very enjoyable after dinner dessert beer for me this evening - I really like the combination of roasted malts, chocolate, vanilla, and orange zest (reminds me of a chocolate covered creamsicle). Drinks pretty easily considering the strength with pretty well hidden alcohol.

Mar 08, 2017
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timmy2b from New York

4.02/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared with a buddy. Poured a very dark brown. Chocolate in the nose. Chocolate and a little vanilla(as it warmed) in the front of the taste, and then the orange zest comes in for the aftertaste. Pretty smooth with only a little bit of boozy feel on the tongue. Pretty good stout. Would try again.

Feb 25, 2017
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Boccu from New York

4.11/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours dark chocolate coloring. Nice lacing that hangs on snifter as it fades. Aroma chocolate and vanilla. Taste dark rich chocolate,vanilla,light nutty tone then bam orange zest. Brings it way up. Weird. I'm a huge stout fan this one is a bit strange. Had it cold and room temp. No big difference in flavors coming out. Love Grimm. I loved sumi ink.

Feb 25, 2017
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BWood from California

3.78/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

L: dark with nice head and pretty good lacing.

S: malt with slight orange zest. Maybe a touch of vanilla. But very slight.

T: chocolate shows up out of no where. Slight orange at the end.

F: decent but a little thin.

O: decent beer. Not very special but good.

Feb 22, 2017
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floyd_pugman from California

4.23/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured aggressively into a Crooked Stave snifter. Nice dark chocolate color; shit ton of carb. Nose is what you’d expect: chocolate, orange zest, and vanilla. Palate is roasty dark malts, smoke, vanilla, chocolate, and orange zest, with the vanilla and smoke hanging on long in the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied, flavors are well integrated. Perhaps a bit predictable but actually quite flavorful and satisfying. A good buy for sure at the price point; would definitely pick it up again.

Feb 19, 2017
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BEER88 from Washington

4.35/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22oz bomber dated January 17 poured into a tulip glass. Nice and dark with 1/2 inch of brownish head. It leaves some solid lacing once consumed. The smell is roast malts, butt oranges, marshmallow, and some smoke! The taste is vanilla followed by orange peel then the roasted malts shine in the end. Feel is slick with a bit of burn in the back end but it does go away after a minute, but let's face it at 11.5%. Overall t beer is solid and I may try to find another to let it age. Cheers

Feb 18, 2017
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OrangeMen from New York

4.13/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

2017 release
~1 month from bottling

Appearance- Pours a black color, opaque. Half finger thick, medium tan colored head, frothy w/ soapy bubbles. Patches of spotty head lacing cling to glass, some alcohol legs as well.

Aroma- Milk chocolates, cocoa, roast, spice, dark fruits, fruity sweetness. Caramel, molasses, vanilla. Hints of orange peel, zesty brightness.

Taste- Chocolatey sweetness, molasses, nuttiness, light fruity sweetness. Dry cocoa, roasted malt, caramel, vanilla beans. Spicy earthy bitterness mixed w/ zesty fruitiness.

Feel- Medium bodied, very silky and velvety. Lower carbonation, creamy smooth.

Overall- Rich and chocolatey beer livened up with a touch of fruitiness and a zesty bright finish. The orange zest and vanilla are more subtle than forward, both just offer rounded flavors and are well integrated into the beer. Depth of roast and spice add nice balance. A different and enjoyable stout.

Feb 03, 2017
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craftaholic from New York

3.13/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

It was tasty but definitely forgettable which I'm not used to with Grimm. Tried it chilled and room temp and no noticeable difference in flavor. Kind of bland

Jan 27, 2017
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dar482 from New York

4.13/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

The aroma offers roasted malts, chocolate, light spiciness, raisin, well hopped, sweet caramel.

Initial impression is that the beer drinks in a medium plus mouthfeel, feels a bit smaller than the ABV. Hits of a light zesty oily lemon quality, nutty ad roasted malts, hints of familiar, with some balancing bitter hopping.

Jan 24, 2017
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ichorNet from Massachusetts

4.34/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Definitely would consider myself a big fan of Sumi Ink, so without further ado let's see what's going on with this orange zest/vanilla imp stout.

Pours a brutal, dark brown which builds up to a black beer topped off with a dollop of creamy mocha head that sticks around for the entirety of the time I sip at my glass. Lace seems quite great and the obscure appearance is at once inviting and imposing.

Nose has some bright citrusy fruit, obviously from the orange zest, atop a sweet and roasty stout base. Creamy milk chocolate and dominant orange are the most apparent notes here; even the vanilla gets a bit pushed away by both of these aspects, but it's still definitely there.

On the tongue, this comes across very heavy-duty... an industrial-strength imperial stout laced with slight asides of orange, creamy vanilla and chocolate. It's not as sweet as its bigger brother, but it definitely isn't overly-roasty or citrus-dominant either. There's a pretty fair treatment of the adjuncts here, honestly. I definitely get both of them but neither are overpowering. As in the nose, the chocolate flavor is the biggest thing here, kind of bolstered by the vanilla and playing off the tang of the orange. Slight dusty yeast and chalky cocoa powder meld with semi-sweet chocolate notes and a good kick of orange zest, while the finish comes across full-bodied and semi-sweet as well.

Not as dry as it should be, probably, and that might be one of my biggest faults with this, which is otherwise a fantastic beer. It doesn't feel as decadent as Sumi Ink, but it doesn't have to either, and delineates itself quite nicely without feeling inept by comparison. The carbonation is on the lower end, probably intentionally, and the body has a chewy quality.

Sumi Ink was a very good vanilla BBA stout, and, while this one doesn't have the barrel treatment, the base beer is fantastic and the addition of oranges livens up the flavor and provides depth while not overtaking the palate. I'm a fan, once again!

Jan 20, 2017
Sumi Zest from Grimm Artisanal Ales
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 121 ratings