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Town Hall Merlot Stout

Town Hall Merlot Stout
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RATINGS: 11   MEAN: 4.16/5.0   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.66/5   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 180   ABV: 6%
Our traditional Blackwater H2O Oatmeal Stout, having been aged in a Merlot cask, is now ready for your palate.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
detroiter (958) - Euphoria, Minnesota, USA - FEB 13, 2007
Pulled from the cask, this a very dark, nearly black colored beer. Only a slight deep purple-red hue when held to the light prevents it from being all black. It is topped by an inch or so of the smoothest and creamiest head of light brown foam that you’re ever likely to see. Very good head retention, light lacing. You kinda have to look for the aroma, but it is there - of chocolate malt and red wine. Delicious beer, both the stout flavor and the wine flavor are plentiful. The stout is smooth and rich of bittersweet chocolate and roasted grain, with a hint of tang in the finish. The wine flavors come through - robust and fruity - with raspberry and sherry undertones. There is also a nice oak character to the beer, again most noticeable in the finish. The mouthfeel is sublime - smoother than smooth, with flavors that linger in the aftertaste.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
BitterPoet (57) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - AUG 10, 2004
I like this one over the Cab Stout Town Hall offers. The wine aspect isn’t cloying in tartness. It complements the stout existence perfectly, and on cask it is sublime. I have to keep myself from killing the pint when my lips reach it. Oops. I did it again. Fantastic beer.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
ElGaucho (2393) - Minnetonka, Minnesota, USA - AUG 10, 2004
Rich aroma with hints of chocolate and containing bourbon barrell notes. Opaque body with decent lace. Small, off-white head that is mostly diminishing. Really nice bourbon barrell flavor with a winey finish. Outstanding. Another solid beer from the TH.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
Pigfoot (2268) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - AUG 10, 2004
I really, truly rue that I cannot sip from a sample freshly poured off a growler right at this minute and put my thoughts into the keyboard as they come to me, for this is cask-only, and I didn’t take notes, merely tucked my memory away from the pint and a half I had a mere hour. Moreover, I wish it were growlerized, in that I could taste this sweet stuff more conveniently, but that’s how they get you, back to the brewpub I go... Pours out a nearly full black, with light crimson shining at the very edges, with a plump, creamy tan head atop. Aroma is sweet and fruity, with all grape character, virtually none of what you’d find in a "normal" stout. This continues in the taste, as well. Body is full, but thin compared to a traditional stout, though the rich, sweet fruit taste rides on high. There’s a tannic texture as well, slightly acid, grabby on the palate. A delicious stout, that truly reminds you of wine. Damned drinkable, you could gulp them down almost too quickly if you’re not careful...that is, if you’re like me. With luck, this will last more than a week, and you can get a chance to taste it..but, please do try, it’s a treat!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
beermatrix (1497) - Twin Cities, Minnesota, USA - AUG 9, 2004
On-cask at the brewpub: Lovely pulled pour with the cascading effect of ochre yellow flying up the sides of the glass, reaching a final solid black with tiny slivers of ruby at the bottom and edges. The head on this is like a whole nother liquid! Firm, milky, rich, spongy, and thick, of a light sandy brown and about a finger high. Absolutely lovely to look at for a cask poured pint. Nose is softly robust of a supurb oaty sweetness decorated with a heavenly bakers chocolate on top. The sweetness is quite evident but never overly so. Taste is fantastic, smooth and sweet, rich and subdued in a tangy oaty sweetness. The merlot is there in a darker undertow mixed with bits of milk chocolate. Oh so nice, the sweetness is welcoming throughout the whole ride with a interesting tang of oats, milk, and dull cherryness. The chocolate darts and coats along the way with the sweetening factors while the merlot flavors paint a whisping hint of dark grape vinous and woodish-like nature underneath. Spectacularly smooth and sweet with a medium body feel and a great little tang inside. Texture is oh so nice from the cask pull, quite smooth and calming. This is really nice stuff, akin to the H2O oatmeal stout but with a certain flare of extra sweetness and touch of merlot to its flavors. Yum.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
badgerben (4889) - Blaine, Minnesota, USA - AUG 5, 2004
According to the bartender, Town Hall has teamed up with the WineHaven Winery and Vineyard in Chisago City, MN. For this beer, WineHaven handed over some of the leftover mash from their merlot. Town Hall steeped their H2O Stout in this for about 6 months and is served out of the cask. Pours black with a thick, foamy, tan head. Aroma is very sweet for a stout. Not necessarily of any particular flavor, but just... sweet. The taste unloads a plethora of grapes and malt. The wine certainly comes out, but does not over power. Slight coffee and wood notes. Very smooth with a medium mouthfeel. Tasty, very tasty.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
robertsreality (2460) - Minnesota, USA - AUG 9, 2004
Dark Brown/Black Coloring. Frothy Head. The Wine Added Some Sweetness to it... Otherwise it Still Tastes Very Much Like the H2O Stout but With Merlot Mash Added to It. Actually Not a Bad Offering...Balanced...I’ll Have Some More Please!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
heykevin (1281) - Decorah, Iowa, USA - AUG 12, 2004
Cask. Vinious aroma, sweet malts and figs as well. Smooth cask mouthfeel. Deep and richly flavorful. Some tannins and roast give structure to the delicately sweet and deep malts. Not overly alcoholic, which I like, many wood-aged beers I find overly alcoholic. There is an alcoholic presence here, but its more felt in the mouth than tasted. Impressive.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
BDR (2534) - Roseville, Minnesota, USA - FEB 24, 2007
One of my favorites last summer. A dark brown color best served on cask (from the tap does not do this one justice). Lots of oak in the flavor with roasted malts.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
IPAndy (120) - minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - AUG 11, 2006
Aroma is sweet malt with woodiness. Black color is perfect with nice creamy cask head. Flavor is roasted coffee and bittersweet chocolate with the wood coming through and a winelike fruitiness. The finish is dry, but the bitterness is not due to hops so much as tannins/burnt malts. Mouthful could be a tad thicker I think, and even for a cask beer this was quite warm. I would put this as the most interesting beer I’ve sampled from Town Hall, and I look forward to working through their numerous other brews.

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