Congrats to Smoky Mountain on their 20th anniversary! It’s pretty wild to think that these guys have been brewing beer in East Tennessee since 1996. While many of us in the craft beer community sometimes overlook what Smoky Mountain has to offer, that’s changing in a huge way. There are certainly mainstays at Smoky Mountain that we all know. However, these guys are branching out with a monthly brewmaster series that has included big IPAs, wit’s and everything between. We’re also told 2017 is going to bring some changes – stay tuned. In celebration of their 20th anniversary, they’ve pulled out all the stops with an Imperial Stout that they let reside in Heaven Hill barrels for 3 months. This beer can be found in both 16.9oz flip tops and on draft. Let’s check it out.
This imperial stout pours dark, just as it should, with a tan, moderate head that dissipates but is easily agitated. On the nose we find notes of black current, stone fruit and a deep richness. There is also a slight alcohol nose. On the tongue this beer fills the palate with dark bitter chocolate, high levels of roastiness and a dryness – and bitterness – that pulls the moisture off the palate making the next sip all the more enjoyable. The alcohol on the nose translates to a slight warming in the throat and chest. This beer clocks in at 9.3% ABV and checks all the boxes for the style.
Final snobs: Congrats to Smoky Mountain Brewery for 20 years and for putting forward an awesome Imperial Stout! Be sure to swing by and give these guys a high five and thank ’em for 20 years of great, consistent beer.
We’re going to shoot straight here, if you’re going to grab one of these, get two. Try one now, note what we’ve outlined above and perhaps you’ll find some other things we didn’t catch. We love how big, bold and full this beer is. This beer is going to age wonderfully as well. The bitterness will subside over time and allow more of the velvety bourbon character to shine through. However, if you don’t try it now, you’ll miss out on this evolution.