Beer Review: Smaug Stout by Fish Brewing Company

Smaug StoutSmaug Stout is styled after a classic Russian Imperial Stout, but with a subtle hint of Habanero chilis to remind you of the fire and danger awaiting you in your journey to The Lonely Mountain. Pronounced notes of Coffee and Chocolate balanced with Northwest Hops and a touch of heat produce an exceptional imperial stout, a worthy reward for your hard-fought journey.
ABV: 9.5%
Company: Hobbit
Country: USA
Estimated Calories: 285
IBU: 65
Region: Washington
Seasonal: Series
Type: Stout
Weighted Average: 3.6

Our Review
The Smaug Stout delivers a look and smell matching every expectation that its name sets for it. That’s about where the normal stout dictations end. It’s dark and smoky, yes, but at first sip, it’s not as thick as expected. I am not the biggest stout fan in the world, but enjoy strong flavor so I still had hope at that point. It’s almost chocolatey in taste (think: one of those 70+ % cacao chocolate bars you find near the checkout at Whole Foods) with smooth, subtle hops rising at the close of each sip.

Then those hops became chili peppers that hit my sinuses much like dragon smoke rising up from where in my throat there was once beer. I knew those peppers were in there. I saw the words on the bottle, however they are still quite a surprise. The surprise was novel, but did not inspire me to finish the very large bottle. It inspired me to take a Nexium.

The novelty is the point though as it’s a promotional brew, and it was a fun beer to take a few sips of. Really, you only ever need to buy one of these, and it’s mostly for the collectible bottle, and to watch your friends faces after you talk them into taking a sip of it.

On the “I Would Drink This Again” scale, this one’s a 1 out of 5.

Our Ratingwine

About the Company
From its home in beautiful Olympia, Washington, Fish Brewing Company has been hand-crafting ales of Northwest proportions since 1993. Founded by Crayne and Mary Horton and a few dozen local investors, Fish began operations humbly. With a 15-barrel brew house, two 15-barrel fermenters, and one dairy tank, we brewed for our neighbors up and down Puget Sound. Growing steadily since, Fish is now an award-winning craft brewer with distribution throughout the great Pacific Northwest and beyond.

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