Matt’s Sleepy time Belgian Imperial Stout: Almost Matthew’s perfect beer

As a follow up to the last post, here is a review on one of Beaus star beers: Matt’s Sleepy Time. I received a bottle of this beer from my dad for my birthday. I think he chose it because of it’s name and the style of beer, which are right up my alley!

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What about the specs?

Matt’s sleepy time is a Belgian Imperial Stout that is 8% and an IBU (International Bitterness Units) of 38 that is aged on oak staves and can be bought in 600ml bottles from the LCBO or on tap at select locations.

The Pour

It poured dark brown with two fingers of caramel colour head. The head lasted well after the first sip and eventually settled at 1 finger. This dark completely opaque beer was a little more brown than most other imperial stouts.

The Sip

As I lifted it up to take a sip I couldn’t help but be captivated by the light caramel smell. After further inspection, hints of dark grains, roasted malts, milk chocolate, cloves and herbs from the belgian yeast became more apparent. The first sip was a smooth operator. It had medium body that coated the tongue with a little fizz but was not harsh. The end of the sip was a little sticky but soon faded away. This beer was velvety, not harsh and as it opened up it became smoother while retaining its balanced palate. I do however usually prefer less carbonation in my imperial stouts and higher body.

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The glorious taste

As the sip covered my tongue a wave of light coffee, burnt malts and chocolate milk covered my taste buds. A few sips later I could taste a note of vanilla and raisins and as I was finishing my glass I could taste hints of fig and raisins. Although the IBU is 38 which is medium high, I felt that its bitterness was medium low. The bitterness was one of the balancing factors that was well hidden by the coffee overtones. To sum up the flavour it is rich and amazing. As I was finishing the bottle it became obvious that this rich and tasty beer is definitely one to try again.

The packaging says yes!

The bottle and images really spoke to my marketing/design side. I looooovvvve the packaging and marketing of this product. Beau’s really appealed to my marketing side. I give these guys additional points for creativity and execution of this product. The bottle is so nice that I will be keeping an empty of Matt’s sleepy time somewhere in my 605 sq feet condo.

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The sum of the parts

It looked great.

It smelled good.

It felt good.

It tasted amazing.

This is one balanced beer that will take you for a nice ride. If you like imperial stouts you will want to pick this one up for your next late night revelry. This beer is really good but I will admit that when it’s both an imperial and a belgian, the expectations are high. Matt’s Sleepy time was amazing but not great. My preference is for a heavier body and lower carbonation for the Belgian/ imperial stout combo than this beer had to offer. I am however looking forward to drinking this one again the next time I am in Ontario!

I give this beer a 4.3 + bonus points out of 5.

Cheers and À votre santé!

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Matt

 

Extra Extra

Full Rating

Appearance: 4.5 / 5

Aroma: 8 /10

Palate: 4/5

Flavour: 9/10

Overall 4.3

La Barberie Stout Impérial: Perfect start… sticky finish

This week I tasted a local imperial stout that I had never tried before. La Barberie is a small cooperative brewery that is based in Quebec city. They pride themselves for their unique brews, local tasting room and their ability to engage with the community.

La Barberie Imperial stout comes in a 5oo ml bottle, ABV of 7.5% and retails for $4.95.

At first pour this Imperial Stout lived up to its name. It poured a rich dark brown colour and gave about two fingers of caramel head. The head settled down to about a 1/8 inch and lasted until the very last sip, slowly lacing the glass on it way down. Once poured it was a dark brown colour that was just a touch lighter than other imperials I have had. For stout drinkers this pint screamed just pick me up and sip me already!

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This beer started with a strong roasted oatmeal smell that was followed up by a coffee almost caramel smell that ended with a sharp hoppy finish. As it opened up the smell became a little sweeter and the hint of coffee became more pronounced. The smell led me to expect a rich balanced full body beer that would have a hoppy aftertaste.

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The first sip was harsh and more carbonated than I like my imperial stouts to be. Although it had a good medium to heavy body that rolled nicely in the mouth, after about half a pint it became a little sticky on the tongue. It was slightly less balanced than I was expecting and dryer than other imperial stouts that I have tried.

Then there was the taste…

It was roasted, a bit sweet, I could taste oatmeal and a hint of coffee and chocolate. It was well rounded at first with the roasted oatie mildly sweet taste but by the middle the hop took over and as it warmed up it seemed to get more roasted and peaty. A bit underwhelming compared to the original smell.

Overall I like this beer, but it definitely is not one of my favourite stouts. It was a bit of a downward slope of an experience. It started really high with the pour and the smell. The palate and flavour were a bit of a bust. It was much harsher and more one dimensional than I was expecting. I became tired of drinking it about 3/4 of the way through my pint. If you were to try it, I would recommend sharing a 500 ml bottle and using a classic pint glass or even a flute, which I would not normally use for an imperial.  For my detailed specs click on read more after the article

Overall I rate this beer a 3.5 out of 5

Cheers and À votre santé.

Matt

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