Thursday, March 11, 2010

Otis Blue

Sure were still in the early part of the year and it's not a new beer by any means, but I'm telling you now that Otis, a fantastically tasty Oatmeal Stout from Brooklyn's own Sixpoint Craft Ales, will be on my Top Ten Beers of 2010 list. It's that good.

From the rocky off-white head and luscious near black color to the aromas and flavors which both impressively balance a roasted malt, heartier base with sweeter caramel and chocolate/cocoa notes, along with a touch of coffee. Bitterness is fairly tame overall and the great balance along with a bit of chewy ruggedness makes this one impossibly easy to drink.

I paired it with some lobster enchiladas which were layered with a spicy red diablo sauce, rice and beans and it worked perfectly. Much as the beer itself strikes a nice balance between roasted and sweet, it helped to balance the meal as a whole with the sweeter notes complementing and somewhat taming the overall spiciness of the food.

While the obvious and most common beer style pairing with spicy dishes is the IPA because the boldness of the hops stands up nicely to the intensity of the food, I usually prefer a sweeter based Porter or Stout to accentuate some of the flavors, especially if there is any seafood in the dish, as a spicy dish/IPA combination can often overwhelm the palate.

The Sixpoint lineup is draft only and is fairly difficult to come by in New Jersey, so if you live or find yourself near Asbury Park I highly recommend stopping into Langosta Lounge on the Boardwalk. The food is great and they've got Otis on tap, but who knows for how long...

Hopback, beer, Sixpoint, Otis, Oatmeal Stout, Brooklyn, New Jersey, Asbury Park