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Belt’s Beer Garden: #700!

A crazy Imperial Stout from Southern Grist to celebrate the 700th beer on Belt’s Beer Garden!!

Today Belt’s Beer Garden hits another milestone…the 700th beer to be featured on the site! For this momentous occasion, I wanted to find a beer that was bold, delicious, and - most importantly - unique.

So I looked to one of my favorite breweries - Southern Grist Brewing. The Nashville, Tennessee brewery opened back in 2015 and I have been hooked on their stuff ever since I had my first sip. The folks at SGBC know how to make damn good beers, no matter the style, and that is a rare feat these days.

I’ve featured a few of their IPAs on here before but for #700 we needed something bigger!

Today I have their Black Fedora - one of four beers in their Four Fedoras Short of a Party series they released late last year and it’s the perfect time to bust it out.

Black Fedora is an Imperial Sweet Stout that was aged in Old Fitzgerald 9 Year Wheated Bourbon Barrels and Sazerac Rye Whiskey Barrels for over 30 months. But that’s not all…then they conditioned the beer on caramel chips, cacao nibs, bacon, potato chips, vanilla beans, pretzels, and peanut butter chips!! DAMN! That is something else! And the 12.6% ABV is nothing to balk at either!

So without further ado, let’s get this party started!

The beer poured a thick dark black reminiscent of motor oil. A thin line of brownish/tan head topped it off before quickly fizzling away. There was almost no head retention, as only a few single bubbles remained after a moment.

On the nose, it was boozy and packed with sweet chocolate and roasted coffee notes. The vanilla, caramel, and peanut butter chips were also quite noticeable, adding to the sweetness of the smell. Sadly, the pretzels, bacon and potato chips were lost behind the other, sweeter adjuncts.

My first sip was salty and heavy. This was a THICCC stout but it delivered on flavors. The potato chips, bacon, and pretzels starting it off with a kick of salinity.

However, that was quickly washed away. The chocolate, vanilla, and caramel hit with that sweetness after a mere second before the whiskey barrels came in with a bit of a boozy punch.

There is a roast coffee bitterness midway through that is quickly followed up with a bit of sweetness - the vanilla and caramel once again popping up.

From there, the beer begins to fade. Lingering the longest are the bitter notes of coffee and a bit of salted pretzel.

For being as thick as it was, it didn’t sit too heavy (but it certainly wasn’t on the lighter side). And the alcohol, outside of that whiskey barrel bite, was hidden quite nicely. But you sure could feel it in your chest and face after a few swigs.

It was a very easy drinking Imperial Stout that has a LOT going on in it. The start was a bit too much - as you couldn’t differentiate between the potato chips, pretzels, and bacon, and just got salty instead. But, after that, it was easy going and very nice.

An intriguing stout that you should try, if given the chance.

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