This ‘foreign extra stout’ opens to a sweet and rich roasted grain aroma with sweet coffee notes. Roasted malts make an initially smooth and semi-sweet chocolate entry, then quickly transitions into a drying, rich cocoa with a light touch of vanilla . A big dryness is the dominant character to this stout, coming from the use of pale and roasted malts to create a characteristically dry 'Irish’ stout. Its assertive bitterness combines nicely with the dark roast to finish with a lightly burnt grain character and herbal hop notes. Coffee and bittersweet chocolate combine for a strong mocha flavor. On the underbelly lies a light fruity character paired with earthy notes and tobacco. A healthy hopping prevents a truly creamy feel, pairing with mild bubbly sharpness. Mild fruity alcohol esters come through, but are mostly well disguised.
The foreign title is indicative of higher gravity (8%), and I find the dryness appealing. It will leave you with a thirsty feel. I think Schlafly has hit on the style with a centered simplicity and surprising lightness despite the heavy roast and alcohol. I think it’s pretty solid, but may be a tad too sweet for the aim of style. It isn’t quite as refined as other Export Stouts, and the roasted character is a bit rough and not as bold as I anticipated. However, the good definitely outweighs the bad. I recommend you try this one.