Like the changing seasons, my tastes change periodically. One of this year's surprises has been my reaction to stout. After months and months of pale hoppy beers, smoky stouts have assumed an oddly acrid, unpleasant edge. Doubly so coffee stouts, with their characteristic "touch of ashtray" notes. Lord knows when I will revisit that style.
So my heart sank a little bit when I held up this bottle of Stewart Brewing Yoga Chef to try and get a sense of what I might be in for. Dark beer, humph, and humph again. It sat rejected on my desk for a few days. Then, sod it, the weather changed, and suddenly, so did I.
Yoga Chef pours very dark brown, with ruddy highlights, and a quickly dissipating head. Soft, autumnal aromas, ripe fruit, a hint of undergrowth. Slightly sweet on the palate, though light-bodied, finishing with an impression of berries and crushed leaves. Very new world, but somehow traditional at the same time. New wave mild?
A really good, interesting autumnal beer, from a brewery who have consistently impressed me this year.
(Stewart Brewing sent me this bottle for review)