Stout from States is top of the hops

05 October, 2007

A stout from Oregon has been named supreme champion in this year's International Beer Challenge.

The Abyss, an 11 per cent abv brew from Deschutes, is matured in French oak and Bourbon casks and was described as "an astonishing creation" by chairman of the judges Jeff Evans.

He added: "The Abyss pours mysteriously dark brown with a lively foam the colour of a smoky bar-room ceiling.

"The nose is biscuity, slightly vinous and packed with the aromas of chocolate, orange and liquorice.

"If that sounds complex, wait till you discover the taste, which has oily chocolate flavours, nuts, lots of coffee, hints of orange cream, a tinge of liquorice and an oaky dryness.

"It's super-smooth and lusciously creamy, with the sumptuousness of a chocolate truffle, only more bitter.

"There's more dark chocolate, coffee and oak in the warming, drying finish that follows, but you could drink this beer all night - slowly - and keep finding new flavours."

The competition, organised by Off Licence News, attracts hundreds of entries from all over the world.

A supplement giving details of the 50 winners will be published next month.




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Richard Hemming MW: beware inverse snobbery

Few things can bring communal pleasure so intimately as wine. Apart from a hot tub, perhaps. Sport can trigger mass jubilation, film gives us shared empathy, but wine has a nigh-unique ability to bestow conviviality among us through a shared bottle ľ which makes it especially galling that we spend so much time divided over it.

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