It's that time again: stout month is back at the 3 brew-pubs in the Mountain Sun family! When I think Mountain sun, I always think Illusion Dweller and Colorado Kind Ale. Yet every February I find myself drawn to the Sun for some excellent dark flavors. Offering tapped versions of both their own delicious stouts and those of guest brewers, Stout month is a great way to pass an evening in the dead of winter. This past Wednesday night I made my yearly pilgrimage to the tiny (and always packed) pub on Pearl Street for some tastings, and, as always, I did not come away disappointed.
I'm very appreciative of the choice to hold a month-long event dedicated to stouts. It's a step down a road not normally taken. While stouts are the kings of dark complexity, it's been the hoppy beers that have taken the American craft beer landscape by storm over the past few years. That the Mountain Sun bases it's yearly beer tradition on a beer type not often given it's due strikes me as an outrageously "Boulder" thing to do. That they're all on tap makes it all that much better.
I was able to sample 5 stouts Wednesday evening before remembering that I had to work the next day. Tastings of Grand Teton's Black Cauldron, and the Mountain Sun's own Chocolate Cherry Dip, Dropkick, Yonder Mountain and Coconut Cream made for a very dark and roasted evening. The best of the bunch, in my opinion, was the Black Caldron; came in an 8oz pour, but well worth the premium attached. Tons of dark, roasted, and toffee flavors accompany this startlingly black beer, and it had that "suck your breath out" aroma that many Imperials possess. Smooth and tasty, I highly recommend Black Cauldron.
Overall, a very happy and productive trip to the Sun. There's still 11 evenings left in February, and I suggest spending at least one of them on a trip to any of the 3 Mountain Sun pubs; stout month only comes around once-a-year, afterall.
(UPDATED 2/18/11 - 2:13PM) For lunch a few buddies and I went back to the Sun for more stout month. Unmoved by the dangers of over-consuming before heading back to work (don't worry I had a driver) I grabbed 2 stouts with my burger. Luckily for me, the Sun was pouring the Export Stout from local favorites Upslope brewing. I've enjoyed this brew at their storefront before, but it was nice to try it in a more relaxed setting. Export smells a little funky, but the taste is along the lines of a liquid carbomb; nice cream flavoring to go along with a strong coffee aftertaste. Another good reason to try stout month!