What does the word “suede” mean to you? While suede might be a cheesy throwback today, in the 70’s, suede was the essence of smooth. Stone’s Suede Imperial Porter –a collaboration brew with Oregon’s 10 Barrel Brewing and Washington D.C.’s Bluejacket Brewery—is as smooth as Billy Dee Williams in an ad for bad malt liquor, and it hit shelves on Monday.
Stone Brewmaster Mitch Steele brought Megan Parisi and Tonya Cornett (the brewmasters for Bluejacket and 10 Barrel, respectively) to San Diego. A true collaborative effort, each member of the trio had input when they set out with the idea of making a beer with local Southern California ingredients. The result is an imperial porter with dried jasmine, avocado honey and calendula flowers from Stone Farms.
Suede has a rich chocolate-brown color, and it hits you immediately with a floral aroma followed by traditional porter scents of coffee and chocolate. The flavor follows suit with distinct floral notes with sweetness from the avocado honey. Coffee and chocolate flavors show up on the back end, just in case you forgot that you were drinking a porter.
While the beer packs a solid 9.6% alcohol content, there’s nary a trace of booziness. Use the high alcohol content as an excuse to slowly enjoy the beer, as flavors emerge as the beer gets closer to room temperature. Don’t try to tackle a bomber of this by yourself if you’re planning on driving.
Appropriate to its namesake, Suede wraps you in warmth like Hugh Hefner’s trademark smoking jacket. The only thing missing is a clingy Playmate girlfriend, but who needs that? Suede Imperial Porter is all you need to keep you warm as the colder months approach.
Author's note: I'll be attending the Great American Beer Festival this weekend in Denver, Colo. For entertaining real-time photo coverage of the festival, follow me on Instagram at CraftBeerDon or on Twitter @Donontheradio.