“Tiny is a Belgian inspired Imperial Stout weighing in at 11.8%. You’ll find big chocolate and roasted notes, balanced with the Belgian flavors from the Abbey yeast strain. This beer is very smooth and lacks the astringency you sometimes find in these Imperial Stouts.”
Imperial Stout, 11.8% ABV
Sayeth the Guys:
Ryan: We’ve been sitting on this for a while. How long? Well, I bought this beer in December of 2010 and Karl and I split the bottle in May of 2011. Soooo it’s taken almost a year to write this. Awesome.
Thankfully this is the last of our stockpiled reviews. And while I would love to say we saved the best for last, it wasn’t quite the case here.
Don’t get me wrong, this is a good beer, but the Belgian-y additions make it pretty unique. I’ll admit it took me a little while to open up to it – once the beer itself opened up.
Pouring out midnight black in color with a bit of tan, wispy head, Tiny’s nose is all Belgian; cotton candy, clove, banana and bubblegum. The aroma kind of makes you forget you are drinking a nearly 12% ABV stout. On the palate, the Belgian influences of this beer far outshine any of the stout-y-ness. You do get a bit of burnt coffee and dark chocolate midway through your sip, but those flavors are bordered at the start and the finish by bubblegum and clove.
Allow this beer to warm and the flavors start to meld together reminiscent of chocolate covered bananas or runts mixed with M&M’s. Now we’re talking!
I don’t think I knew what to expect with this beer since it was my first Belgian inspired imperial stout. I might like my big, dark beers sans the Belgian influences – but I am not giving up on this beer yet. We have one bottle in the cellar that we’ll crack this winter to see how it’s progressed and if the stout-y-ness has beaten back some of the Belgian-y sweetness.
Karl: Sometimes time itself is the best reviewer or a beer. For example, as I sit here on an El train writing about A beer months, months, months after actually drinking it, I can easily bring to mind the flavor of beverages like my first Shortscake, the Miller Red I used to “prefer” in my early beer-drinking days, the smooth rich chocolate syrup taste of a bomber of Big John, the hot burn of a Devil Dancer.
With Weyerbacher Tiny, after months of being away from this beer, the best I can say is this: There was banana in there.
Looking back, that’s all that’s stuck with me. Oh, and some clove flavors, which should distinguish this beer from exactly zero other Belgian beer reviews out there. I don’t dispute any of Ryan’s impressions above, and taste being subjective as it is, it would appear that he had a much stronger impression than I. Otherwise, my notes tell me that I noticed the dark color paired with a surprisingly light body. I honestly forgot this was sold as a imperial stout.
The relative weakness of the beer seems to have left next to no impression on my brain, and unlike other reviews, I’m not even going to blame the effects of the other tasted beers that night. This one came and went, and now it’s gone, the end.
Karl: Man – did I really miss out on something last time, or did all this flavor show up in the meantime? Because either way, I like this beer a hell of a lot more than I did the last time we tried it (as you can tell, my notes are incomplete, flawed, and…well, quite hazy).
I’ve never quite had the level of banana in any other beer, and it paired masterfully with the stout’s rich, chocolatey, hearty profile. It’s not just those two notes, though – plenty of other complexity comes blazing through, with some gentle hops harshness as well as a friendly backnote of peanut butter.
In time the fresh banana flavor takes on a caramelized note, as though someone had thrown in a little rum-and-syrup sauteed Bananas Foster in there as well. Overall, though, the stout doesn’t back down – the two are quite complimentary to each other.
Belgian stouts, bring it on.
Ryan: I wondered aloud when we drank this fresh if the flavors one usually associates with a stout would eventually beat back the sometimes overpowering Belgian flavors. Two years later and those flavors of chocolate and coffee didn’t overtake the likes of banana and clove, instead the two are riding side-by-side.
I won’t go into the grand detail that Karl did because, frankly, I can’t top it. But let the record reflect that this black as night stout was chalked full of milk chocolate and coffee flavors intertwined with the Belgian-y likes of banana cream pie, cotton candy and clove.
In a word, it was awesome.
This beer far exceeded my expectations and is worth considering for a stint in the cellar.