I’ve shoveled snow the last two weeks so I think it’s safe to say that winter is here. While the Starks might be ready for winter I am not, but I choose to live in New England so I guess I can deal. One of the things I do love about the cold and dark months is a fridge full of dark and malty beers, and I am gradually turning the inventory in my fridge over from the hop bombs to the malt bombs. As part of this transition I am seeking out porters and stouts from breweries that are better known for their IPAs, I believe you need to taste beers across a range of styles in order to make a complete judgment on a brewery’s skills. A good example is Bissell Brothers, a brewery that is mostly known for their hoppy beers but have branched out into lagers, sours and dark beers too. On a recent trip to Maine I grabbed some Umbra, Bissell’s oatmeal stout that is also their first dark beer to make it into regular production. Bissell Brothers Umbra is available on a rotating basis on draft and in 16 oz cans.
Bissell Brothers Umbra pours deep brown with a small tan head. The aroma is full of rich roasted malt. The malt also leads the flavor, notes of milk chocolate, espresso, and caramel. Some herbal and earthy hops add balance and a little late bite. Umbra has the fullbody you crave in an oatmeal stout and drinks very smooth but packs some punch at 7.5% ABV. The finish is rich with some lingering malt flavor. This is a really good beer, rich and malty without being sweet, very well crafted. Bissell Brothers clearly excels with their IPAs, but don’t sleep on their stout! Hoppy Boston score: 4.75/5.
Previous Bissell Brothers Reviews:
Bissell Brothers Nothing Gold, Bissell Brothers The Nuclear Whim With the Fuse of a Mile, Bissell Brothers Reciprocal, Bissell Brothers Pine Tree Agronomics, Bissell Brothers Seed, Bissell Brothers The Substance