Island Brewing: Starry Night

This week I (well my taste buds, anyway) took a little road trip to Carpinteria to sample some beers from the Island Brewing Company.  They produce six regular beers and from time to time a seasonal or limited release.  Watch their blog to discover when they release a new specialty beer or visit their website to find their “brew near you”.

Today, I will be reviewing Starry Night Stout which is a limited release from 2009.  I found this beer at The Wineyard in Thousand Oaks where they carry Island Brewing Co.’s regular lineup as well as bottled special releases.  In beer terms, limited or special release means that it is not one of the regular beers brewed and that it may not be brewed again for quite some.  Sadly, sometimes limited release means that the beer will never be brewed again.  Limited release brews are generally beers that can be kept around or aged for an extended period of time so if you find a limited release beer that you like it is always good to stock up.

Starry Night Stout was a pleasure from start to warm and fuzzy finish.  This is the kind of beer I loved on a cold South Dakota winter day and one that I now enjoy on an “chilly” (the folks back home are laughing over this) overcast day in California. In my opinion, Starry Night Stout is everything a big stout should be.  It is full bodied and roasty but without that unpleasant burnt malt bitterness found in some stouts.  It is smooooooth and worth the nearly $8 I paid for the 22oz bottle. I was more than happy to refill my glass and finish that 22 in one sitting.  Wanna try something different? Drink this beer for desert or use it in these brownies.  You haven’t lived until you’ve had beer for desert!

Too, often I come across people who equate dark beers with bitter beer. That misconception comes from drinking Guinness from dirty tap lines or from a tap jockey who doesn’t know how or have the equipment to pour the perfect pint.  Guinness is probably the best known stout and/or dark beer and if it isn’t served correctly it can be a very bitter beer.  It is an unfortunate misconception because many Budmiloors drinkers are missing out on some very tasty dark beers like Starry Night Stout.   You don’t have to worry about serving Starry Night correctly though because anyway you pour it into your glass you will enjoy it.

Enjoy your sensory vacation.

TIP: Bring your chilled beer out of the refrigerator and let it warm up for about 15 minutes before you serve it.  This releases the CO2 from solution which in turn releases the subtle or not-so-subtle aromas.  Also warming your beer prevents the beer from numbing your tongue and hiding the subtle or not-so-subtle flavors.  Now you know why Budmiloors wants you to drink beer ice cold 😉

  1. Stock some, for our next *chilly* night in SoCal. It sounds good.

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