Ordinarily, I avoid the stouts. Why, you ask? Well it’s not only because they come with ridiculous names like Karl Strauss 22nd Anniversary Vanilla Imperial Stout (you don’t exactly see bock or ambers like that). No, the real reason is that I consider beer a sort of refreshment. And being a refreshment, there should be something inherently refreshing about the beer. Sorry, stouts, you are not exactly refreshing, and it’s not just because some of your subtypes are Oatmeal, Chocolate and Coffee.
But refreshing or not, when I was offered some 22nd Anniversary Vanilla Imperial Stout, I had a hard time turning it down. Why? The vanilla. Like I said earlier, Chocolate Stout is a pretty common stout choice and I have no need for chocolate in my beer or otherwise. But vanilla is a completely different story. I claim Cream Soda as one of my favorite non-alcoholic beverages and the chance to drink that flavor combined with a high ABV percentage was too good to pass up. But first I had to get in the bottle.