About a year ago, I walked into Beverages 4 Less for the first time. I talked to the store manager for a while about his selection and he ended up going into the back room and pulling out a bottle for me to try. I had never heard of the beer before, but it was from a local brewery, Green Flash, and it was called Silva Stout. I ended up taking it home, but kept putting off a tasting for one reason or another. Eventually, I lost interest in the bottle and ended up trading it to a guy in Cincinnati. After I traded it, I realized that the beer had made it into the Top 100. Oops. Still, I figured that since the beer was from San Diego, it wouldn't be hard to come across again. Months later, I still hadn't found it and began to hate my decision to trade it away. This past Saturday, my luck finally changed. I happened to be at Toronados and saw Silva Stout on their bottle list. This time, it was not escaping me.
Silva Stout pours a thick-looking black color with a one finger milk chocolate-colored head. After a few minutes, the head thinned to a light cap over the beer. Silva Stout is aged for a year in bourbon barrels and the bourbon is immediately present in the aroma. Unlike some bourbon barrel aged beers, Silva Stout has much more going on in the smell than just the bourbon. I picked up a lot of dark chocolate, raisin and coffee with some hints of leather coming out as the beer warmed.
The taste has some nice bourbon elements as well, but the bourbon is pleasantly restrained. Rich flavors of chocolate, raisin, caramel, wood and bourbon jump out right away and a pleasant warming sensation creeps in on the finish. As the beer warms, the sweeter elements really come out. This is a fantastic beer and I'm so glad that the hunt for this one is finally over.
Final Grade: A
Top 100 Beers Tasted: 21