Hoppin' Frog Brewery, Doris pours out like motor oil. Like a lot of the aspects of this stout, we are not altogether sure if this is a good or a bad thing. When pouring, the label urges you to 'pour carefully to avoid disturbing the natural yeast sediment in the bottom of the bottle.' For us at the Lounge, we didn't like this advice. First, it left us a lousy head, thin and laceless. Second, we didn't have the breadiness that would help Doris' savory balance. Luckily, since Doris comes in 22 ouncers, you can pour it both ways to see which way you like it.
The tast is long and will challenge those unfamiliar with imperial stouts. There is not a part of this beer that isn't big. Upfront, it's buttery chocolate and dark-roasted coffee that lingers into black licorice and tobacco ash. Every bit of it is oily smooth in the mouth feel. The finish is bitter earthiness, tinged with bouillon. Not everyone's cup of tea, but Hoppin' frog deserves credit for balancing this beast, because a lesser brewery likely would never have been able to pull this brew off.
The challenge then, was to find a way to cocktail this beast. We won't beat around the bush, Doris is a problem in cocktails. Acids applied to Doris in anyway turns it into a taste similar to (I'm sorry...) coffee puke. Rum is normally a partner of stouts, but not Doris; too much sweetness turn the finish rancid. What then?