Saturday, March 29, 2014

HammerHeart Flanary's Brew Review

Name: HammerHeart Flanary's Brew
Style: Oatmeal Stout
ABV: 6.3%

Last year, a new brewery (amongst many others) called HammerHeart Brewing Company opened for business here in Minnesota. What makes it fairly unique is that the brewmaster of HammerHeart did an apprenticeship at Haandbyggeriet, a Norwegian based brewery. The brewery also uses strong influences of both Nordic and Celtic culture as evidenced by the beer names and brewhouse design. 

However they are best known for making styles with a bit of a twist as you will see in this review. Last week while I was attending The Duluth Experience North Shore Craft Beer Roundtable at the Zeitgeist here in Duluth, I arrived a bit early so I decided to head over to the bar for a pint. As my eyes scanned the tap menu, HammerHeart Flanary's Brew caught my eye. 

Flanary's Brew is classified as an Oatmeal Stout, but it was described as a Smoked Oatmeal Stout, something which I was very curious to try out. Having heard pretty good things about HammerHeart, I decided to have a pint for myself and see what it was like. With my notebook handy for the event, I was ready to go.

Flanary's Brew pours a pitch black color with a thin filmy brown head. There isn't any lacing to be seen here and there I'm not picking up on any visible carbonation here.

The nose is unike anything I've seen in an Oatmeal Stout before. I'm getting notes of chocolate malts, smokiness, oatmeal, roasted barley and bubblegum. The bubblegum sweetness isn't subtle or sitting in the back; It's staring you right in the face along with every other scent I'm picking up.

The flavor is also very reminiscent of the nose. Upfront are notes of oatmeal, bubblegum, smoked malts, chocolate and roasted barley. The aftertaste consists mainly of bubblegum sweetness and a distinct smokey characteristic. The overall palate is moderately weighted but mild carbonated so it's pretty easy to drink.

Flanary's Brew is unlike any oatmeal stout that I've had before, but I found this to be a very robust and enjoyable beer! After having this, I can totally see why beer lovers here in Minnesota have been going crazy over HammerHeart. Hopefully we will be seeing more of HammerHeart here in Duluth because based on what I've seen so far, they make some very good beer!

HammerHeart Flanary's Brew - 9/10

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