New Holland Brewing Company was my first love when I got into the craft scene so it holds a special place in my heart and Isaac Hartman, their Beer Ambassador, does a fantastic job supporting his brand and Michigan Beer in general.
The Poet is their Oatmeal Stout. It rings in at a modest 5.2% abv, and at 40 ibu's it has just the right amount of dryness to clear your palette of the rich, chocolate, soft, creaminess from the dark roasted malts. Pouring a deep brown, when held up to direct light you get some dark ruby highlights that compliment the thick creamy head that leaves fantastic lacing even though it dissipates rather quickly.
You get a strong chocolate malt aroma right away with maybe some shortbread and oatmeal notes and surprisingly little coffee scent for how dark it is. I actually poured it a bit too cold so i initially got more iced tea aromas before I got the chocolate and coffee as it warmed up to proper the temperature.
Just as I said above, the alcohol is not present, allowing for great drinkability and allowing the malts to make a very soft creamy coating on your tongue. This creates a very satisfying mouthfeel but has just the right amount of hops to clear your palette at the end allowing for that great sensation that leaves you reaching for the next sip. The carbonation is a bit high today, which could be the draft system more than the beer itself, but the bubbles are tight and don't interfere too much. As it warms, the roasted malts with the dark chocolate and coffee make their presence felt.
From top to bottom this is a great example of how to make a solid stout without having to get in your face by over malting or taking the abv too high. It remains one of my favorite dark beers and can be enjoyed in any weather.
To find out more about this and New Holland's many other brews visit them @ www.newhollandbrew.com
You can find this and 67 other great beers on tap at the Shark Club in Howell, MI
To get up date happenings of all Michigan Breweries and Events visit www.michiganmicrobrews.com
Thank you for your support, check out my other reviews @ howellbeergeek.blogspot.com