Brewed only a few months prior in the UP, the first sip of Big Shag Big Stout is enjoyed on a terrace in San Francisco. The moment was documented in the contemporaneous e-mail to freinds and family - backposted here:
Well done, Joel. Bravo!
-----Original Message----- From: MW
Sent: Monday, July 04, 2005 3:30 PM
Subject: Big Shag Big Stout - The first review.
Our nation's birthday was deemed a sufficiently auspicious occasion for the inaugural tasting of the now fully chroizened Big Shag Big Stout. A simultaneous North Michigan / Northern California tasting was hastily arranged. The first toast was for the Lake that provided the inspiration, but after the first tasting, all subsequent toasts were for the genius of the Brewmaster that made it happen.
The drinker is initially greeted to an irresistible aroma of molasses, nuts, grain, spicy hops with a subtle hint of bass pee. A dark brown (black coffee-ish) color with a barely discernible hint of green algae highlights, topped by a thick, creamy, cedar-swamp tannin head, rounds out the look of the ale nicely. Brown sugar, roasted malt, and a finely calibrated pine-tar bitterness, which is felt on the tongue and back of the throat, ride the first wave of flavors in this complex ale. On the second wave, a berry fruitiness and undertone of hazelnut complements the consistent full, chewy, fish-scale mouth feel. As the ale warms, the roasted malt, hops and notes of rusty iron-ore increase - providing a memorable finish. This is a lively and solid example of a stout ale that would be great with fresh bread, flavored cheese and deep-fried bluegills.
Big Shag Big Stout did not suffer from the transport to San Francisco...
...with a beautiful color and robust head that stood up to refrigeration.
Anticipation and Consummation. Yum.