Updated May 9, 2012 - 8:09 am
Split Shot in the City of Coffee and Beer
Each year a brewery is selected to craft the official beer of Seattle Beer Week. The past breweries have included such Seattle staples as Hale's Ales and Maritime Pacific who brewed an IPA and an American strong ale respectively. This year the official beer is Split Shot from Elysian Brewing, and it just may be the finest of them all.
The Elysian Split Shot Espresso Milk Stout creates a fanfare for the senses as it blends bitter flavorfull espresso from Lighthouse Coffee with smooth chocolaty stout from the great Elysian Brewing. This is the first of the SBW beers that has not had an intense hop profile common on the West Coast, and yet, captures the essence of Seattle maybe more so than the extremely hopped beer of previous years.
My favorite aspect of Elysian's Split Shot is one that hits the senses first, the aroma. Much like sticking your nose into a bag of chocolate covered espresso beans, the deep earthy aroma of espresso and creamy chocolate invade the nose and begin a chain reaction of chemicals in the brain, resulting in a deep desire to consume the aromas source.
The color is a deep obsidian with a tawny, thick head of foam which stays present for a long minute or two.
The flavor of Split Shot is a fusion of decadent chocolate and bold espresso. The combination is so well blended that it is some what difficult to tell where one starts and the other begins. They seem to be one in the same; not split at all, but one unified shot of flavor. I was a little surprised at how relatively light this beer is. It is not over loaded in the sugar department as I assumed it would be. Instead, it is light and creamy with medium-low carbonation.
My second favorite aspect of Elysian's Split Shot is the after taste. It is robust and bitter, slightly chocolaty with a full espresso flavor. Several minutes after my final sip, I could taste the bold coffee flavor of the Lighthouse espresso, a plea sent lingering flavor that had me wishing for another 22oz.
After my wonderful introduction to Elysian's Split Shot, I have placed this beer on my "Must Drink" list. When I am at a bar, and give a look down the tap handles or menu, and I see a "Must Drink" beer, I order it. No need to continue looking, no need to read the rest of the menu. There are only a few beers on my "Must Drink" list, two from Sound Brewing, one from Double Mountain, for example, and I am always thrilled when I can add another to this elite group.
When you are out experiencing Seattle Beer Week, make sure you try Elysian's Official SBW Beer, Split Shot, or grab a bottle at your favorite bottle shop. And If you are available, check out the Kick Off pt. 1 at Elysian Capitol Hill, Thursday night at 6pm, where Split Shots will be flowing like milk and honey in the city of coffee and beer.
(Post and photo by Dean Westling)
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