Marshall’s Black Dolphin Imperial Stout… 4/5

So this is the final review out of four beers I had while out drinking with my buddy at The Fur Shop (see review of bar here) in downtown Tulsa.  Marshall Brewing Company‘s Black Dolphin Stout is one I have had several times while at The Fur Shop and is from a local Tulsa brewery.

From the Brewery? Nope…

Marshall Black Dolphin StoutThere isn’t any information on the Black Dolphin Stout on Marshall’s website (at least not when I started this review).  I was able to find one page (here) talking about a kickoff event for it back in Feb. 2015. Nothing actually said about the beer.  It would be nice to have some info because you can still buy the beer locally, even if it was a seasonal offering (brewed at least 2 seasons).  I hope past offerings will eventually be listed under their beers section.  I have collected the following information from around the web.

Tulsa World Beer Blog post describes as:

“Black Dolphin is a Russian imperial stout that has been aged for about four months in whiskey barrels. At 9 percent alcohol by volume, it is definitely a stout beer. With a rich, roasted flavor and great malty taste, Black Dolphin is a great beer selection for this time of year.”

Untappd:

“Whiskey barrel aged Russian Imperial Stout. Named for the world most severe maximum security prison in Russia.”

ABV: 8.3-9%

Tasting…

First off served in a shaker glass, with a nutty brown head that did dissipate.  A dark/stout/black-brown in color beer with plenty of malt smell. The barrel aging added some unique flavors to the drink and really brings a nice extra taste to the beer.  There is that hint of a kick that you get from taking a shot of whiskey when you look for it. To me the flavors that come out the most are of the dark roasted malts, chocolates and vanilla.  I did not get much of a hop feel from the beer.

Although the head disappeared the carbonation stayed with the beer throughout the drinking. Giving it a good rich/creamy mouth feel at the start of the drink.  Not as rich and creamy as a regular stout throughout because the Imperial comes through with the higher ABV and dryer finish to the drink.

Summary

The higher ABV did give it a bit of a kick.  Not a beer I would have more than 2 of in a short period of time.  Luckily it was the last beer of the night at The Fur Shop.  I have had this beer more than once and like it for an Imperial Stout.  I would love to have a taste test of a beer barrel aged and not barrel aged side by side sometime. I will have to start watching the local breweries to see if this options appears on their schedule. I rated this beer a 4 out of 5.  It appeals to my tastes.

So sit back, relax and have ABigBeer.


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Black Mesa’s ESB (Endless Skyway Bitter)… 3.75/5

So this (Black Mesa’s ESB) is the third out of four beers I had while out drinking with my buddy at The Fur Shop (see review of bar here) in downtown Tulsa.  A nice beer that was pretty surprising actually.  One thing to note is do not get this beer confused with the other ESB offerings from Black Mesa.  On their website they have 3 beers listed under the ESB Style/Name (This beer as a year round, another seasonal, and a special that I would like to get my hands on.).

From the Brewery…

Black Mesa ESB“Endless Skyway Bitter finds inspiration in the English style but derives its grapefruit bitterness from West Coast hops. Like the finest English examples, the bitterness is assertive but balanced with a nutty maltiness. “Endless Skyway” is a nod to Oklahoma’s favorite son, Woody Guthrie. May there always be endless skyways above you and golden valleys below you.”

ABV: 6% (Untappd)

IBUs: N/A (If anyone has info on this please place in comments. Thanks.)

 

Tasting…

First off an ESB (Extra Special Bitter) does not mean that it is the most bitter beer style available on the market.  That is what the IPA (India Pale Ale) variety has going for it.  Yes, they are hoppy-er than a traditional ale, but strive for a balance between hops and malt.  This offering to the ESB style has that going for it.  It also matches the traditional darker ale/more robust color associated with the variety.  I don’t know exactly what the IBUs of this beer is but I would probably put it around 30-35.  Granted I had just finished a COOP F5 (review here) so that should be taken into account.

The beer had a good nose that gave off both malt and hop components.  The head dissipated quickly and did not have a lot of carbonation toward the end of the glass.  There was a strong flavor of both hops and malt in the drinking so the ESB balance is achieved. The malt was present up front with some hints of yeast then a good hop finish that left you ready to take the next drink.

Summary

I think I would like to get weird in Guthrie, OK while sitting in an open beer garden drinking this beer.  It is one that I could see drinking on a hot summer day watching the world go by, or on a chilly evening by a fire.  Another respectable beer out of another regional Oklahoma brewery.  Food wise I would pair this with some grilled meats.  I give this beer a 3.75 out of 5.

So sit back, relax and have ABigBeer.


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COOP Ale Works’ F5 IPA… 4/5

Dropped in to have a few with a buddy of mine at The Fur Shop in Tulsa.  He drank the same beer all night and I can’t fault him.  I had one too, the COOP Ale Works’ F5 IPA.  I consider it one of the best beers coming out of the brewery.  Currently, I like the IPA style the most in my drinking endeavors and have for sometime.

From the Brewery…

f5-ipa“A straightforward malt body supports the distinctive bouquet of Columbus and Falconers Flight hops that impart citrus, grapefruit and pine notes characteristic of the West Coast style.  F5 is a belligerent hop reckoning.

  • Type: India Pale Ale
  • ABV: 6.8%
  • IBU: 100+
  • SRM: 11″

My input:  If you don’t know the F5 name comes from the tornado rankings, as can be seen in the logo, and is something we all know about here in Okie Land.  I can appreciate the naming of this beer from this Oklahoma City based brewery, where the state has seen a number of F5’s over the past few years.  Cheers to the naming committee…

Tasting…

COOP F5The beer was served pretty cold, in a shaker glass.  An amber-colored beer with a white head that stuck around a little while after the first drink.  The nose was slight, cold and shaker may have limited, with a touch of citrus, but mostly a bit of hop anticipation. When tasting the hops and bitter were a dominate from the beer.  They were well-balanced and did not dominate the senses such that you could not enjoy the other flavors in the beer.  There were some fruity flavors that brought out a hint of sweetness, but were quickly covered by the hop finish.

As for mouth feel the carbonation stayed throughout the drinking and provided a good bite along with the hops having a good clean finish (dry bitter) to the drink. The finish provided a good clean feel to the mouth and begged for you to take the next drink.

Summary

Overall this is a very nice drinking beer and one that I could drink many of in a night.  I appreciate my buddy who had 4 right along with me this night while I was drinking diverse. I give this beer a 4 out of 5.  I could see drinking this along with almost meal because to me it is the food that compliments the beer.  I would not have this with a dessert though.

Another beer I have had from this brewery is the DNR (reviewed here).  So relax, sit back and have ABigBeer.


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Roughtail’s 3rd Anniversary Ale… 3.5/5

Dropped into The Fur Shop to have a beer with a friend (click here to see review on the bar).  I ended up having a few beers from their great regional selection of craft beers.  I sat down at the bar next to my buddy and ordered without looking at the menu:  Craft, IPA, Regional Brewery, Draft. The beer handed to me was Roughtail Brewing Company’s 3rd Anniversary Imperial/Double IPA.

From the Brewery…

3rd-anniversaryLimited Brew/Limited release, April 2016.

3rd Anniversary is a West Coast style Double IPA brewed with Blood Orange and Grapefruit puree, Citra, Galaxy and El Dorado hops. It’s big, dry, and bitter with a refreshing citrusy aroma and flavor.

  • 7.8% ABV
  • 90 IBU
  • 8 SRM
  • Hops: Warrior, Citra, El Dorado & Galaxy

Note:  If you are a home-brewer (all grain) visit their website for a recipe, nice touch.

Tasting…

When I ordered I didn’t realize that I was getting a limited release IPA.  I figured it out when I told the name and felt glad I had a chance to taste it before it was gone.  Appearance it had a cloudy golden/hazy color.  The head was white and dissipated quickly for me.  The carbonation was good throughout the drinking of the beer.  As expected very little malt flavor.  A good bitter for the Double IPA beer and drinkable.  Well hopped with the taste of fruity undertones upfront along with a dry hop bitter finish. Just so you know a Double IPA is an American beer that focuses on ramping up the hops to 11.

I think the fruity undertones is where it fell down for me.  The slight taste of grapefruit is what made it average.  I don’t generally like grapefruit as a flavor.  Don’t get me wrong it didn’t overpower the beer or make it undrinkable to me.  I did enjoy it, but it was more of just an OK beer, nothing markedly special.  That is why I gave it a 3.5 out of 5.  I know a lot of other people give it higher marks.  So if you would like to add your own review comments below please do so.

Summary

Nice to have a limited brew/release available on draft at a local bar.  Granted from the regional breweries we should and do have these options when paying attention.  As for Roughtail’s 3rd Anniversary Ale, a Double IPA, I liked it as a good drinkable beer. I am happy that I got to drink it before it is gone. Would I drink something else if two equally rated beers were available, Yes.

So sit back, relax and have ABigBeer.


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The Fur Shop, Tulsa…

Got a text at the end of the day on Friday and a good/best friend was wanting a drink.  I stirred us towards The Fur Shop in downtown Tulsa.  It is the closest thing to a full-blown craft beer DIVE bar I have been to in Tulsa.  If you have others you would like to suggest please post a comment below.

The Past…

The Fur Shop historically (see Tulsa World article) was a hard-drinking, big party, live venue bar.  I have been told stories of block parties setup around the bar with outdoor stages.  It was all during a time when I was outside of that scene so unfortunately I do not have tails to tell.  Others tell stories of the multitude of festival like weekends, hosting of bands, and other entertainment goings-on happening around the site and sponsored by the bar.

Current…

FurShopSignThe Fur Shop name reopened a couple of years ago.  The sign had been left in the basement during past reincarnations so it was resurrected.  The focus was to have ongoing live bands again and they have managed to continue in that arena.  I don’t think they have been able to get back the past atmosphere (the bar’s surroundings have changed), but they have added a few new things to the mix, mainly a Craft Beer Focus.  The bar has dedicated its beer selection to local and regional craft brews.  Not all beers are of this flavor, but a large percentage. So for the dive bar/craft beer lovers this is a place to go hang out.

The bar does have three stages used for various types of bands.  The first is indoors to the right of the front door when entering and works for small bands on a compact stage.  The second is a small upstairs area more attuned to the quiet ensemble/duet. Lastly is the outdoor stage in an open space behind the bar.  It provides an open air festival atmosphere for when a band is playing.

On a typical day there are multiple areas in the bar open for drinking.  Many times there is only 1 person working so no table service.  The drinking areas include:

  • The Bar Area
  • Tables on first floor
  • Upstairs that is usually nice and quiet, good for an informal meeting
  • Outback in Beer Garden

No food but the Lone Wolf Banh Mi (see article or look up on Google) food truck has made the front of the bar home for the past year or so.

Beers…

The Fur Shop has recently been keeping its Facebook page (click here) current with new events, new beers, and tasting events.  If you are looking for something different from a regional brewery I would suggest looking or asking there.  On Friday I had the following beers (drafts) over the hours sitting and BS’ng with my buddy:

Watch for reviews to follow.  They also use the live drink list app on Facebook (click here).

Summary

I like The Fur Shop for its atmosphere, friends I know that drink/work there, and obviously the beer.  They do have some events/regular weekly occurrences that should be observed. I will let you make up your mind if you want to patronize the bar.  It is just one of many places for me to go, and a lot, lot more places in T-Town now are offering Craft Beer.  To that end I am always on the search to find new places to go and enjoy my favorite malted beverage.

So go drink, relax and have ABigBeer.


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