I’ve heard the hype about Green Flash and had to try a couple of their beers for myself.  So in the midst of what passes for a blizzard here in Central Ohio, Herr Direktor and I skidded our way over to Bodega for happy hour.  There was no way I was starting with anything other than an imperial stout, and it was my lucky day since they had Green Flash’s Double Stout on tap… at half price!

According to the brewery, the Double Stout is made in the traditional British style and is continually hopped with UK Target hops.  The result is an incredibly rich, smooth, satisfying beer.

NOTES: On tap at Bodega, Columbus, Ohio’s best bar bar

STYLE: British-Style Double/Imperial Stout

ABV: 8.8%

APPEARANCE: Black.  Completely impenetrable by light.

HEAD: The Double Stout features an intriguing thin but shifting tan head, almost like an oil slick.

LACING: The pint glass is sleeved like an NBA player–top to bottom with brown foam traces.

NOSE: The first whiff of this beer is subtle and very un-beer-like.  It smells like a sweet bread (banana bread, zucchini bread etc.).  The taste doesn’t necessarily match the smell, but the aroma is pleasant (and appetizing).

TASTE: There are a lot of flavors in here.  Coffee and chocolate predominate, but the Double Stout is highly hopped for a stout.  In fact, it may be the hoppiest stout I’ve ever tried.  The result is a strong, rich, roasted brew with slight sourness and bitterness.  Other flavors include light spices, even citrus.  After the face-full of malt hits, the flavors thin out, with an astringent ebb and then… afterburn!

MOUTHFEEL: This beer is smooth and rich with light carbonation.  It’s pretty typical of a high-gravity stout in this respect.

DRINKABILITY: Hmmm.  I can’t in good conscience call the Double Stout “drinkable.”  It drinks like a White Russian that’s heavy on the kahlua.  But at the same time, it is way more than just a malt bomb.  I could see having a second, which I wouldn’t often say about a 9% ABV imperial stout.  The Double Stout is very complex and yields continuing rewards the more of it you drink.  (I guess that’s true of pretty much all beer, in some sense, but that’s not how I mean it.)

RATING: 3.5 Hops.  I’d give it 4 except I think we’ve given out more 4-hop ratings for imperial stouts than any other style.  So this is my opening salvo in the war on hop inflation.  Consider yourselves on notice.


  1. Well done… I admire your bold stance on Hopflation. Like MacArthur returning to the Philippines CDR Pinto, drawing a line in the sand, across this line YOU DO NOT. I would follow you anywhere sir. Or at least into any bar.

    Perhaps not since Dartmouth grade inflation in the late 90’s have we seen such a pervasive and debilitating source of flation.

  2. You used my picture of Green Flash Double Stout. Please link the photo to the original on Flickr:

    Green Flash, Stout

    If you cannot do that, please remove my picture.


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