Got Beer? Foolproof’s Forecast Chapter #4

At one time, you could fit all the brewers in Rhode Island into a well-lubed phone booth. Now, you wouldn’t be able to cram them all into a medium-sized Dunkin Donuts without sincere apologies to the fire marshal. There’s a new brewery in Portsmouth, and Buttonwoods I hear is online, so it’s well past time I start making the rounds.

It is my duty and honor to continue my infinity-part series of reviewing locally made Rhody beers. I intend to dedicate the next few months to making the rounds of all the local zymurgists and seeing what they have to offer. After all, there’s enough great local beer to talk about that one needn’t even venture over the border for a brewery tour anymore.

And in light of our temperamental temperatures, I’ve chosen Foolproof’s Forecast, Chapter #4 as a fitting candidate for this series. A black India pale lager (perhaps more accurately called an American stout lager, but names are subjective), this beer is one in an ever-changing series, mimicking our own fluctuating and unpredictable local weather.

The aroma is a roasty sweet one with citrusy hop notes. It actually seems very promising based on aroma alone. The flavor is very stoutly, with the hops riding along on top like Master Blaster. But let’s get beyond Thunderdome. The finish has a strangely mild, almost bright flavor, which might be the “lager finish” boasted about on the label.

The flavors both blend and clash, somehow pulling in different directions but still coming together again on every sip. It’s a conundrum. It sort of works, since this is a medium-bodied beer, and just manages to balance the wildly different flavors like a frantic plate-spinner during an earthquake. Every time it seems the hops are overtaking the malt, the toasty taste rallies and comes back swinging. If nothing else, this is an experience for the palate, and truth be told, it’s easy to pick out which flavors come from which part of the beer, like a road map to all the flavors of an American stout.

It’s a study in contradiction, much like our meteorological state, capable of blizzards, lightning and a heat wave all at once. So in that sense, at least, it fits the theme. It’s not a cold weather beer or a hot weather beer. It’s a unique entity, to say the very least, defying convention and yet defining it at the same time. It is exactly what it promises on the can, but so much more, taking each element to the nth degree. And if that’s not paradoxical enough for you, then take a gander at the piles of snow still clinging to life in the Walmart parking lot.

I look forward to more perplexing flavor combinations in this series. But for now, I have to shovel out my car so we can hit the beach today.

I’ll see you next Autumsprumter.

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