Style: A Russian-style brew known for its high ABV and malt content.
Serving Type: 12-ounce can
ABV: 10.5 percent
Malty? Hoppy? A lot of both—but the malts overpower.*
Reviewed: September 2015
*The recipe to make this beer contains more hops than any other Oskar Blues makes, but it’s still largely masked by malt
Sometime around April I trade hot coffee for cold brew and cones of espresso ice cream, while my predilection for coffee-esque beer gives way to sours, ambers, and more session-friendly ales. After Labor Day though, as the weather starts to turn—the stores prematurely stocked with Halloween goods, that last crop of kale planted, the leaves poised to change—my tastes do too. Among the first seasonal releases to hit shelves was Oskar Blues’ Ten FIDY, a full-bodied, velvety stout that will be around until February 2016. Although my beer-laced memories aren’t necessarily the most reliable, I’m confident it’s the best imperial stout I’ve tasted to date.
Ten FIDY’s accolades include the 2010 and 2012 gold medals at the World Beer Championships, a 100 rating from RateBeer.com, and an A-rating courtesy of Beer Advocate. Connoisseurs may sneer at the brew’s metal packaging, but glass wouldn’t be conducive to fall camping trips and more importantly, it wouldn’t be true to Oskar Blues—the first company to put craft beer in metal. Regardless, the taste doesn’t suffer, although ideally you’re drinking it cold, from a glass, and sharing with friends. Once poured, the brew is almost black, with a dark brown head reminiscent of a good latte. Ten FIDY is part freshly roasted morning coffee, part chocolate caramel desert; its sweetness balanced by the bitterness of the 65 IBUs. The mouthfeel is rich and smooth, leaving the drinker feeling boozy and warm.
At $14.99 for a four pack, Ten FIDY may seem pricey, but factor in the 10.5 percent ABV, as well as the fact that it’s $7 for an eight-ounce poor at Oskar Blues’ taproom, and you’ll be stocking up on the stuff. Consume responsibly though, as the high alcohol content goes straight to your head (especially when you stand up). For those who are iffy on stouts, this one might sway you. But I’m not really trying to convince anyone: It’s seasonal after all, and if you don’t like it, more for me.
The ideal drinker: Someone who loves to be outdoors even after the weather changes. Someone whose idea of après ski is a whiskey neat and who believes flannel is always in style.