Freedom Stout, Vindication Brewing Co., Boulder

Style: American Stout
Serving Type: 12-oz Bottle
ABV: 6.8 percent
Hop Meter (1-10): 1.5
Malt Meter (1-10): 8
Reviewed: November 2015

Winter has arrived in Colorado, bringing with it our love of darker brews. We’ve taken a liking to Vindication Brewing Company’s (formerly Stone and Kettle) Freedom Stout, the Gunbarrel-based brewery’s best-selling beer. This oatmeal-based stout pours dark as night, with a robust tannish head, delivering the smooth flavors one would expect, but with a special twist. The subtle mix of chocolate, smoke, and roasted malt works together quite well, and pays tribute to head brewer Eric Huber’s time at Oskar Blues and Mountain Sun breweries.

What’s less apparent in taste is the care that Huber, along with co-owners Sanjiv Patel and Marty Lettow, put into each of their brews. All of Vindication’s beers are all-natural, using no enzymes, chemicals, or stabilizers during the brewing process—something most brewers can’t claim. Everything you see on the label is all that has gone into each beer.

As for the Freedom Stout, its mid-level alcohol content warms you, but doesn’t knock you off your feet. This is a working man’s stout—nothing too fancy, no wild hop hits or oddball ingredients—just a well-made brew that taste divine after a day on the slopes or at the office. If this brew is any indication, it seems that the folks at Vindication, which celebrated two years of business this summer, are heading down path to long-term success.

The Ideal Drinker: Your friend who always insists on shopping at Whole Foods.

(Read more beer reviews from 5280)