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Long Island Potato Stout – Blind Bat Brewery (2012)

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BLC Says:
Long Island Potato Stout by Blind Bat Brewery is their offering in the category of “dry stout”. The beer is brewed using organically-grown, local, Long Island potatoes. These potatoes are boiled, mashed, and then added in the “mash” phase of the brewing process during which, a mix of milled grain (typically malted barley with supplementary grains or adjuncts such as corn, sorghum, rye or wheat), known as the “grain bill“, and water, known as “liquor”, are combined and heated. Brewing the beer by this process is why it is branded with the charming tagline “Twice Mashed”. You may ask yourself, “Why brewed with potatoes?” to which Blind Bat Brewery responds, “Potatoes add sugars that supply dryness to this extra-dry stout.”, on the beers well designed label.

All of the labels, slogans, ideas and beers spring forth from the creative mind of Paul Dlugokencky. Paul established Blind Bat Brewery in 2008 while brewing ten-gallon batches which he self distributed to local Long Island haunts. In 2010 Blind Bat expanded – upgrading from a 1/3-barrel system (10 gallon batches) to a 3-barrel system (93 gallon batches). Production is still limited however as Blind Bat currently is a small, part-time nano-brewery. The entire operation is basically one man (for now) as Paul continues to hold down a “regular” job during the week. This unfortunately restricts the flow of beer which will be cranked up when Blind Bat is able to take flight as a normal full-time brewery sometime in 2013 (fingers crossed).

Paul has established the “Blind Bat Beer Club” to help with the funding of this exciting expansion providing different levels (indicated by different letters of the Greek Alphabet) for those wanting to join. The rewards of membership include free tastings at the brewery, discounts and quarterly allotments of beer in the higher price brackets. This outside of the box thinking is one example of how Paul tackles all aspects of Blind Bat Brewery with gusto and a creative mind. As we mentioned he designs the brewery’s labels being a cartoonist (even having a book with his illustrations available on Amazon). He approaches his beer with the same passion and creative drive.

Long Island Potato Stout was the first in the brewery’s “Farm and Garden Series” of beers. The entries into this series are all brewed using local (when possible organic) ingredients. Long Island Potato Stout comes, as do all other Blind Bat Brewery beers, in 16 ounce (500ml) bottles (did we mention the attractive label?). These are large enough to share but small enough to enjoy on your own as well.

This potato stout pours a deep opaque brown with a caramel, foamy head. This settles down into a confident cap which leaves behind nice webwork lacing on the glass. The aroma is earthy (after all, where do potatoes come from?) and roasted with something of a bright, herbal quality to it. Slight touches of caramel mingle about in the aroma about and balance out the nose. Though medium bodied, the sip coats your mouth and is full of delicious flavors. Hints of chocolate and caramel are present up front, quickly giving way to a dry earthier flavor. The beer is roasted throughout and finishes on a slightly sweet, light cocoa note. This is a unique, lower ABV (3.9%) stout that is aromatic and flavorful while still remaining subtle and drinkable. This beer pairs well with food (especially cheese as we detailed recently) and makes a great session ale. With Session Beer Day right around the corner you would be hard pressed to find a dry stout this approachable and rewarding. Blind Bat Brewery Long Island Potato Stout delicious marriage between Long Island produce and beer.

What Alicia Thinks:
This is probably one of my favorite stouts I have tried recently, which is saying a lot. I have my few favorites that I like to stick with and it is kind of hard for a newcomer to work it’s way into the mix. I still listen to mix CD’s from high school in an un-ironic way, if that’s any indication. But anyway, this stout is sweet without being too syrupy, dry without being boring and herbal without feeling overly hopped. It is easy to drink (and was delicious to cook our Stout Stew with) and I like that the 3.9% ABV means I can enjoy a rich tasting stout without accidentally getting drunk off a deceptively high alcohol beer. I think this stout could be for me what Founders All Day IPA is for Kevin.

What Kevin Thinks:
I agree with Alicia on this beer. I do think this fits with how I feel about All Day IPA and a few other recent, lower ABV selections we have tried. Long Island Potato Stout is something you can really enjoy in an approachable package that is not “dumbed down” for lack of a better phrase. This beer looks great out of the bottle and has lots of intriguing but not muddled aromas. The taste of this beer is recognizable and strikes a good sense memory while expanding upon what you would expect. Roasted with chocolate, caramel with some herbal and earthy qualities this stout is highly drinkable and will be working its way into my regular rotation. This is one beer you can linger over with some good food and conversation. For me this is an impressive 8.5/10.

ABV: 3.9% IBU: ? Color: color Year: 2012 Brewery: Blind Bat Brewery

The Brewery Says:
Long Island Potato Stout is brewed with local, organically-grown potatoes that are boiled, mashed, and then added to the mash of grains to add some extra dryness to a dry stout. Either Yukon Gold or Keuka Gold potatoes are used, depending on availability, but always local and organic. To date, the potatoes have been sourced from Sylvester Manor Farm, Sang Lee Farms, and Seedsower Farm (all Long Island farms).

Why organically-grown potatoes? Conventionally-grown potatoes rely heavily on the use of chemicals and pesticides — not great for you or the environment. It is a challenge to grow potatoes organically, though, so they are not as inexpensive or as easy to find as conventional potatoes.

Like other Dry Stouts, Long Island Potato Stout is happily paired with raw oysters as well as steak, burgers, or hearty and rich dishes. Try it with some good cheddar if you’re just in the mood to nosh some cheese.

Written by A+K

March 31st, 2013 at 4:05 pm

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