First released in 2002, Central Waters Brewing Co.’s imperial stout Satin Solitude has been through its share of controversy. The beer was originally named Satin Solstice, but had to go through a name change after Anderson Valley Brewing Co. threatened legal action due to its already existing beer Winter Solstice, which was released the year before in 2001.
Regardless, although the Amherst, Wis.-based brewery decided to change the name of the beer from Satin Solice to Satin Solitude, the actual beer remained the same, coming in at 7.5 percent ABV and brewed with “a mix of specialty malts,” including caramel, chocolate and roasted barley. The imperial stout is packaged in six-packs of 12-ounce bottles, and joins six other year-round releases for Central Waters:
- Honey Blonde (4.6 percent ABV)
- Ouisconsing Red Ale (4.8 percent ABV)
- Glacial Trail IPA (5.5 percent ABV)
- Horicon Session IPA (4.5 percent ABV)
- Shine On Ale (4.6 percent ABV)
- Mudpuppy Porter (5.5 percent ABV)
- Satin Solitude (7.5 percent ABV)
The Central Waters Satin Solitude pours a deep, dark brown color with a reddish tint, along with three fingers worth of thick, mocha head that slowly dissipates to a nice, thick lacing. There seems to be plenty of carbonation present, while the aroma from the glass is a combination of dark cocoa, freshly ground coffee, sweet malts, vanilla, oak and licorice.
While there are flavors of sweet dark chocolate, roasted espresso beans, creamy oak, dark fruit malt and wheat, there is no clear dominant note that I can point to, and all of the flavors combine very well together. The finish is another thing entirely, and is easily dominated by the flavor of bitter espresso beans interspersed with some slight vanilla sweetness that comes and goes. The mouthfeel is silky smooth—dare I say, like satin?—with just the right amount of carbonation, and the 7.5 percent ABV is not overly noticeable.