Back in the early 2010s, one of my most coveted beers was Silva Stout from Green Flash Brewing Co. I had a chance to score a couple bottles from the original bottle release and didn’t pull the trigger and regretted it immediately. Over the years I never got a chance to try it until Green Flash released it in the larger 750ml bottles in 2015.
I scored a bottle only to find out that it was infected. The search continued.
Fast forward a few years and Chuck Silva—head brewer and creator of Silva Stout—left Green Flash and as a parting gift he was able to take his namesake beer with him to start his new brewery. After only two short years after opening Silva Brewing on the central coast of California, I finally was able to get my hands on a bottle and today is the day I crack it open. I have no idea how it compares to the previous iteration released at Green Flash so I can’t compare the two but never the less I am excited to open it up.
It took a bit of effort to pull the cork from the 510ml bottle but when I did the beer poured jet black with a finger of chocolate milk colored head. The nose is filled with rich roasted malts, baker’s chocolate and a ton of whiskey. There is no mistaking this beer spent time in a barrel and as the beer warmed the boozy bourbon, vanilla and oak really start to dominate the bouquet.
The first taste of the beer is exactly what I would expect from the aroma: tons of roasted malts along with burnt toffee and coffee. I would be curious to try this beer before it went into a barrel because to me, it seems this beer was built to take on the barrel character. Without it, the beer would be a tad astringent but the intense barrel character balances perfectly with the base beer creating a rich flavorful brew. I have had so many big pastry stouts lately that this beer was almost a throw back and a damn good one at that. I had no problem finishing the bottle solo.