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And the Valley Drinks: Finch's Secret Stache

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A delicious Windy City offering that just made its way down south.

Billy Gomila

I picked this one up from the Rouses at Juban Crossing in Denham Springs recently (hey, there's something else in the LP besides WatsonTiger! Who knew?!) on my way back from a trip to visit the folks in their new place in Covington.

Finch's is out of Chicago -- up in Dan's territory. It's figured out what Founders, Oskar Blues and a few others (I'M STILL LOOKING IN YOUR DIRECTION, BELL'S) have already got down: that Baton Rouge is a massive beer market just waiting to...wait for it...wait for it...waaaaaaaaait for it...get tapped.

Anyway, so they're down here now with a couple of their regulars, including their Secret Stache, an American stout that is outstanding:

Secret Stache Stout won a gold medal in the stout category at the 2013 United States Open Beer Championship, and then won a silver medal in 2014 in the same category. Heaps of chocolate malt give this beer color as well as chocolate and coffee notes. Vanilla beans and lactose lend to its complexity and full flavor. Torrified wheat is also used for additional body and head retention.

This one's available in four-pack pint cans, at 5.3 percent alcohol by volume. Not sure if it's on tap anywhere yet.

Review

Lighter than the typical stout -- very rich and dark, but iwht a color that looks more coffee-like, like a brown ale. Still, the bouquet hints at the sweetness of the vanilla, just behind the roasted malts, which dominate. Very inviting though. Think of the time that girl you really liked kind of hung on the edge and tried to get you in the pool. That's what this beer smells like. It starts out rich and creamy, the way a good stout should, before really hitting you hard with the slightly bitter taste of the roasted malts. You finish with just a little hint of vanilla, enough to make you aware, but not at all overpowering. It's not that sweet of a beer, which is great for a stout. Slightly less filling than, say, Terrapin's Liquid Bliss, but still not really a session beer, either. A strong 4.5 out of five stars.