I mention TJ's Restaurant pretty often on this blog. But I don't benefit from my mentions - I just love the place. The food is good. The selection of beer is mind blowing. Their social media skills are outstanding. I know what's on and what's kicked pretty much up-to-the-minute. When you're on the hunt for new breweries - not just new beer - this is mission critical information. Now if the fine folks over at TJ's were to offer some benefit for singing their praises, I probably wouldn't and really couldn't refuse. (Typed using my best Godfather impersonation.)
Take for example the Starr Hill Brewing Company. I never heard of this brewery until I picked up a tweet that it was tapped at TJ's. Off to the bar we go and I get to check another brewery off the list. As an aside, I'm now seeing Starr Hill everywhere. Based on this beer, I'll definitely be trying other varieties.
The Cryptical imperial stout has an ABV of 7.5%. It poured a deep chocolate brown...almost black and had a thick tan head that didn't stick around for very long. While the head didn't last, it did leave plenty of impressive lacing behind. It smells roasted and malty. Exactly what I expected to encounter. The taste is smokey and kind of reminds me of bacon. Keep in mind that the writer of that statement hasn't had bacon since 1985 so she may be completely off her rocker on that particular assessment. It has a smooth consistency which makes it eminently drinkable. This is a nicely balanced stout and I'll give it a good rating.