Where in Town: Fenwick Beer & Wine, 1327 Fenwick Lane, Silver Spring, Md.
Price: $12.99/750 ml
Cherry Blossom Bomb
Given the snow flurries that ushered in this year’s Cherry Blossom festival, I wasn’t quite in the mood for the delicate floral and fruity ales usually crafted for this annual rite of spring. I found the strong, warming suds to help get me through the last gasp of winter in an Asian-inspired imperial stout from Frederick, Md. The quirky beer was conceived in a stone lodge in the Catoctin Mountains where Flying Dog Brewery employees gather each year to pitch recipes for their monthly Brewhouse Rarities series. This one, dreamed up by brewery tour guide Jamie Myers, was cold-steeped with heaps of bancha green tea leaves and stems.
Green Tea Imperial Stout has the same beautiful brown-black color and foamy tan head as Flying Dog’s treasured Gonzo Imperial Porter. But take one whiff and you know something’s up: The unique brew has the aroma and texture of green tea ice cream. Its bitter, coffee-like finish is courtesy of the tea, plus Warrior hops and a cocktail of specialty roasted malts. The brew is light-bodied for a 10 percent alcohol beer, but intense tea and dark chocolate flavors make it a sipper. The bottled version’s “best by” sticker suggests it can be aged for a year. Try getting two bottles: one to warm up with before going out to see this year’s cherry blossoms, and another for next “spring.”
Photo by Tammy Tuck